November 29, 2012 |
When Joan Verratti lost her son - her only child - "I lost my way in life," she said. To cope, she threw herself into baking old-fashioned Italian cookies in her South Philadelphia home, giving everything away. That led to a plan to open a bakery, but it fizzled. In 2005, on a whim, she decided to make a batch of limoncello, the lemon liqueur that's an after-dinner staple in Italian cucinas. "It needed tweaking," she said last week, puckering at the memory. Too sour for her taste.
December 29, 2005 |
Remember those effervescent eves of yesteryear when we'd toast the new year with out-of-season strawberries drowning in champagne? How quaint. Auld Lang Syners are now more likely to trade strawberries for strawberry liqueur. Or spike their champagne with plum-flavored vodka, strawberry-infused rum, Oprah's favorite pomegranate liqueur, or any number of libations from around the world. "There's been an explosion of customer interest in liqueurs to add to sparkling wines," says Robert Peters, a consultant at the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board's Wine and Spirits Shop in Ardmore.
February 27, 2003 |
Nothing says celebration better than a platter of glistening babas au rhum. These miniature brioche-like cakes made with a yeasty savarin dough are dense with fresh butter and eggs. After a dip in a sweet rum syrup, they're glazed with rum-spiked apricot jam - quite a classic finish for an elegant dinner. Though most people associate babas with France, good things travel well. Drive south into Italy and you'll find the same mini cakes. But there they are dipped in a syrup made of limoncello, the Italian citrus-based liqueur.
August 21, 2011
German beer, understandably, is the most obvious drink at Frankford Hall. But when I stepped up to the ping-pong table one recent misty night, something magnificent happened when I took a sip of Killepitsch, a thick and syrupy herbal liqueur, or kräuterlikör . Schnapps! Suddenly that little white ball - a speedy blur on most other nights - just hung there in space like a moon for my paddle. Swat! Schnapps! Swat! Yes, the stuff is bitter, a blood-red Düsseldorf witch's brew of 90 berries, herbs, fruits, and spices that's described as "medicinal" without any sense of irony.
February 28, 1988 |
For those who wanted to spin the bottle or hit the bottle - or had any interest whatsoever in bottles - the Brandywine Hotel in Downingtown was the place to be on Feb. 19. Jim Beam bottles were featured prominently in the show. The other displays included miniature liqueur bottles and some more artistic ones, such as the miniature sculpture of Mark Twain. Bottles such as the one featuring Twain are often worth more than when they were full of liquor.
June 14, 2009
The flute section at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts has found a crisp, new voice in a cocktail called the Crescendo Fizz, now debuting under the peaked, white catering tent. Stephen Starr's STARR caterers has taken over that sit-down venue, and the bubbly Fizz echoes its Japanese (there's a sushi station) and Mediterranean (note the antipasti salad) theme. A third of each flute is equal parts local Bluecoat Gin, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, and Canton French ginger liqueur, chilled, and topped off with a bright, dry Moletto prosecco.
December 27, 1998 |
Green and slippery, bitter on the tongue and warm in the throat, absinthe is the liqueur of inspiration - and maybe insanity. The artist Vincent Van Gogh allegedly cut off his ear under its influence, and playwright Oscar Wilde rhapsodized that if you drink enough of it, "you see things that you want to see, wonderful, curious things. " French insane asylums in the early 1900s were crowded with absinthe addicts who succumbed either to its 70 percent alcohol content or the alleged hallucinogenic qualities of its unique ingredient, oil of wormwood.
October 22, 1987 |
The secret ingredient to the best margarita in town, according to bartender Gina Loebera, 26, is the lime mix. "I can't tell you what's in it," said Loebera, "but a vital ingredient is fresh fruit. " Loebera tends bar at Grife's, 132 Market St., a drinking and eating establishment open since last February. Grife's won a citywide margarita contest held at Manny Brown's Rib Joint, 514 South St., last night. A margarita is Mexican in origin. Typically it contains tequila, a sweet liqueur such as Triple Sec and a lime mix. Usually the drink is served in a large glass with a salted rim and a wedge of lime.
September 2, 2012
With chef Gregory Vernick in the kitchen so deftly delivering the edible end of Vernick's "Food & Drink" moniker, general manager Ryan Mulholland and beverage manager Vincent Stipo are tasked with making sure the libations aren't afterthoughts. The mid-sized but smart wine list is worthy enough. But I have a feeling that Stipo's work at the cozy, inviting ground-floor bar, just a few feet from the cafe windows open onto Walnut Street, will soon become a draw on its own. He's got an elegant touch with classics, from the minty Pimm's Cup and bracingly anise Sazerac to a heady vintage Martinez.
August 27, 1986 |
The resident recipe taste-tester in our house is pretty tough. He consumed 10 liver recipes in 10 days and said about each, "Just wonderful. " He does not lack courage. But when 50 recipes all printed in Dutch arrived in the mail for blue drinks made with blue curacao, he balked. "I would turn into a Smurf," he said, popping a Stroh's and walking out of the kitchen. Who drinks blue drinks? Tourists in Hawaii. Tourists in the Caribbean and Florida. Tourists in Southern California.