New York City’s restaurants are in the midst of an epidemic of not-goodness. Sit down in any new dining room, and you are handed a cocktail list. Each drink on this document will have one ingredient you have heard of and seven that were apparently named after distant planets. Sometimes you may think you recognize a cocktail that you like (a good cocktail, in other words), but everything you like about it has been replaced by some other thing that you’re not sure about. “Hello there, that sounds like an old-fashioned!” you think. “But with burdock syrup instead of sugar, Croatian absinthe instead of bourbon, and hemlock bitters instead [...]
As we round the corner into the final week of Drynuary, here are three nonalcoholic drink recipes from Sean McClure, who runs a consulting company called Cocktail Chemistry. While behind the bar at Craft, where McClure worked until last summer, he spruced up the beverage menu to include some terrific nonalcoholic options. As he put it to The New York Times, "All the time, people come in who are pregnant or who don’t drink, and if their dining partner is doing something like a full tasting menu with wine pairings, I don’t want them to have to suck down Coke all night." The Times singled out [...]
The Chisos Chimney is named for the Chisos Mountains, the exquisite, rugged range that defines Big Bend National Park in Middle of Nowhere, Texas. (Serious middle of nowhere: it’s so far from civilization and its lights that it apparently has the best stargazing of any of the national parks in the lower 48). If you’ve been to Big Bend, which is to say if you’ve driven the ten hours from Populated Texas to Big Bend, then you’ll understand.
I grew up in the Northwest, so when people say mountains and backpacking, I think of luscious, green forests, glacier lakes, and the smell of wet polar fleece. But mountains and [...]
With Valentine's Day nearly upon us, you may be looking for a lovely pink drink to serve your beloved.
This is not that drink.
This is the drink you make when you want to get your beloved utterly blotto on Valentine's Day (ANAL). But let's be honest, shall we? You won't be serving this to your paramour, you unlovable piece of shit, you'll be making it for the sad, sad SINGLE AND READY TO MINGLE party you're desperately trying to convince yourself is exactly-EXACTLY! I'D HAVE IT NO OTHER WAY! ME? I'M SOOOOO GLAD I'M SINGLE!-how you want to be celebrating Valentine's Day.
Humans naturally gravitate toward easy chronologies, since it's how our brains work or whatever. So it's logical that after we all secretly teleported back to the vague (and vaguely historical!) era of "pre-Prohibition" to find a fancy booze culture worth restoring and replicating in metropolises across the globe, we would then creep forward in time from those hazy origins of the late eighteen hundreds or early nineteen hundreds, and revivify and adapt what we found next.
But, recently, as we progressed from Jerry Thomas's Improved Whiskey Cocktail through Harry Craddock's Corpse Reviver #2 and Trader Vic's Planter's Punch, we slipped into the hazy era between the fifties and the [...]
"Amid booming sales of energy drinks spiked with caffeine and other stimulating ingredients, some people are heading to the soda aisle for drinks that promise the opposite effect. With names like Neuro Bliss, Marley's Mellow Mood (as in Bob), and Just Chill, the products aren't marketed as medicine, but as a way to relax without turning to more traditional, if sometimes imperfect, measures like taking prescription drugs or having a few beers." —Just shut up and have the few beers.
When the weather turns cold/apocalyptic, your cocktails need to step it up a notch, and your bitter aperitifs are no exception. Lucky for you, there's Sorel. Full disclosure: Sorel is an artisanal, handcrafted twee little liqueur made in—of COURSE—Brooklyn. So that makes this recipe something of a trend piece! And trend pieces should go with summer drinks (see Aperol!), not fall ones, right? But resisting Sorel is futile because it's good. Really good. Billed as a hibiscus liqueur, Sorel wraps up classic fall flavors like cinnamon, clove, ginger and rhubarb and is versatile enough to both complement or supplement things like sweet vermouth, Campari or other aperitifs.
And here's the most popular comment—from Astoria!—on the Times story about Mayor Mike banning monster-sized sodas in New York City: "This is just a stupid reaction by some rich guy who saw some fat guy drinking a Big Gulp and wants to use his power and privilege to 'stop' 'those people' from doing what offends them." Yikes! No one likes a bossy mayor, even when he's technically right. Also: boy oh boy, the next Mayor has a lot to live up to.
Apart from all that tsuris, the City isn't doing a good science sales job in the slightest: "In New York City, where more than half of [...]
There's a hullaballoo afoot in a Dorset prison where inmates have been found getting shitfaced on anti-bacterial hand gel provided to combat swine flu. Prison brass are fuhreaking out and it's slightly confusing since it's not like these enterprising fellows weren't using trashbags rolled into towels for other clever uses, getting stabbish with anything that can be sharpened to a point, and learning, despite all differences, to dance in unison to Michael Jackson songs. Did they think they wouldn't drink something where the active ingredient is a 62 percent concentration of ethyl alcohol just because it's supposed to go on your hands? Fuck outta here. Call me when they're [...]
An aperitif is a bitterish alcoholic beverage that was originally meant to be served before a meal to stimulate the appetite because people in the nineteenth century believed all sorts of wonderful things about alcohol, which they had to drink constantly because water, prior to modern sanitation, was a biohazard. Also it's sort of weird to think that you needed to drink alcohol to become hungry since basically everyone was starving all the time back then.
Anyway, one aperitif is called the negroni. It is a cocktail that is made, typically, with one part gin (a neutral spirit not unlike vodka, but with plant stuff, most commonly and notably, juniper [...]
11 Madison Park is either a very good restaurant or the absolute best restaurant in New York City. It depends on whom you ask. But don't ask me: I've only had a drink at 11 Madison Park, and that drink was a Long Island Iced Tea. It came in a highball with four perfect cubes of ice and a wedge of lemon. It cost sixteen dollars and tasted just like college.
"I haven't served one of these in six months," the bartender told me. Like his peers at the other fine New York bars and restaurants where I have lately been ordering Long Island Iced Teas, he had repeated my [...]
You could argue that the brown-liquor renaissance of recent years has been a reaction to the vodka-drenched Pucker-corrupted cocktail decade that preceded it, which experienced its nadir in the hideous appletini. But in the tail end of apple season, with plenty of good cider available, I wanted to renew the apple "martini" (I succumb to the troubling but widespread practice of categorizing mixed drinks by glass) and unlock its long-betrayed potential. While bourbon may spring to mind as the obvious way to achieve this, I realized that, in fact, brandy was the key here, and I had a chance to resist the bourbon hegemony that has crowded out brandy from [...]
Tonight the First Annual Weeping Eagle Awards takes place in our nation's "capital"! At Solly's Tavern! Basically a Wonkette drink-up party is an Awl drink-up party, so you should probably go.