Month: September 2012

Unique (and awesome) ingredients you need to try

It’s time to get experimental with your cooking.

Create some bold, intriguing dishes with truly unique ingredients. You’re sure to have fun tasting something new and you’ll impress friends and family with your culinary knowledge.

Here are some basic tips to follow, straight from the source of experimental chefs, before you go all-scientist mode in your kitchen.

  1. The first and foremost thing that you need to have is the will to try out new stuff. If you are too scared of what the dish might turn out to be or worried that you are wasting time, money, and energy, then experimental cooking is not your forte.
  2. Ensure you use good cooking utensils and proper equipments. For example, if you have decided to bake but you do not have an oven, then the dish is scrapped of even before it enters the processing stage.
  3. Use good and fresh ingredients. Try out ingredients that you have never experimented with before.
  4. Do a bit of research on the ingredients you have chosen. For example, if the ingredient itself is naturally sweet, if it requires a high cooking time, if it lets too much water while being cooked, etc…
  5. Learn the technique of cooking with every new item. This will save you time and effort.
  6. Always go for the simplest of recipes to know what you are dealing with. You can later progress to recipes that are more complicated.
  7. Initially, cook in small portions. Therefore, even if the dish does not taste as expected, you would not mind throwing out a small portion, rather than discarding the entire lump.

Here are my top three unique ingredients.

1. Romanesco Broccoli

Half broccoli, half cauliflower, and all awesome. The Romanesco broccoli, often called fractal broccoli, is an example of an approximate fractal in nature. Its eye-catching appearance helps you create dynamic dishes with a creamy, nutty flavor.

Cooking tip: Try Romanesco broccoli with brown butter and shallots.

2. Kohlrabi

A vegetable like no other, Kohlrabi has a strange appearance, yet is from the same family as the wild cabbage plant. You can eat every part of the Kohlrabi plant, including the leaves, which have a similar taste to collards or kale.

Cooking tip: Roast Kohlrabi with garlic and Parmesan cheese.

3. Star Anise

Star anise is an anise-like spice that infuses dishes with a licorice flavor. The unique star shape gives this spice a look all its own. It can be used in cooking, baking, and even drinks. That bottle of Galliano you have in your liquor cabinet contains star anise.

Cooking tip: Use star anise when you make your own cocktail cherries!

Have you tried out a new, unique ingredient lately? Leave me a comment and let me know how it turned out for you.

All Things Candy with Elizabeth LaBau

I recently had the opportunity to speak with author and candy-maker extraordinaire Elizabeth LaBau about her passion for candy and chocolate, along with some fun tips, tricks, and stories. Here is what she had to say.

1) What is your process for creating candy/chocolate recipes?

Fudge boiling on the stove top

I’m always on the lookout for candy inspiration, and I keep a huge file of potential candy ideas on my computer. I get my ideas from everywhere: favorite foods from my childhood, desserts that I’ve tried, colors or patterns in fashion, fruit that’s in-season, trendy ingredients or new products I spy in the store, food blogs and websites like Pinterest, everywhere! I have been extremely inquisitive regarding the different tastes of candies from different sources right from my childhood. Whenever I came across a new brand, I look into the new flavors and varieties they add to the market and try to get the idea of their new experiment. You can call me a Qprofit software which is always on the path of discovery and improvement.

Sometimes I have just a vague notion of what I want to explore (for instance, animal prints or polka-dotted candies) and sometimes it’s much more specific, like an ingredient combination that I can’t get out of my mind.
Once I’ve decided on the general idea of the candy, I turn it around in my mind to figure out what form it should take. Here’s an example: If I want to make a candy that combines fresh strawberries and fresh mint, what would be the best way to get those true, vibrant flavors across? Obviously something like a toffee wouldn’t work well, but truffles take well to flavor infusions and fruit purees, so that’s one possibility.

A better idea, though, might be to make a candy composed almost entirely of fresh fruit, without other strong flavors like chocolate masking the fruit. So in that case, I might decide to make pate de fruits, a chewy fruit candy made mostly from puree. After deciding on the form, it’s a matter of creating a base recipe and tweaking it until it has just the right flavor, texture, and appearance.

By this point in my life I’ve made many, many different types of candy, so I usually have a good idea of where to start with the base recipe, and I’m rarely starting from complete scratch these days.
I should add that even though I’ve been doing this for years, I still have my share of candy failures on a regular basis! I try to learn from each failed recipe, and sometimes good things come as a result—I might not always make the exact candy I dreamed of, but sometimes I stumble upon a different, but equally good, end product.
2) What is your favorite recipe? Why?
This is an unfair question—it’s like asking a parent who their favorite child is! That being said, I do have a few recipes that I find myself making over and over again, just because I love the way they taste.
The Mint Chocolate Chip Truffles are one example—mint is one of my favorite flavors, and the cool mint ganache is so refreshing, I find myself eating way too many whenever I make them. I also love the Passion Fruit Marshmallows, because passion fruit is one of my favorite flavors and it’s pretty uncommon in candies, at least where I live. Finally, I love the Red Velvet Fudge—it’s is a little time-consuming to make, but it looks amazing and is always a show-stopper when I share it with people.
3) What do you find most challenging about candy/chocolate making? What do you find the easiest?
I mentioned this before, but I do still have the occasional spectacular failure, and that’s never fun! Candy making is so precise, even a small mis-measurement or temperature mistake can ruin a batch of candy, and that can be challenging and discouraging.
In writing the book, I think I had the most challenges with the fudge chapter—old-fashioned fudge can be so finicky! If I got distracted by other candies and let a batch cook too long, or cool too long, it was sure to be disastrous. In contrast, I’ve never met a truffle I didn’t get along with, and they’re pretty forgiving, so I generally find truffles to be simple and enjoyable to make.
4) Which recipe would you recommend to first time candy/chocolate makers? 
Peanut Butter Cup Fudge is an easy fudge that’s almost impossible to mess up! It does require a candy thermometer, but that’s really the only tricky part—there’s no extended cooling or beating required, unlike some more complicated fudge recipes. I think of it as a “gateway recipe”—after tasting the smooth, creamy fudge, hopefully folks will be more confident, want to try more, and be willing to experiment a bit with more complex recipes!
5) Have you ever had a balloon explode while making your chocolate bowls?

YES! I have spent some quality time scrubbing chocolate from my kitchen walls as a result of chocolate bowl explosions. I was actually nervous that one would explode when we were shooting the cookbook, and I warned the photographer that she might want to keep a close eye on her camera and lenses, so she wouldn’t get chocolate on them. Fortunately I’ve become pretty good at judging when the temperature is ready to make chocolate bowls, and we avoided any explosions during the cookbook shoot!

Elizabeth LaBau is the author of The Sweet Book of Candy Making. Elizabeth is a food writer and confectioner based in Los Angeles, California. She applies her years of experience as a professional pastry chef to bringing a modern touch to the world of old-fashioned candy making. Since 2006, she has been the Guide to Candy at About.com, an online division of the New York Times Company. At http://candy.about.com, she provides fun, creative candy recipes and step-by-step tutorials for the home cook. When she’s not playing with sugar in the kitchen, she can be found running the trails around Los Angeles with a piece of candy tucked into her pocket. Visit her online at http://www.elizabethlabau.com, http://www.sugarhero.com, and http://www.runningwithsugars.com.

Play With Your Food: Try Fermentation This Fall

Fall is upon us and with it comes harvest and the perfect time to pick up some mason jars and get fermenting.

What is fermentation?

Fermentation is the process of preserving food. There are many methods to preserve food, including: drying & salting, high pressure, vinegar, canning, refrigeration, and freezing. Many of these methods can be easily done in your home.

Unfortunately, we have drifted away from our ancestry of canning, preserving, and fermenting, and have instead become far too dependent on refrigeration and freezing. We’re terrified of leaving food out for fear of it “going bad,” and think that fermenting is just too time-consuming and difficult. We need to get back to the joy of playing with our food.

Fall is the time of year when we put away and preserve foods for the winter. So why not give fermenting a chance this season?

What are the benefits of eating fermented foods?

Fermented foods offer several natural benefits such as:

  1. It is the most natural way of preserving food.
  2. They are a great source of natural probiotics that help the human digestive system.
  3. They help in the better absorption of food in the digestive tract.
  4. They are also one of the cheapest naturally processed food.

Read further for more info on fermentation.

Why Ferment?

1) Fermenting supports local agriculture. Stop by that farm stand and pick up some fresh veggies to pickle, or join a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and use your weekly farm share to create something special. Using local, homegrown fruits and vegetables in your fermenting projects helps support farmers and gives you a great end result.

2) Fermented foods are a powerful aid to digestion and protect against disease. Did you know that your body is host to a bacterial population of over 100 trillion organisms? We cannot live without bacteria. It helps break down our food and aids digestion. Fermenting promotes the good bacteria we need to survive.

3) It’s quick and easy… and most of all, fun! It took mere minutes for me to chop up some vegetables, salt them, and put them in jars. Best of all, the result was delicious. My favorite part of the entire process was getting to leave out the jars on my counter and watch them each day. It became a conversation piece when friends came over and a countdown for my family.

 

Tada! Homemade pickles.

From coleslaw to pickles to yogurt, creme fraiche, and kefir, fermentation is a fun, easy, healthy process that gives you a stronger connection to your food. I highly recommend you buy yourself some jars and get fermenting! I bet you’ll find it’s addictive.

My very own Creme Fraiche!

If you want to know more about the joys of fermenting, take a look at Alex Lewin’s book Real Food Fermentation. Control your own ingredients, techniques, and additives. Learn a practical food-preparation skill you’ll use again and again. And express yourself by making something unique and whole.

The Art of Home Cheesemaking

Attention all cheese-lovers!

We are excited to announce that our very own David Bleckmann, co-author of The Cheesemaker’s Apprentice, is giving a class at the Hillsboro Public Library in Oregon on Tuesday October 9th, 2012  entitled “The Art of Home Cheesemaking”.

The Art of Home Cheesemaking at the Hillsboro Public Library

If cheese is one of your favorite things, then this is an event you do not want to miss. Join David from 6:30–8:00 pm for an evening discussing all things cheese.

And the best part? You’ll get to taste samples of homemade cheeses, and take home recipes to help you get started in your own home cheesemaking.

Cheese is one of the most mind-blowing dairy products that attract people of all age groups. It is a great source of calcium, saturated fat, protein, sodium, and phosphorus. Usually the first thing that comes running into the minds of every person when they think of cheese is a yummy cheese pizza. However, with over thousands of varieties of cheese from all over the world, cheese finds use in several different and interesting recipes.

To get you more interested on cheese and the cheese-making event, learn even more here on the different kinds of cheese that are available.

Several types of cheese exist around the world. These are classified into:

  • Curdled cheese from milk such as curd cheese, cottage cheese, paneer, farmer cheese, cream cheese, fromage blanc, chhena, caș, queso fresco, and goat’s milk cheese
  • Whey cheese such as Romanian Urda, Norwegian Brunost, Italian Ricotta, Corsican Brocciu, Cypriot Anari Cheese, and Greek Mizithra
  • Fresh French cheese such as fromage frais and fromage blanc
  • Stretched cheese such as Mozzarello
  • Very soft cheese such as Neufchatel
  • Semi-soft cheese such as Munster, and Havarti
  • Medium to hard cheese such as all swiss variety of cheeses
  • Medium hard to hard cheese such as Parmesan, Gouda, Edam, etc…
  • Cheese made from molds such as the soft ripened variety, example the Brie; washed-rind variety, example the Camembert; smear-ripened variety, example the Port Salut; blue variety, example the Roquefort and the Stilton
  • Pickled and brined cheese such as the feta, sirene, bryndza, telemea, and halloumi
  • Processed cheese

Cheese is usually processed under three main processes, namely:

  • Curdling of milk
  • Processing of curd with the addition of some bacteria
  • Ripening or aging of fresh cheese

Learn more about the wonderful world of cheesemaking by checking out David’s website: http://www.joyofcheesemaking.com

It’s as American as Apple Pie

The weather has cooled, the pumpkins are out, and it’s the season for apple picking. If you’re like me, you’ve talked your family into heading into the apple orchard with you with the promise that you’d make them the perfect apple pie.

Did you know there are 2,500 apple varieties in the United States? And over 7,500 varieties worldwide? That’s a ton of apples. So how do you choose which apples make the best pie?

Apple picking can be easy as trading on a QProfit System if you follow these two simple tips:

  1. Pick apples on the outer ring of the tree, then work your way in as these tend to be more ripe than the ones inside
  2. Pick your apples rather than shaking the entire tree. It is called apple “picking” for a reason. Shaking can knock off apples more than what is required and cause it to rot faster.

Moreover, there are two things to look for when choosing the right apple for apple pie: taste and texture. Most apple pie recipes call for sugar, so it’s best to choose an apple that’s at least a little tart or you’re going to be overwhelmed with a too-sweet pie. When choosing for texture, find an apple variety that’s crisp and firm. You don’t want applesauce pie filling.

Most importantly, have a little fun with experimenting. There are many crisp and tart apples out there and adding more than one variety into your pie is completely okay (and encouraged!) The following are some of my favorite picks for apple pie contenders: Granny Smiths, Jonathan, Jonagold, Pippin, Gravenstein, Braeburn, Fuji and Pink Lady Apples.

“Apple pie without the cheese is like a kiss without the squeeze…”

Once you’ve chosen your apples, there’s nothing like a cheddar cheese crust to give your pie a savory and sweet combination that your friends and family will rave about.

Cheddar Cheese Double Crust

2 1/4 cups (280 g) all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons (18 g) kosher salt
2 teaspoons (8 g) granulated sugar
1 1/2 sticks (1/4 cup) (168 g) cold unsalted butter (12 tablespoons fat)
1/2 cup (60 g) grated or thinly cut cold sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup (120 ml) strained ice water plus 2 or 3 tablespoons (28 or 45 ml)
regular fork
plastic wrap

Steps

1. Choose a good size bowl, one where both of your hands can fit in and work. Measure your dry ingredients and mix them together in the bowl. Cut your cold butter into 1/4-inch (6 mm) pieces. It is very important that your butter is cold; its ability to maintain the integrity of its shape is what lends flakiness to the crust. You can freeze it, but I find refrigerated butter to be quite sufficient.

2. Scatter the butter over the dry ingredients. Incorporate the butter into the dry ingredients by pinching each piece. When you incorporate the butter, it is meant to keep its shape–you’re just introducing the two. You don’t want your butter to get warm with the flour or create tiny little butter pebbles. The goal is for your fat to have presence in the crust.

3. Scatter the shredded cheese over the ingredients.

4. Quickly toss the cheese through the butter and flour. Make sure to get everything at the bottom of the bowl into the game.

5. Add 1/4 cup (60 ml) of the strained ice water along the outside of the crust. Mix quickly with the fork. Add the remaining ice water and mix with the fork or your hands.

6. When mixing the ingredients, make sure all the little bits on the bottom of the bowl are incorporated. Separate the crust into two equal-sized balls, and flatten them into disks. If they won’t hold in the center, sprinkle a bit of water on the crust. If they feel a bit wet, sprinkle a bit of flour on the crust.

This savory crust will be the perfect foundation for your new favorite apple pie. Let me know what apples you picked for your pieleave me a comment below.

For more on pie-making, check out Millicent Souris’ How to Build a Better Pie. How to Build a Better Pie will provide everything you need to know. Learn the skills, practice the techniques, master the recipes, and build yourself a better pie.

Photos courtesy Souris, Millicent. How To Build a Better Pie. Beverly: Quarry Books, 2012.

Cocktail Gardening

Calling all cocktail enthusiasts!

Cocktail author Katie Loeb knows that there’s nothing quite as delicious as fresh ingredients in your cocktails. It’s what helps give drinks their astounding flavor. Growing your own cocktail herbs is easier than you think and is a great way to keep your cocktails homegrown and flavor-filled. Yes, it is quite confusing to start with, but once you get the idea of which herb tastes which and which one compliments the flavor of which, you can simply decide on what to grow in your garden. If you keep in mind the following common facts about growing herbs at home and how to get the best natural flavor, the cocktail experimentation will be yours:

 

Growing time: Different herbs have different growth cycles, time to ripe and time for harvesting. If you mix up too many random herbs together in the garden, it will be difficult for you to manage and protect them, which ends in their damage. Careful planning should be done on which herbs to be grown and harvested together and where to place them.

Seasonal dependence: Not all herbs grow throughout all seasons or during the same season. Study the climatic variations and the dependence of the herbs on the weather.

The difference in growing conditions: The growth factors, soil conditions, sunshine, optimum temperature, growth space etc can be different for the herbs you plan to grow in your garden. Become well-versed of these conditions and how to distinguish them.

Use of organic fertilizers, pesticides, and insecticides: Some herbs can grow lavishly without the need for any supplementation, while some may be too demanding. Certain herbs are more prone to insects and pests. Therefore, identify these issues and use only organic or natural products so as to minimize harmful chemicals and artificial flavor in your cocktail herbs.

Flavor extraction techniques: Select the best and simplest technique to trap all the essential natural flavor in your herb. Examining reviews on techniques will help you in this like the Qprofit system review which helps in identifying the efficiency of the trading robot.

Cocktail Gardening was written by and stars Shirley Bovshow, Ariana Seigel, and Emma Tattenbaum-Fine
DP, and editor Nathan Blair.

As always, you can pick up your copy of Shake, Stir, Pour: Fresh Homegrown Cocktails today. Award-winning author Katie Loeb is a bartender, sommelier, creator of craft cocktails, and author of numerous articles and cocktail recipes, which have been published in Bon Apetít, The Los Angeles Times, Imbibe, Philadelphia Magazine, Inside, and Food & Wine Magazine cocktail books. She has consulted for numerous restaurant groups and spirit brands, providing cocktail recipes, beverage lists, and operations assistance. She lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Why you should sign up for a CSA

Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA for short. It’s a term that’s been popping up a lot lately as more Americans begin to focus on the importance of fresh, homegrown produce.

Traders of a particular country can actually stick to trading with trading platforms that come with transactions in the same currency and there is no pull or push for them in taking up a different one with a different currency instead of a home-based one. Trading is a common field wherein there are traders from all parts of the world and they try to be on the trading platform that feels and sounds good and comfortable for them. Trading activity is the same irrespective of the different platforms and it is out and out the choice of the trader. This review is mainly to make people understand the point that they also need to focus on what they want and how comfortable they would be instead of just looking at what the trading software would give them.

 

For the last twenty years, many farms across the country have been offering “shares” to the public. Anyone in the community can opt to pay a yearly fee for a weekly crop share that lasts throughout the farming season.

I’m thrilled to say that I signed up for my local CSA two years ago and cannot speak highly enough of the benefits.

Here are the top six reasons why I think you should sign up for Community Supported Agriculture.

1) You support your local farmers
2) You get ultra-fresh food each week
3) You know where your food comes from
4) You save money over the year on produce
5) You have the opportunity to get to know others in your community
6) You try out new vegetables and fruits you may not have picked up on your own

I’ll give you an example of the last reason. Last year, we received a vegetable in our farm share called Kohlrabi. It’s an incredibly strange vegetable that I, realistically, never would have picked up on my own. Our farm team was good enough to let us know the name of the vegetable and give us some tips on storing and cooking. I immediately Googled it as soon as I got home. Turns out it was an easy (and tasty) vegetable to cook up and I learned something new.

Fresh food makes a difference in your cooking and your farmers need your support. Find out more about your local CSA. Call your local farm today!

Embrace the Joy of Foraging

Do you love mushrooms? Do flavorful fungi get you frenzied? If so, you’re going to be thrilled to learn that our very own Gary Lincoff of The Joy of Foraging is hosting the Homegrown: Do-It-Yourself Series at The Horticultural Society of New York on Wednesday September 12th.

Foraging maybe the art of searching or hunting for food of any kind, however, there are some basic tips that can get you started with. You can find out here more about the do-it-yourself series on how to create beautiful surroundings and essential cultivating tips.

Here are 3 basic tips for the beginners to get started.

  1. Make notes – Maintain your very own logbook with the list of plants that you already have in place and the kind of plants that you want to add to the list. Moreover, maintaining a plant log will help you tag each plant to its corresponding season in which it thrives well and in which it will not. You can also add information such as from where you found the plant, its nutritional requirements, how much water it requires, how much sunlight it needs, and what will be the end produce.
  2. Get a good shovel – Tools matter to every expert. Similarly, the kind of shovel you have or intend to use plays an important role. The shovel should be smooth, light in weight, and have a non-stick coating for easy shovelling.
  3. Plant right – Use some of the easy tips while planting such as opting for lighter pots, creating boundaries and caring well for plants with extensive roots, taking proper measures for flower bulbs, and more.

The Hort writes:

“Discover the edible riches your backyard, local parks, woods, and even roadside! In The Joy of Foraging, Gary Lincoff shows you how to find fiddlehead ferns, rose hips, beach plums, bee balm, and more, whether you are foraging in the urban jungle or the wild, wild woods. You will also learn about fellow foragers—experts, folk healers, hobbyists, or novices like you—who collect wild things and are learning new things to do with them every day. Wherever you live-any season, any climate-you’ll find essential tips on where to look for native plants, and how to know without a doubt the difference between edibles and toxic look-alikes. There are even ideas and recipes for preparing and preserving the wild harvest year round. Let Gary take you on the ultimate tour of our edible wild kingdom!”

Doors open at 6pm; workshop starts at 6:30pm
Hort members: Free; Non-members: $10
Register at thehort.org or email info@thehort.org

It’s an event you won’t want to miss!

Katie Loeb Wins Big at Cocktail Competition!

We are thrilled to announce that Katie Loeb has won first place in the 3rd Annual Bärenjäger Cocktail Competition. Congratulations, Katie!

Katie’s win is extra exciting as she is the first woman to ever win this competition. Her grand prize is an all-expense paid trip for two to Oktoberfest2012 in Munich, Germany, and $1,000.

The competition was judged by Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian, Dushan Zaric, Bridget Albert, Tad Carducci, and Jeffrey Morgenthaler. Katie’s recipe was selected from over 400 submissions from talented cocktail creators from across the nation.

Katie’s delicious “Barenberry Mule” cocktail skyrocketed her to success over her competitors and is sure to become a favorite drink among cocktail lovers everywhere. We’re sure you’re itching to try it out, so here’s the award-winning recipe.

 

Barenberry Mule

by Katie Loeb, Philadelphia, PA


In a shaker combine:
2 parts Rittenhouse 100 proof Rye Whiskey
1 part Barenjager honey liqueur
1 part fresh lemon juice
¾ parts Berry Thyme Essence *
2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake well and strain into a highball glass full of fresh ice. Top with Reed’s Extra Ginger Brew ginger beer and garnish with a lemon twist and a blackberry.

* Berry-Thyme Essence Recipe

1 cup fresh blackberries (most of a 6 oz. container. Save extras for garnish)
1 cup Pom Wonderful Pomegranate-Blueberry juice
1/2 cup water
1/8 cup loosely packed thyme leaves removed from stems
1/8 teaspoon tartaric acid powder

Bring juice and water to a boil. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Add berries and simmer for 8 minutes. Add thyme leaves and simmer 5 more minutes. Stir in tartaric acid powder. Cool slightly and liquefy in blender. Cool completely and strain to remove seeds and leaves. Makes approximately 12 oz. Keeps refrigerated for two weeks.

(Recipe courtesy of  PR Newswire.)

Create your own fresh, homegrown cocktails by picking up Katie Loeb’s book, Shake, Stir, Pour.

However, remember some of the basic tips while making your own homemade cocktails just as learning some trading tips using QProfit such as:

  1. Buy the best brand of alcohol
  2. Never mix two or more drinks in the same cocktail party
  3. Stock up on the essentials such as ice, cold water, lime, soda, mint, sugar, and salt
  4. Learn a few garnishing tips as appearances always count


Pure, intense, and flavorful—homemade cocktails are best straight from the source. Start in your garden or local market and create an in-season, made-from-scratch cocktail to lift your spirits and impress your guests. But be warned: Once you’ve tasted the fresh version of your favorite drink, you’ll never want to go back.

Hosting a Vintage Cocktail Party

Two years ago, I hosted a cocktail party at my house. I had always been fascinated with the idea of dressing up, acting “fancy”, and sharing some great food and drinks with my friends. It turned out to be a huge success.

Cocktail parties are a great way for breaking the ice and socialising. However, a great party requires great planning. You need to have an idea of the number of guests attending, if it is going to be a formal/informal gathering, whether it is going to be an indoor/outdoor party, finalising the food & drinks menu, and finally allocating budget for the party. For elaborate party planning, click for info.

A few helpful tips for a great cocktail party includes sending out early invitations, having all the necessary bar tools, the right pairing of food with drinks, arranging for ample food and drinks, and stocking up on the utilities such as plates, spoons, forks, glasses, napkins, etc…

The hardest part of the entire planning process was choosing which cocktails we’d serve. We were having both men and women, so we didn’t want something too girly or too strong. We ended up with some classic choices: margaritas, martinis, and strawberry daiquiris.

If I had read Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails before my cocktail party, I would have had Dr. Cocktail’s help in choosing some fabulous selections. Lucky for me, I’m all about hosting parties, so I decided it was time for another party and this time I went vintage.

The food was simple. Cheese, crackers, and garlic bread. The drinks? They were delicious. Here’s the roll call.

Vintage Cocktail #1

 
Name: The Corpse Reviver #2
Ingredients: Gin, Cointreau, Lillet Blanc, Lemon Juice, Absinthe
Verdict: The favorite of the evening. Strong, but truly delightful.

Vintage Cocktail #2

Name: The Jack Rose Cocktail
Ingredients: Applejack, Lime, Pomegranate Grenadine
Verdict: Sweet and intriguing.

Vintage Cocktail #3

Name: La Floridita Daiquiri
Ingredients: Rum, Limes, Sugar, Maraschino Liquor
Verdict: A cherry on top (homemade thanks to my cocktail cherry recipe!) makes this one absolutely delightful.

Vintage Cocktails and Forgotten Cocktails

Ted Haigh, a.k.a. Dr. Cocktail, makes his living as a graphic designer in the Hollywood movie industry and has worked on such spectacles as O Brother Where Art Thou?, American Beauty, and The Insider. He has been researching cocktails since the ’80s and has been referenced by the New York TimesEsquire, the Malt AdvocateMen’s Journal and writes regularly for Imbibe Magazine. He is a partner in CocktailDB.com, an encyclopedic database of cocktail knowledge and curator and designer of The Museum of the American Cocktail in New Orleans.