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 |
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.
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.
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.
September 11, 2014 |
ATLANTIC CITY - In another part of town, the governor was behind closed doors hashing out an uncertain future for this ailing casino resort. But at this local pub overlooking a windswept bay, a trio of former Showboat cocktail servers from the graveyard shift gathered to puzzle out theirs. And it is still a puzzle, really, their sense of shock and loss like an uninvited guest they are trying to ignore. It feels uncomfortable to be cut off from an identity of three decades (yet there is physical comfort from the absence of the strain of the cocktail-server routine)
August 22, 2014
QUEEN'S PARK SWIZZLE Bartender's note: "This one is a classic, my favorite tiki drink, because of its simplicity. It originated in The Queen's Park Hotel, Trinidad, during the 1920s - basically the grandmother of the mojito. A wonderfully rich rum cocktail that is refreshing, full of spice, and is as delicious as it is beautiful. The Angostura bitters line not only serves as an aromatic garnish, but also acts as a palate-cleansing last sip if left undisturbed while drinking. Very easy to make at home.
August 22, 2014 |
OUT WITH the ironically bearded cocktail gurus bent on brown spirits. In with the boat drinks. Craft cocktails - drinks that put the emphasis on handmade, seasonal and customized ingredients - have spent the past decade dominating the adult beverage scene. Here, in a city known for libation-making (after all, the world wouldn't have intoxicating Fish House punch if it weren't for an 18th-century fishing club on the Schuylkill), cocktail trends play out in neighborhood bars and swank saloons near you. Lately, refined libations are turning from serious to fun. Art in craft "There seems to be a playfulness happening," said Colin O'Neill, a sculptor-turned-mixologist at the highly regarded Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. speakeasy-style bar on 18th Street near Chestnut that's known for scrupulous mixology.
May 2, 2013
A dishy design This pretty plate with Asian-inspired ginkgo blossoms is created with a wax relief technique that makes it more crafty than Crate & Barrel. Use the stoneware for display or that second helping of dumplings. - Cathy Rubin Akemi Green Platter, $6.95 for 12.5-by-6.5-inch plate at crateandbarrel.com. This is part of a collection that includes a 7-inch square plate as well as mini-dishes and a noodle bowl. Southern classic meets Brooklyn DIY Eric Prim and Josh Williams were college roommates, both with Southern roots, who found themselves hosting many a cocktail party and improvising with a Mason jar as their cocktail shaker.
May 2, 2013
There are 12,000 pieces in Drexel University's Historic Costume Collection, but curator Clare Sauro's eyes twinkle like metallic threads when she explains why a particular light blue, crushed-velvet sheath from the 1920s is ageless and of-the-moment awesome. "It's from the Callot Soeurs," Sauro said, holding the 87-year-old textile delicately between white-gloved fingers. She's referring to four French sisters considered among the earliest dressmakers to incorporate mixed media into their frocks of velvet, lace, and ribbons.