December 6, 2013
M arnie: Hi, Buzz, how was your holiday? Buzz: Aggravating. I ran out of vermouth. Again. Marnie: Vermouth is definitely a staple for holiday parties, in both colors - the sweet red and dry white - because they are essential ingredients in so many classic cocktails. But why do you always run out? Do you cook with it? Buzz: No. I run out because Manhattans are the only way I can get through the holidays with my family and the in-laws. And you can't have a Manhattan without vermouth.
April 6, 2008 |
It was a fellow by the musical name of Manuel Roig-Franzia who introduced me to the Negroni, the most elegant - and unquestionably most adult, and certifiably legendary - classic cocktail (an aperitif, if you will) that you've likely never had the sweet pleasure of meeting. Even at the Swann Lounge in the Four Seasons Hotel, hardly known for edginess, they mix them about one to 500; that would be one Negroni ordered a week, versus 500 vodka martinis and their ilk. So finding a bartender sensitive to its subtleties is no simple matter: The Negroni, on paper, is neatly gin, sweet vermouth and Campari, equal parts, stirred on ice and strained, with a twist of lemon, or fresh orange, or for fancier presentations, perhaps freshly burnt orange.
May 13, 2010 |
The double R logo on the otherwise generic door doesn't tell you much unless, of course, you're already in the know. Which is presumably the only way you'd find the Ranstead Room, the new cocktail lounge - a stylized speakeasy entered from Ranstead Street, the back alley that stutters across Center City, a half block north of Chestnut. A single pink lightbulb colors the balcony above. You enter a dim antechamber that feels more like an air lock, and emerge into a dark, sedate room, votives flickering, nudes framed, the music determinedly pre-1964, though pop hits have been scrubbed, for the most part, from the playlist.
March 4, 2010
PERFECT MANHATTAN 2 ounces rye whiskey 1/2 ounce Carpano Antica sweet vermouth 1/2 ounce Noilly Prat dry vermouth Dash Urban Moonshine maple bitters Luxardo Marasca imported Italian cherries Stir whiskey, vermouths and bitters with ice in a cocktail shaker to blend. In a double rocks glass, rinse cubed ice for drink with Marasca cherry juice, and drain off excess. Add stirred drink and garnish with cherries. VELVET ROPE 2 ounces rye whiskey Dash orange bitters 1/2 ounce Velvet Falernum (a cane-based spiced liqueur)
October 2, 1991 |
It used to be that salads were penance, for paring the pounds - a boring platter of greens with maybe a slice of tomato to brighten. That was "in olden times," to quote my young adults. Now, there's no limit to what we can put into a salad or where it's placed on the menu. In France, a mixture of baby greens is often served after the first course to refresh the palate. Tart and tangy flavors in a "starter" salad can stimulate the taste buds for the entree. But salads have really begun to star as a main course, like the Warm Curried Beef Salad below, which combines shredded lettuces with a spicy beef curry.
June 6, 2016 |
When summer's rays start beaming, it's finally gin and tonic season for me. Because I'm averse to overly complicated mixology at home, I appreciate the elegant simplicity of that refreshing classic combo of gin, tonic, and lime. But after my introduction to the "Z&T" at Zahav, my whistle is primed for the kind of creative menu-inspired riffs that a skilled bar can bring - even if that means skipping the usual tonic and lime (not to mention the "G"). The "Z," in a twist, does not stand for Zahav, but za'atar , the ubiquitous Israeli herb blend of savory, thyme, sumac, and sesame that dusts everything from the warm laffa bread to various grilled mezze with a distinctively dusky Middle Eastern aroma.
July 4, 2010
Old-school vermouth has been basking in a revival thanks to the classic cocktail craze. And while a number of boutiquey names have popped up to add intrigue to the insider bar scene (Dolin from France; Perucchi from Spain), few are as prized among craft-minded cocktailians as much as a bittersweet dark splash of Carpano Antica Formula. Made in Italy to a recipe that dates to 1786, it's at once smoother and less sweet than the producer's other vermouth, Punt e Mes. It's also more expensive than most other vermouths.
September 7, 2015 |
There are few places where history inspires the present more flavorfully than a cocktail bar. The Golden Age preceded Prohibition, which did its best to bury that past. And though many classics today are now well-known, there are at least as many obscure gems from that era that remain largely unappreciated. Consider the Chrysanthemum at Brick & Mortar, a vermouth drink tinged with absinthe and Benedictine first published 99 years ago in Hugo Ensslin's Recipes for Mixed Drinks . Brick & Mortar's Christina Rando works here from the less-sweet proportions of a more recent version in Harry Craddock's Savoy Cocktail Book from 1930, when the drink was all the rage on a German cruise ship, the S.S. Europa, that docked in New York that year.
April 29, 1998 |
Yo, Chefs! Two weeks ago, I attended a bridal shower at the Mansion in Voorhees, N.J. They served this vegetable dish. It was hamburger-shaped and made with orzo pasta, I think. It was delicious and looked very easy to make. I'm yearning for the recipe. Mary D'Angio Philadelphia Dear Mary, As one of the premiere catering sites in the Delaware Valley, the Mansion on Main Street hosts innumerable special events. In 1991, Chef Jeffrey Devine achieved the extremely demanding status of certified executive chef.
September 22, 1993 |
Dear Anne and Nan: While traveling last summer, I had my hair done by a hairdresser who gave me a recipe that uses things ordinarily found in the kitchen to treat hair and remove buildup of hair spray and rinse. I neglected to make a note of the ingredients and have forgotten what she said. Could you possibly know what she was referring to, and if so, please pass it along? - Doris Long, Emporia, Kansas Dear Doris: Our favorite hairdresser gave us the following recipe: Combine 1 gallon distilled water, 1 cup lemon juice (fresh or bottled)