Posts in DRINKS
Summer Solstice Sangria

When the sun is directly overhead the Tropic of Cancer, it is time to celebrate the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. What better way than with an ode to summer sangria? Perhaps my bias is to drink this punch when plump blackberries and peaches are in season and the nights are long. The pitcher disappears before dinner is even served. Made in autumn, however, with apples and pears to serve with Spanish tapas such as QUESO DE CABRA CON SALSA DE TOMATE Y BASIL and SIZZLING GARLIC SHRIMP, this fruit and brandy spiked wine punch is thrown back with toasts of "Salud!" between savory bites. 

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Chiltern Firehouse Negroni

Although first created for Count Camillo Negroni in 1919, the classic negroni has reigned as one of the world's best and most frequently ordered cocktails for nearly a decade. A sophisticated yet simple concoction of equal parts gin, vermouth, and campari makes a bittersweet aperitif that follows a restaurant trend of introducing bitter foods such as dark chocolate, kale, and charred Brussels sprouts to the American dinner. If you like a bitter IPA, this is the grown up drink for you. How bitter the drink is has much to do with the smoothness of the gin. For the novice and anyone scared of ordering a gin-based cocktail, Plymouth gin is a bit sweeter and smoother than most (think earthy and less junipery). It offers a brilliant jumping off point to trying this ruby colored Italian gin-based sweetheart of a cocktail.

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Dragon Rider Champagne Cocktail

Perhaps mythologically, but nonetheless romantically, history credits Dom Pérignon with inventing champagne. It was 1693, when mysterious rising bubbles caused the Benedictine monk to exclaim, “Brothers, come quickly! I’m drinking stars!” For centuries, champagne's effervescence has created a sense of celebration and excitement. Millions and millions of bottles are produced annually from grapes growing in a chalky soil 90 miles northeast of Paris and there is no better time in history to consider drinking champagne for no other reason than just because. 


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Winston Churchill Cocktail

When crowds gather to celebrate the holiday season a festive drink gets the party started. Look at history for inspiration. Winston Churchill fondly noted, "A single glass of champagne imparts a feeling of exhilaration. The nerves are braced: the imagination is agreeably stirred." Just the kind of mood setting called for to raise spirits and enjoy the company of family and new friend, and old. Churchill's drink of choice, Pol Roger champagne needs little enhancement. A wee bit of Aperol, a festive cranberry garnish, and a splash of sparkling water create a perfect bubbling conversation companion.

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Dead Rabbit Irish Coffee

Like nearly all simple and successful recipes, this one relies on quality ingredients. The cream should be as fresh and local as possible--cold and whipped just before floating it over the back of a spoon and into the coffee. Only a high quality Irish whiskey such as Jameson, Clontarf, or Powers Signature and coffee made with a French press will insure results similar to those served in this lower Manhattan imbibing institution. Much of the enjoyment comes from sipping and sharing mugs of the boozy coffee through a stream of cold spiced cream in good company. Bottoms up!

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Victory

There are definitely times when drinking alone makes sense. When life gives you lemons, well...squeeze the citrus in the fridge, pour tequila, add a bit of sweetness, and a hint of Aperol--because Italians inherently know that the combination of bitter orange and cinchona may just be the perfect summer weather mood enhancer. Turn on the country music, sit back, and sip. In no time at all, you will be asking friends to join you--this aromatic, vibrantly colored cocktail has a way of encouraging a gathering. Do not be surprised if guests turn up in cowboy boots ready for a night of dancing.

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The Bender

With nicknames like, Dutch Courage, Strip me Naked, White Satin, Mother's Ruin, and Cuckold's Comfort, it is no wonder the mention of gin conjures up images of less savory experiences. The history of gin includes greedy monarchs, a pairing of hot gin and gingerbread, the British Royal Navy, anti-malarial agents, bootlegging, and old-fashioned romanticizing of the spirit in television shows such as Mad Men & Downton Abbey

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