December 31, 2015 |
It's not as if Philadelphians have ever needed an excuse to drink on the first day of a new year. But if you're in the market for fresh inspiration, Jan. 1 is National Bloody Mary Day. As arbitrary as these silly, food-specific "holidays" may be - most seem to originate with the site Foodimentary.com, whose founder pushes a date-based edible agenda - this is one that deserves sincere celebration. What an excellent opportunity to take the local temperature of this divisive cocktail.
December 24, 2015
Makes 1 serving 1 sugar cube 2 to 4 drops Angostura bitters 1/2 to 1 ounce cognac or other good-quality brandy (optional) 3 ounces chilled champagne (may substitute other brut-style sparkling white wine) Twist of lemon peel, for garnish 1. Chill a champagne flute. 2. Place the sugar cube in a small cup; let the drops of Angostura bitters (to taste) fall on it, so the cube is soaked. 3. Add the cognac or brandy, if desired (to taste), and the bittered sugar cube to the flute, then top with the champagne.
December 13, 2015 |
My taste in mixed drinks has drifted away from the elaborate concoctions that marked the early days of the cocktail revolution. Most busy bartenders, eager for streamlined recipes, will say the same. But something just happened as Jesse Cornell began dipping enthusiastically into various French spirits for a beguiling new fall drink at Restaurant Neuf called Les Arbres, Les Feuilles, Le Râteau ("the trees, the leaves, the rake. ") The brandied backbone of cognac took on the quinine-tinged wine aperitif called Byrrh.
October 19, 2015 |
There are overt flourishes on the cocktail menu at SouthGate that put an Asian stamp on some familiar drinks, from sake in the punch to soju in the Korean 76 and persimmon-soaked rye in my second-favorite cocktail here, the P&P with vermouth and plum bitters. But I especially loved the subtle and suave layers of the drink called Old Boy. To begin with, the name is a sly reference to the 2003 South Korean mystery thriller cult film Oldboy , a nod to SouthGate's owners' heritage.
October 5, 2015 |
You're headed out for a night on the town, but your little black dress calls for simple pearl studs. What will you add for a shock of colorful pizzazz? The trendlet A cocktail ring. One piece of our obsession with statement jewelry is the bold, beautiful rings that run the gamut of metals and stones. (No combination is off-limits.) Perfect for a little finger seduction during the daytime and at night. Where's it come from? In the 1600s, European aristocrats and countrymen started wearing big jewels - garnets, amethysts, emeralds, and sapphires - because they were rare, expensive, and conveyed power.
March 8, 2015 |
Gov. Wolf's budget proposal Tuesday called for a modernization of State Stores to generate $185 million in additional annual profit by fiscal 2018. The dramatically increased profits would be used to make payments on a $3 billion bond issue designed to help close the $30 billion gap in the Pennsylvania Public School Employees' Retirement System, according to Wolf's plan. Under it, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, endangered by Republican talk of privatizing the system, instead would have a monumental task - assuming it gains General Assembly approval.
December 19, 2014
FORGET THE War on Christmas. If we truly want to move America into a new era of bipartisan, interfaith holiday tranquillity, we need to end the War on Eggnog. Strong in stance and swift in judgment, the anti-nog lobby in this country is formidable. Boldly disregarding their poor mothers' "if you can't say something nice" directives, members have turned the cowardly public trashing of this historic beverage into an art form. Mirth-filled mugs of cold-weather cheer, concocted with eggs, sugar, milk, wintry spices and enough hard liquor to raise Bukowski from the grave are now subject to rash attacks from the straight-hate side of the aisle.
December 19, 2014 |
Unlike, say, Thanksgiving's green bean casserole, or Hanukkah latkes, what we drink during the winter season isn't necessarily rooted in immovable tradition and high-pressure expectation. And while a glass of supermarket eggnog never goes out of style for some folks, there's plenty of room for innovation in holiday cocktails. Swapping out spirits, going homemade with mixers, adding a new flavor profile with spices or different bitters - all can improve upon or reinvigorate the classics without radically disturbing the toddy-loving status quo. After all, these traditions exist for good reason.
October 29, 2014
CACHACA OLD FASHIONED A simple cocktail that swaps out the bourbon traditionally used in this classic American drink for cachaca, a Brazilian sugarcane spirit. 2 ounce cachaca 1/4 ounce demerara simple syrup* 2 dashes vanilla bitters Combine ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker and stir well. Strain into a rocks glass over ice. *Simple syrup made with demerara, an unrefined brown sugar. IMPRESSION, SUNRISE This equal-parts drink is a variation on the Waterlily, itself a variation on the classic Corpse Reviver.
October 23, 2014 |
What's worse? Being traded in after 34 years by your Broadway producer husband for his decades-younger producing partner, or writing a musical revue about it? I'm going to go with writing the revue, Til Divorce Do Us Part , because getting dumped is painful, and while Ruthe Ponturo's ex seems like a real cad, at least without this show she still had her dignity. Ponturo attempts broad appeal, with tunes aping Cabaret or Oklahoma , but all that forced cheer becomes relentless, and after 26 songs, including "The Divorce Dirge," "The Other Woman," and "Holidays Suck," this empathy cocktail gets a very bitter taste.