A Moveable Feast: 4 Hearty Lessons from Food Book Fair

If the age-old phrase that “you are what you eat” manifests itself literally, I’d be one giant avocado rolling around the streets of New York City #deadsexy. All jokes aside, many of us don’t take the time out to recognize just how much food and the art of dining shape our collective identities, memories and social politics apart from the obvious physical implications food has on our waistlines. I got a quick reminder of just how significant each bite lends to food for thought when I accompanied the motley crew at Ace Hotel New York as they hosted this year’s Food Book Fair. Here are 4 hearty lessons I learned from foodies & bookworms alike:

1) “Come to the table with an empty stomach and leave with a full heart.” ~ Warren Bobrow aka “The Cocktail Whisper” 

On opening night of the Food Book Fair, Warren Bobrow discussed his latest book, The Craft Cocktail Compendium, which encompasses a mixture of contemporary apothecary cocktails and silent nods to Robert Louis Stevenson.  I later struck up a conversation with Warren about the power of authentic connections through food. Warren expressed that his favorite personal mantra is, “Come to the table with an empty stomach and leave with a full heart” because by doing so, one will, in a more disarming way, gain a better understanding and appreciation of others and the places they come from. Take a seat around the table so that everyone can share food, drinks and candid conversations about life and witness how much more enriched you feel afterwards.

Read More at; http://www.jetsetterproblems.com/moveable-feast-4-hearty-lessons-food-book-fair/

 

Art LifeFamished Foodie

Three Hot Weather Gin and Tonics Made With Real Cane Sugar

Gin and Tonic

With the last couple of heat waves, I’ve resigned myself to drinking lighter and more savory drinks for the foreseeable future. With that said, I’ve done a few mixology sessions in private homes recently and have found that the classic Gin and Tonic has made a comeback, and in a big way!

You see that Gin is a perennial favorite when the temperature ekes its way past ninety degrees. The refreshing element of the botanicals stimulate the taste buds and the crisp aromatics of the tonic water bring these liquids to a much higher level. Of course, your hot weather gin and tonic will be ruined if you are still using the old standby- the drink gun to supply the tonic water. Unless you’re pouring craft-style soda from your drink gun you’d better take your Gin and Tonic off your cocktail menu. Why?

Because your tonic water is not something that I want to praise. Far from. If it’s made from high fructose corn syrup you aren’t helping with the good health of your guests.  It’s not great stuff, packed with artificial ingredients and those I couldn’t even spell if I wanted to.

So, what is a bar or restaurant to do?  Stop serving Gin and Tonics altogether? 

NO, you should make this Summer relaxer, the G&T cocktail- the shining star of your bar program.  The one drink that screams Summer in a Glass.  Try these three fabulous Gins available in the New York, NJ and CT areas with these three different CANE SUGAR Tonic waters. One of which is a tonic syrup!

 May I suggest starting with Barr Hill Gin from ever-verdant Vermont?  This gin is unlike any other on the market because it is made with raw honey and locally grown grain. There is a subtle sweetness in Barr Hill that doesn’t go unnoticed against the bitter herbs inherent in the tonic water.

In this case, I’m leading with one of my perennial tonic water favorites. The one from Q-Drinks.  They make a delicious tonic water with all natural ingredients- including the most important one, the cane sugar! 

Q-Tonic is crisp, aromatic and highly refreshing.  There are notes of Peruvian quinine, agave syrup and a touch of citrus making for a flavor packed mouthful of dry and bitter. Each element cuts the inherent sweetness of the raw honey gin and truly raises the bar.

A Vermont Styled- Gin and Tonic

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Barr Hill Gin
  • 6 oz. Q-Tonic Water
  • Fresh ice (not smelling like garlic or anything like old eggs)

Prep:

  1. Add the fresh ice to a Collins glass
  2. Top with the Q-Tonic water
  3. POUR OVER the Barr Hill Gin- yes. over the tonic water
  4. Squeeze a quarter of fresh lime juice over the top
  5. Garnish with a fresh wedge of lime

 


The next gin that I chose is more London Dry style in demeanor.  It starts dry and finishes dry. (just like a stiff upper lip) It’s named Martin Miller’s Gin and it is made with water from Iceland, perhaps the purest and softest water in the world.  I’m a huge fan of their Pot Still gin for the rich depth of flavor.  I believe that it is the classic combination of crisp to aromatic to bodacious.  My choice of tonic water for Martin Miller’s namesake gin would be the Fever Tree Premium Indian Tonic Water.  This very European styled fizzy liquid speaks a different language than the one that most off the shelf tonic waters can never do.  It is not cloying, nor overly rich.  Fever Tree is dry on the finish and it stands up to the potent, pot-still gin with alacrity. 

Continental Gin and Tonic

Ingredients:

Prep:

  1. Add the ice to a Collins glass
  2. Add the Martin Miller’s Gin
  3. Top with the Fever Tree Tonic Water
  4. Add 1 tablespoon of Fresh Lime Juice
  5. Add 3-5 drops of the Angostura Bitters
  6. Garnish with a freshly cut lime wedge
  7. Serve!

 


The final gin that I chose for this cocktail primer is probably the most classic in the purely Botanical format.  Hendricks’s Gin is my choice for the final slurp.  This gin is bursting with flavors of cucumber and roses.  Quite remarkable really. 

The tonic water is no less rambunctious either because I picked one made right here in New Jersey named TomR’s Tonic.  Their handmade product is perfectly geared to the explosive aromatics of Hendricks’s gin because you can adjust the bitterness of the final drink just by adding more- or less of this amazing tonic syrup.  I love the 1,2,3, method described on their website.

Tomr’s Classic Tonic and Gin

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. Tomr’s Tonic Syrup
  • 2 oz. Hendricks’s Gin
  • 3 oz. Seltzer Water
  • My addition of a pinch of sea salt

Prep:

  1. Add ice to a Collins Glass
  2. Top with the Tomr’s Tonic Syrup
  3. Add the Hendricks’s Gin over the syrup
  4. Top with the Seltzer Water
  5. Add a pinch of sea salt
  6. Serve!

Ardent Nova Decarboxylator

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http://www.ardentcannabis.com/product/nova-decarboxylator

I have a THIRTY dollar discount code: Cannacocktails, give it a try.. it’s pretty f-kin amazing what looks like a European designed thermos.. ONE button decarb! No messing around.

Nova Decarboxylator

8 Absolute Must-Have Bar Accessories Dad Wants For Father’s Day

Father's Day

Photo by Sandy Aknine/Getty Images

If I was to suggest several must haves for Father’s Day, I would recommend some items that are esoteric, yet attainable on the national market. And why my recommendations? I have, according to many, the abilities as a “taste-maker” so please allow me that small slice of an opportunity to share some of my Father’s Day gifts for the home cocktail bar.

Read more at: https://thefreshtoast.com/culture/8-absolute-must-have-bar-accessories-dad-wants-for-fathers-day/amp

Cocktails And Dreams

Turns out that nobody knows more about crafting the perfect cannabis cocktail than our good friend Warren Bobrow, author of the finest craft cocktail books, including the “Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails and Tonics”. Bobrow has spent years experimenting with various drinks, tinctures and modifiers that give a little more buzz than your average alcoholic concoction.

Read the rest at; http://theruggedmale.com/cocktails-and-dreams/

Five Cocktails for a party!

I love cocktail parties. Especially ones that give me the opportunity to take my guest’s palates to another level.    This little cocktail party served notice that great mixed drinks don’t have Fireball or Tito’s in them.  Far from.  They take great parts and incredible craft spirits and bring these liquid driven adventures truly to a higher place.

I was given a bottle of Martinique Blue Cane Rhum Agricole recently and I couldn’t think of a nicer way to serve it than with Royal Rose- Simple Syrup of Cardamom and Clove and a bit of seltzer water.

Just over on Mt. Pelee’

Ingredients:

  • 3 oz. Clement Bleue Canne Rhum Agricole (100 Proof)
  • 1 oz. Royal Rose Simple Syrup of Cardamom and Clove
  • 2 oz. Seltzer
  • 2-5 drops Lemon Bitters (of your choice)

Prep:

To a cocktail mixing glass filled ¾ with ice

  • Add the Rhum Agricole
  • Add the Simple Syrup
  • Stir well to combine
  • Pour into a Collins Glass with ice
  • Top with the Seltzer
  • Dribble the bitters over the top and serve

The second cocktail took a simple drink known as the gin and tonic and quite literally, raised the bar with thirty different types of gin.  The crowd favorite?  A little gin in a gorgeous bottle from Scotland named Caorunn.  For some reason (well known to those of us who love artisanal gin) the Caorunn has a richer texture and ‘ginny’ character that worked so well with the multitude of tonic waters that I brought with me.  Amongst the gins were The Botanist, SW4, No.3., Martin Miller’s Pot Still, Hat Trick, FEW, Nolet, Beefeater, and many others.


 Not Just Another Gin and Tonic

Ingredients:

  • 3 oz. Gin of your choice (Caorunn was the crowd favorite)
  • Lemon Zest (no pith!)
  • 5 oz. Cane Sugar Tonic Water- the crowd favorite was Fever Tree Elderflower Tonic (Bed, Bath and Beyond)
  • Aromatic Bitters – like Angostura, often used in a “pink gin”

Prep:

  • Flavor the glass with the lemon zest then the Angostura Bitters
  • Add ice
  • Add the Gin
  • Top with the Tonic
  • Stir and Serve

I’m sure that the third drink is where you want to get going- and that would mean immediately!

The Soda and Cocktail Syrup named Fruitations is where this drink really takes off.  I used the brilliant Tangerine syrup and combined it with Mezcal and then finished it off with a Cane Sugar Ginger Beer from Australia named Bundaberg.  Brilliant stuff.  A wedge of fresh lime and lemon bitters sent this drink further than it has ever been prior.  Trust me.

Just up Near Mexico City

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Mezcal of your choice
  • Orange Zest
  • 1 oz. Fruitations Soda and Cocktail Syrup (Tangerine)
  • Splash Ginger Beer
  • Aromatic or Lemon Bitters

 

Prep:

  • Moisten the inside of a rocks glass with the orange zest
  • Add ice
  • Let cool
  • In a Boston Shaker add:
  • The Fruitations Syrup
  • The Mezcal
  • Cap and Shake hard to combine
  • Double Strain over the ice filled rocks glass
  • Splash of Ginger Beer
  • Dot with Lemon Bitters
  • Spray the lime wedge over the top
  • Serve with a smile

The next drink was my own take on the classic Old Fashioned, and it departs from the classic in one very determined way.  I chose to roast several different kinds of oranges in a bath of both Balsamic vinegar and Demerara sugar until caramelized and bubby- about 2.5 hours at 350 degrees covered.  The final ½ hour is uncovered to add a bit of darkness to the softly cooked fruits.  I then roasted some Luxardo cherries until warmed through and quite soft- about 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  Set to cool so you won’t break your expensive crystal with sizzling hot fruit, pricy whiskey and ice!

 

Not your typical Old Fashioned

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons or so of the oven roasted citrus and cherries
  • 2 oz. Barrell Bourbon Whiskey- I used unreleased batch #012
  • bitters of your choice

Prep:

  • Muddle the roasted fruit
  • Add the whiskey
  • Stir gently
  • Dot with bitters
  • Serve

The final drink was the easiest to duplicate because once you are able to buy a good quality Absinthe, you’ll be more than ½ way there.  Any of the fine Absinthes made by Jade would work beautifully, as would the Lucid line.  There is one thing that I must stress.  The lack of color is far preferable to the ones with color added.  It’s just my preference.

 Just a Normal Louche

Ingredients:

  • Jade Absinthe
  • Drizzle of iced water
  • Great Conversation

Prep:

Release the chilled water from your Absinthe fountain slowly and gently into 2 oz. of Absinthe, sip and repeat until sated

Slap Happy: 5 Great Ways To Use Fresh Herbs In Your Craft Cocktails

Nearly everyone has been to their local garden store and ogled over the varieties of fresh herbs that you can grow on your windowsill garden. Who knew there were so many different kinds of basil? And how about all that mint? Are there enough days of growing season left for every different kind of mint, pared with all those incredible bourbons on your groaning shelves?  Well, worry not. I’m going to make a few suggestions of which herbs you should be growing in your mixology garden and some simple ways to use them.

Read More at: https://thefreshtoast.com/cannabis/slap-happy-5-great-ways-to-use-fresh-herbs-in-your-craft-cocktails/amp

Photo by cookbookman17