A holiday riff on a classic cocktail is a fine thing, but the “seasonal twist” always seems to start and stop with cinnamon. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with cinnamon—it’s accessible and uncontroversial, it reads as sweet without adding actual sweetness, and it is even purportedly good for your blood pressure or something. As such, it seems to find its way into any and all holiday-specific cocktails, the first and last answer to the question of how to make a drink taste right for right now.
Tagged With infusions
When it comes to summer produce, nothing (besides a really good tomato) gets me more pumped for the season than corn. I will eat it grilled. I will eat it steamed. I will eat it raw. But when I see people shucking their corn in the store, leaving behind the husks and silks, I weep, for they are leaving behind flavour.
Video: Jam is a delicious cocktail ingredient, and even the tiniest bit can colour and flavour a boozy beverage for the better — even the sticky, residual bit that clings to the jar in defiance of any knife, refusing to take its place on toast.
There is a Russian restaurant in Portland, Oregon that makes the most incredible infused vodka. It is both a very good and very bad thing. The flavours, which range from horseradish to sweet pea, are fresh and clean, and the vodka, which is served ice cold, comes in grams. These two factors, when combined, make it hard to judge exactly how much you’re drinking, particularly if you’ve never memorised the density of vodka (which is 970 kg/m³, by the way).
Vanilla beans are expensive. There is no getting around it. Vanilla beans are also delicious - yet another unavoidable truth. These hard facts make me reluctant to ever toss a pod, not matter how devoid of seeds it is. After I have methodically scraped every little speck of vanilla seed out of the bean, I gaze at its spent husk, wondering what to do with the precious, costly plant part.
I didn’t used to believe in bay leaves. Though I felt contractually obligated to put them in all stews, soups, and (most) rice dishes, it wasn’t until I conducted this very important piece of investigative journalism that I began to truly value and cherish them. When I saw the “bay leaf martini” on the cocktail menu at Barr — you know, the place with the caviar waffle — I knew I had to have it, and I knew I would be making bay leaf gin at home.
I love limoncello, but it is — without a doubt — a capital-L liqueur. There’s nothing wrong with the candy-like sipper, but it’s not exactly refreshing. Oddly enough, the key to fresh-from-the-garden citrus-flavored booze can be found not in the lemon, but in a mostly fleshless, uncanny-valley-dwelling citron.
Some leaves taste like nothing, but then there are other leaves that taste very, very good. Using leaves that taste good to flavour spirits is smart and correct but, unless you have an immersion circulator or fancy siphon, it can take days, which is too long. Luckily, you can speed up the process significantly with a blender.
Video: Welcome back to Eating Trash With Claire, the Lifehacker series where I convince you to transform your kitchen scraps into something edible and delicious. In this episode, I show you how to use spiky, seemingly useless pineapple peels to make a tasty, tropical gin.
Pineapple is a flawless fruit. Not only is it a tasty snack all on its own, but it's delicious when dipped in chocolate, and plays super well with alcoholic spirits of all kinds. I like to buy them whole and break 'em down myself, but I'm always a little sad to toss out the the bumpy, slightly spiky peels.
Whipping siphons tools that seem best for fancy restaurant chefs. I appreciate everything you can do with them, but I'm not topping my weeknight dinner with a smoked salmon espuma. I'm interested in how it can help me speed things up, particularly infusions. Here's are some clever ways you can put one to use at home.
I am completely obsessed with those fragrant, herbal, Italian liqueurs that fall under the category of "amaro." I love 'em neat, with a bit of soda, or splashed into cocktails. It never occurred to me that I could DIY the stuff, but Food 52 has come up with a method to do just that.