Recipes: Cocktails for July 4th, 2017

Margarita Watermelon

Independence Day is upon us. We know you plan to celebrate, so we’ve got cocktails for you: Two of them make large batches, which makes them perfect for a fireworks viewing party. To finish up, we have recipes for boozy watermelon and then a favorite American dish — corn pudding. Both are easy and will go great with whatever you are cooking up on the grill.

We want you to have plenty of great beverages — but of course we encourage you to be safe when driving… or when handling those firecrackers.

Jacked SangriaJacked Sangria
courtesy of Alcomar restaurant, Austin, TX
8 oz. Jack Daniel’s
3 oz. Créme de Cassis
2 cups fresh mango puree
2 750 ml bottles of cabernet
6 oz. hand-squeezed lime juice
32 oz. Sprite

Combine all ingredients in a pitcher with ice. Serve and enjoy! This makes a gallon so you will have plenty to share around.

Dixie Daly
2 oz. Dixie Citrus Vodka
2 oz. sweet tea
2 oz. lemonade
4 mint leaves
sparkling soda
juice of 1/4 lemon
1 dash of Angostura bitters

Shake all ingredients except the soda with ice; pour in ice-filled glass. Top with soda and serve. If desired, also garnish with mint leaves.

The Red Planet NegroniRed Planet Negroni
created by Leo Robitschek, The NoMad (NYC)
1 oz. Campari
1 1/2 oz. Cinzano 1757
2 oz. Bulldog Gin
clarified milk mixture (see below)

Follow instructions below to create clarified milk punch. Serve in a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with two star-shaped orange twists.

To make clarified milk mixture:
3 oz. milk
1 oz. lemon juice
1 1/2 oz. spice rooibos tea syrup
1 1/2 oz. pineapple juice

Heat up milk until just under a simmer. Take the pot off the heat and add the lemon juice. Stir slowly until the curds and the whey separate. Add the remaining ingredients and mix. Pour all of the ingredients slowly through a superbag or nut bag until the punch becomes clear, and the repeat the filtering process.

The Curious BlueCurious Blue
1 ¾ oz. Brockmans Gin
½ oz. blueberry liqueur
½ oz. lemon juice
2 oz. blueberry puree
ginger beer

Shake all ingredients but the ginger beer with ice. Strain into a tall Collins glass filled with ice.

Rose and Strawberry Vino
1 1/2 oz. Barefoot Summer red wine
1 oz. strawberry vodka
rose basil seed drink
2 ice cubes
rose petals to garnish

Mix wine and vodka in a glass, stir; then pour into a cocktail glass over 2 ice cubes. Top; off with rose basil seed drink. Garnish with rose petals and serve.

Belle of the (Summer) BallBelle of the Ballk
courtesy of NYC-based mixologist Jaime Rios
1 1/2 oz. Belle de Brillet Liqueur
1 oz. light rum
3/4 oz. lime juice
3 raspberries
club soda
sprig of rosemary

Add raspberries, ice, and alcohol ingredients into a shaker. Shake and strain into a highball with fresh ice. Top with club soda. Garnish with a rosemary sprig.

The Marked Man
courtesy of Kegworks
2½ oz. blueberry-infused bourbon
½ oz. dry vermouth
½ oz. Benedictine
2 dashes peach bitters
3 fresh blueberries, for garnish

Fill a mixing glass ¾ of the way with ice and add infused bourbon, vermouth, Benedictine, and bitters. Stir well, until cold. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with 3 blueberries skewered onto a cocktail pick. Enjoy!

To infuse bourbon:
There are several variations of this…adding lemon, vanilla, ginger, or blueberry tea. We’re giving you the simplest method so you can tailor it to your own tastes.
1 liter bourbon
1 ½ pints fresh blueberries
¼ cup honey

Put all ingredients in a blender and pulse. Then pour everything into a sterile jar (wash well and then boil in water to sterilize the jar and lid). Let sit in a cool place for three days. Fine strain with cheese cloth or a nut bag. It should keep for a few weeks.

The Gimme
courtesy STICKS Bar & Grill at The Inn at Spanish Bay, Pebble Beach Resorts
2 oz. Absolut vodka
1 oz. fresh lime juice
1 oz. blueberry agave syrup
3 oz. ginger beer
1 oz. club soda
4 blueberries for garnish
1 mint sprig for garnish

Add vodka, blueberry agave nectar, fresh lime, and ice to a 16-oz. glass. Stir to incorporate and chill. Add ginger beer and club soda, then stir again–this time, make sure to bring the bottom of the glass contents up through the carbonated mixers. Garnish with blueberries. Remove the lower mint leaves from stem. Bruise mint sprig to allow the mint oils and aromatics to be expressed. Add as garnish.

Blueberry agave syrup:
6 oz. fresh blueberries
1 oz. granulated white sugar
juice of ½ lemon
2 oz. water
6 oz. agave nectar

In a small sauce pan, combine all ingredients, except agave, and heat on medium low until the blueberries start to soften. Remove from heat and place in blender. Add agave nectar and blend until mixture is thoroughly incorporated in agave nectar.

Samuel Adams Summer Ale SangriaSam Adams Sangria
4¼ bottles Samuel Adams Summer Ale
2 bottles of light white wine, like a sweet Riesling
2 oz. soda water
½ cup of cognac
½ cup of apple schnapps
½ cup of simple syrup
2 honeydew melons, peeled, sliced and diced (we used a melon baller tool)
4 oranges, cut in to wheels

Mix all ingredients except soda water together in a large bowl, and refrigerate overnight. Add 2 oz. of soda water, and serve. Serves approximately 40 three-ounce servings.

This next recipe isn’t a cocktail per se, but fitting nonetheless.

Margarita-Soaked Watermelon Slices
courtesy of Divas Can Cook
1 small seedless watermelon
1 cup sugar
¾ cup boiling water
¼ cup lime juice
½ cup Hornitos Reposado Tequila
¼ cup Cointreau/triple sec
lime slices from 6 limes
¼ cup margarita salt

Slice watermelon into small triangles and arrange them on a large cookie sheet in a single layer. In a medium size bowl add sugar and boiling water. Stir until sugar has dissolved and let cool. Add in lime juice, tequila, and Cointreau. Spoon mixture over each watermelon slice and then pour on what’s left. Cover and refrigerate for 12-24 hours—no longer than that or your watermelon will get rubbery. Serve slices cold on a platter with lime slices and a dish of margarita salt.

Many Americans consider corn one of our most important crops with its uses in spirits production, corn syrup, as a vegetable, and a grain. It’s only fitting that we share this corn pudding recipe with you. It is common in the Midwest, but we’re giving you a southwestern version. It’s great with any barbecue or to take to a pot luck. You can make the creamed corn from scratch; then roast, peel, and chop the green chiles by hand if you have the time and inclination. We’re going for a quick dish so are using the canned versions in this recipe. Trust us, it’s belly-pleasing either way.

Corn PuddingCorn Pudding
1 (15 ounce) can creamed corn
1 can of evaporated milk
¼ butter softened
½ cup chopped yellow onion
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 can Ortega chopped green chiles
1 tsp each salt and pepper
2 Tbsp flour
2 tsp baking soda
3 eggs

Butter a casserole dish. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix well all ingredients, including the remaining butter; then pour into the casserole dish. Bake uncovered approximately 30 minutes. You can top with more shredded cheese or bread crumbs if desired.

Bar Review: Teleféric Barcelona Restaurant, Walnut Creek, California

Teleféric Barcelona
Teleféric has three bars/restaurants in Spain. The one we visited in Walnut Creek, California is their first venture in the United States, having opened in January 2017. Their menu is filled with dishes from Barcelona, created by chefs from Spain. The pricing is a bit high, but worth it for a special luxury meal such as an anniversary or birthday dinner. What first drew our attention to this restaurant is a peek at their signature sangrias. They graciously gave us a recipe to share with you.

Everything done at Teleféric Barcelona is done with flair, from the friendly and talkative staff to elaborate garnishes on food and drink abound. First we were offered appetizers from a cart. In Spain they are called pinchos, meaning ‘little bites.’ The best of these was a chorizo bite. It was sweet and paired with a nice crema-like cheese and a pepper which we expected to be hot but was pleasant instead.

Pisco cart

To go with our pinchos, drinks were in order. First up was a cocktail called a Cortez, Teleféric’s version of a Manhattan. It was surprising to find mezcal in it because we typically think of that with more Mexican dishes. The signature smokiness was there but not overwhelming. Other ingredients included Carpano Antica, maraschino liqueur, and flaming sweet orange. Very nice.

We also had a cocktail served alongside dessert called In Spanish Fashion. Its ingredients include Bulleit Rye whiskey, brandy, sweet vermouth, Benedictine, bitters, lemon, and hand cut ice. This was a pleasant combination of ingredients and a great end to a wonderful evening.

But sangria is really the main event here: Our host explained how every region of Spain has their own signature style of sangria. We decided to try Teleféric’s three sangrias with our meal. They were kind enough to bring us small tastes so we could try them all.

First was the white sangria called Sangria Ibiza. Its light bubbly and mild dry taste came from Verdejo Wine and Pisco from Peru. The slight sweetness is from the addition of elderflower liqueur, Licor 43, peaches, and pineapples.

Next up: A pink sangria called Barceloneta. Among its ingredients are prickly pear juice, lemonade, and a jumble of fresh fruits such as orange, blueberry, and raspberry. It came garnished with a small sprig of rosemary. Its taste was reminiscent of a Grenache wine.

The third, and our favorite, sangria was the Sangria Teleféric. Right off the mint from the garnish tickles the nose. This sangria was also garnished with a cinnamon stick, blueberries, and raspberries. The cinnamon gave the drink a nice spiciness to it.

We wanted to make it ourselves — here’s the recipe:Signature Sangrias

Sangria Teleféric
Spanish red wine
orange juice
apple juice
4 oranges (chunks)
4 ripe pears (chunks)
4 big cinnamon sticks
Brandy de Jerez “Solera”
Nolet’s gin

There aren’t measurements because you can make these in large or small batches and mix everything to taste. Mix all these ingredients , except the red wine. Then cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. The purpose is to obtain a balanced and unique flavor so neither the gin nor brandy will be overpowering. Throughout these 24 hours the pears and oranges release their flavors enhancing the fruity, but not too sweet flavors. Once the mix is ready, combine it with red wine. Let it rest for another 24 hours so the wine can absorb the sweetness and flavor of the fruits. Garnish with a cinnamon stick, berries, and fresh mint sprig.

telefericbarcelona.com

Review: Winc Wine Club

Winc subscription box wines
Winc is a monthly wine club from Northern California that, like most, works via an online subscription service. We had the opportunity to give them a try and were fairly impressed with the offering.

First, a bit about Winc. When you first sign up, you are asked several questions to determine your “Palate Profile.” They ask about how you like your coffee; your salt and citrus preferences; how much you like berry and earthy flavors; and how adventurous you are with trying new foods. The wine recommendations sent are based upon these questions. Most of their wines are around $13 a bottle but can be as much as $35. Rate the wines you get and you’ll improve the next set of recommendations. If you don’t want any wine this month, you can skip it.

A basic subscription includes three bottles plus a flat rate shipping. We received four bottles and a copy of the Winc Journal. The journal is particularly interesting. This one contained articles on terroir and an interview with winemaker Markus Bokisch. The journal talks about their featured wines with food pairing suggestions and rates the wines with regards to body, fruit, woodiness, earthiness, and sweetness.

Inside the journal are also cocktail recipes, using wines from your subscription box. Of our four, two were featured in cocktails in the journal and so we gave them a try as well. (See below.)

But first, on with the wines.

First up is 2015 Forma di Vida Graciano, a Spanish style red wine. Light on the sweetness, this wine has fruit flavors like dark cherry and plum. If you like your wine with lots of body, you’ll want to try this one, though it may be too heavy for people who don’t like strong flavors like we do. A / $13Summer Water cocktails

Next, we have 2016 Summer Water Rosé, which is aptly named as it is so light the alcohol content is barely noticeable. The cocktail included using Summer Water would be nice for the warmest summer days ahead. It gives the impression it would be right at home poolside. B / $15

Summer Water Shim
½ oz. fresh tangerine juice
1 ½ oz. Jardesca or Lillet Blanc
3 oz. Summer Water
1 fresh Bay Leaf

Chill the cocktail glass. Fill a shaker with ice and pour in the tangerine juice and Jardesca. Shake until the shaker feels frosty to the touch. Then strain into the glass and top with Summer water. Garnish with a Bay Leaf before serving.

Our third wine is 2015 Field Theory Abariño, a white wine from Andrus Island Vineyard. This one is extremely fruity and a touch sweet, but not overly so. It might be a favorite of the ladies. B /$18Finkes Widow cocktails

The fourth wine is 2016 Finke’s Widow Sparkling White Blend. A little sweeter than the Field Theory, it has a slight earthy undertone (like mushrooms) which gives way to the fizziness. B- / $13

Avocado-Do Slushy
¼ avocado
1 oz. shiso syrup
1 oz. fresh lime juice
¼ oz. fresh cucumber juice
4 oz. Finke’s Widow
2 shiso leaves

Shiso is Japanese basil but has a mixture of basil, anise, and mint flavors with grassy elements. You can substitute fresh mint if need be.

This recipe called for cucumber juice in the ingredients but coconut juice in the instructions. We chose to make it with the cucumber and adjusted the instructions. You could probably substitute coconut instead.

Puree a cucumber in a blender and then strain to extract the juice. Then combine all the other ingredients, except the shiso leaves, with the juice and stir. Pour into a medium sized glass and garnish with the leaves.

Negroni Spritz
3 oz. Finke’s Widow
2 oz. Campari
splash of soda
1 orange slice

Fill a rocks glass with ice, along with the orange slice. Pour the Campari and sparkling wine into the glass and top with a dash of soda. Mix gently before serving.

Winc’s website includes a recipes section for great food to serve with your wine. Here’s one example:

Garganelli with Lobster and Caramelized Fennel PureeGarganelli with Lobster and Caramelized Fennel Purée
serves 4
1 lb Garganelli pasta
1 1/2 pounds of lobster meat
salt
2 Tbsp. olive oil
¼ tsp. red chili flakes
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 bulbs fennel, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ cup white wine
¼ cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
¾ cup toasted slivered almonds
4 Tbsp. butter
½ cup torn basil leaves
lemon zest

Find a pot that is large enough to fit two live lobsters and fill it with water. Set the pot over high heat and bring the water to a boil. Lightly salt the water. Add the lobsters to the pot, reduce the heat so that the water is gently simmering, and cook for 7 minutes.

Remove the lobsters and run them under cold water to stop the cooking process. Extract the meat from the lobsters—kitchen shears work great for this task. Cut the meat into bite-size pieces. Store the lobster meat in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.

In a large skillet, over medium heat, add the olive oil and the red chili flakes. Wait one minute while the skillet gets hot, and then add the onions. When the onions are soft and translucent, add the fennel. Season with salt. When the fennel begins to soften, turn the heat down to low.

Slowly caramelize the fennel and onion, transforming them into something very soft and sweet. When the vegetables are sufficiently caramelized, add the garlic and the white wine; increase the heat, and cook until the wine has almost entirely evaporated. Add the heavy cream and cook until the cream has partially reduced.

Transfer the contents of the skillet to a blender and add the lemon juice. Puree until smooth. Add scant amounts of water if the puree is too thick. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. If you want, you can store this puree in the refrigerator for a day or two ahead of time before completing this dish.

Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package, except under cook the pasta by one or two minutes. While the pasta is cooking, set a large skillet over medium heat and add the fennel puree, stirring occasionally.

When the pasta is cooked, transfer it to the skillet with the fennel puree, making sure to reserve a cup of the pasta water. Add a little of the pasta water to the skillet and stir. Add the butter and the lobster. If you know how to flip the pasta in skillet with your wrist, do that now. Otherwise, keep stirring. Add the almonds and basil. If the pasta looks too dry, add more of the pasta water.

Taste the pasta while it is still in the skillet and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Before serving, garnish the pasta with lemon zest.

winc.com

Recipes for National Margarita Day, 2017

 

Brighter, warmer days are coming our way — eventually — so this is a perfect time to celebrate National Margarita Day (February 22). Margaritas are crowd-pleasers because of their bright flavor and for us they are always reminiscent of warm evenings out with friends. Invite those friends over, cook up a pizza pan full of your favorite nachos, and enjoy these five margarita recipes — two using tequila and three with smoky mezcal.

DeLeón Platinum Tequila Margarita
1.5 oz. DeLeón Platinum tequila
3/4 oz. lime juice
1/2 oz. simple syrupTe Verde Margarita
salt

Pour all ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into a salt rimmed margarita glass and garnish with a lime wedge before serving.

Té Verde Margarita
1 1/4 parts Montelobos mezcal
¾ part Ancho Reyes Verde
3/4 part strong green tea syrup (brew green tea with equal parts of water and sugar until it thickens into a syrup)
1 part fresh lime juice
5 mint leaves

Add all ingredients to a shaker. Shake and serve over ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a mint sprig and a lime wheel.

Juan to Juan
1 part Montelobos mezcal
1 part Ancho Reyes OriginalFrose Margarita
3/4 part fresh lemon juice
1/2 part simple syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters

Shake all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Pour into a coupe glass, garnish with a lemon wheel, and serve.

Frosé Margarita
2 parts Montelobos mezcal
1 oz. rosé wine
3/4 part fresh lime juice
1 part Jamaica concentrate syrup (hibiscus)
2-3 medium strawberries

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend with 1 1/2 cups ice. Garnish with half of a strawberry, a lime wheel,Rio Verde Margarita and grated Mexican chocolate on top.

Rio Verde Margarita
1 ½ oz. Milagro tequila
1 oz. Ancho Reyes Verde
1/2 oz. agave
3/4 oz. lime
fresh cilantro
tomatillo (grilled)

Muddle cilantro sprig and grilled tomatillo wedge with all ingredients and shake with ice. Strain into a salt rimmed glass. Garnish with spiked grilled tomatillo and cilantro sprig.

Recipes: Warming Winter Cocktails for 2017

It may be the winter of our discontent, but that doesn’t mean you can’t drink like a king. If you’re tired of the same cold weather cocktails to warm you, try these recipes for something to brighten your mood and thrill your taste buds.

Blood Orange Blazer
8 parts brewed hibiscus tea
2 parts Banks 7 Golden Age rum
1 part Hamilton Pimento Dram (Note: Pimento Dram is another name for Allspice Dram)
1 part blood orange juice
blood orange peel

Build in a preheated blue blazer mug. Garnish with a clove-studded spiral blood orange peel and serve.

Feather in CapsicumFeather in Capsicum
Created by Hendrick’s Gin Brand Ambassador, Mattias Horseman
2 parts Hendrick’s Gin
¾ parts lemon juice
½ part maple syrup
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Combine ingredients and shake hard over ice. Strain into chilled coupette and garnish with a Maple Leaf (if possible) and lemon zest.

Rock Beets Scissor
1.5 oz. Medley Bros Bourbon
1/2 oz. Angostura Amaro
1/4 oz. Gran Classico
½ oz. lemon juice
½ oz. beet simple syrup
2 dashes orange bitters
egg white

Pour all ingredients into a shaker. Wet shake (meaning with ice), then dry shake (meaning no ice). Fine strain into chilled coupe; garnish with bitters and a candied beer chip.

To make candied beer chips:
1 lb. potato slices
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. beer (A stout is recommended)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine brown sugar and stout in a small bowl, whisking well to form a thin syrup. Set aside. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Coat with a thin layer of cooking oil spray. Lay out the potato slices and coat the top side with another layer of cooking oil. Place in oven and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and brush one side of the potato chips with the beer syrup. Flip, and coat the other side with the syrup as well. Return to oven and cook for 10 more minutes. Keep an eye on them so they do not burn. Remove from oven, and repeat process another time or two more, until chips are crispy and browned, and you’ve used all the glaze. Cool on wire rack for at least 1 hour before serving. This can also be made with bacon.

Q Winter Citrus SangriaQ Winter Citrus Sangria
12 oz. Q Club Soda
12 oz. Q Tonic
6 oz. Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur
8 oz. Cocci Americano Italian White Vermouth
12 oz. dry white wine
2 cups sliced winter citrus fruit (pink grapefruit, mandarin oranges, Cara Cara, lemon)
½ cup pomegranate arils
mint for garnish

Combine Solerno, Cocci Americano, and wine in a bowl and stir. Add sliced citrus and pomegranate arils, cover and refrigerate overnight to allow fruit to macerate. When ready to serve, transfer the mixture to a pitcher, top with Q Club Soda, Q Tonic, and stir to combine. Pour into ice-filled glasses and garnish with a sprig of mint.

Treasure Chest
1 oz. Cocchi Americano
1 oz. cinnamon and orange infused Wheatley vodka
¼ oz. Tempus Fugit Kina
¼ oz. Sandeman Fino sherry
1 dash orange bitters

Stir, then strain into chilled Nick & Nora glass. Express the lemon peel and discard, then garnish with a few drops of pistachio oil.

Broken Column
1 1/4 oz. pear infused Altos Blanco tequila
3/4 oz. Del Maguey Vida mezcal
3/4 oz. Alessio Chinato
1 bar spoon Fernet Branca
1 bar spoon agave
1 dash chocolate bitters

Stir, then strain into a chilled coupe. No garnish is needed.

The 8th Day
1 ½ parts Havana Club Añejo Clásico Puerto Rican Rum
3 parts chai tea
1 ¾ parts coconut milk
1 part simple syrup or 1 Tbsp. white sugar

Prepare Chai Tea. While the tea steeps, warm coconut milk over medium heat but do not boil. Combine ingredients in a high temperature resistant mixing glass; add rum last and stir. Serve in an Irish Coffee Cup or preferred glass coffee cup, and garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Mezcal Pumpkin Pie
From The Skylark, Mixologist Johnny Swet
2 spoons of pumpkin butter
2 oz. Ilegal Reposado Mezcal
3/4 oz. lime juice
½ oz. cinnamon syrup
½ oz. Feretti Biscotti Liquor

Shake ingredients with ice and strain into Rocks Glass. Dust with Nutmeg before serving.

The Spicy Buck
1 ½ oz. Dixie Black Pepper vodka
4 oz. ginger beer
1/4 tsp. pickled jalapeño juice
1 splash of soda
juice of 1/4 lime

Mix all ingredients into a shaker and stir. Pour into a glass with ice and Garnish with a pickled jalapeño slice and serve.

Best Super Bowl Recipes and Our Favorite Cocktail Pairings

Game Day Dishes

Who better to bring you football fan approved dishes than six of America’s top chefs? Some of these recipes are geared up for a full house, so you can serve them up to the entire crowd; trim quantities to fit the size of your Super Bowl party. As a bonus, we’ve paired each with a cocktail to complete your game-watching menu.

Play Maker Buffalo Chicken Dip
Joshua Johnston, sous chef, 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel (Clayton, N.Y.)
2 lb. chicken breast
8 oz. cream cheese
1 lb. shredded cheddar blend
8 oz. hot sauce/buffalo sauce
10 oz. extra chunky blue cheese dressing
Garnish: diced tomato and scallion

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken in a medium to large sauce pot and cover with water just enough to fully submerge the chicken. Bring to a simmer for about 8-10 minutes. When the chicken is done, it should pull apart very easily. While chicken is simmering, prepare the cheese. In a microwave-safe bowl, cube the cream cheese and toss with half of the shredded cheese. Cover the bowl and microwave for about a minute. Assemble the dip: in a large mixing bowl, shred the chicken, preferably with a set of forks. Fold in the melted cheese blend, hot sauce, and blue cheese until fully blended. (Note: Dip can be prepared a day in advance up until this point and refrigerated.) Place dip in oven-safe dish and top with remaining shredded cheese. Bake towards the top of the oven to allow for better browning. Bake for 10 minutes, garnish, and serve hot.

Serve this with an Effen Beast cocktail.

Effen BeastEffen Beast
1 part Effen Black Cherry Vodka
1 part cranberry juice (white or red)
½ part vanilla simple syrup
½ part fresh lemon juice

Build over fresh ice in a rocks glass and garnish with brandied cherries and a lemon twist.

Rock Shrimp & Manchego Fondue
Eric Kaszubinski, executive chef at McCoy’s Oceanfront, Fort Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort & Spa (Pompano Beach, Fla.)
2 shallots (minced)
1 lb. rock shrimp
4 oz. butter
4 oz. flour
1 bunch cilantro (chopped)
4 oz. white wine
1 qt. heavy cream
½ lb. Manchego cheese (grated)
½ tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
½ tsp. Tabasco
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. white pepper

Place butter in a non-stick pot and melt over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté for two minutes. Add shrimp and cook for three minutes. Place flour in pot and stir to allow it to absorb the butter and cook for two minutes. Whisk in heavy cream and add cilantro and the spices. Once liquid has thickened, add the Manchego cheese and finish with white wine. Serve in individual portions along with pita and plantain chips.

Serve this with a Blue Cowboy Margarita.

Blue Cowboy MargaritaBlue Cowboy Margarita
3 parts Jose Cuervo Gold tequila
3 parts frozen limeade concentrate
1 part orange juice
1 part blue curacao
2 parts beer (use a lager or Mexican beer)
colored salt for rim (see below)

Put all ingredients, except salt, into a blender. Blend on high until smooth and slushy. Rub lime along glass edge and then dip in blue colored salt. Add the liquid, garnish with a lime wedge and serve. The beer adds a frothiness to this cocktail.

To make the colored salt:
Put one cup of salt in a plastic baggie. Add four to five drops of food coloring and seal. Shake vigorously. If the color is not dark enough, add more food coloring one drop at a time. It’s best to then pour the salt onto a plate and spread it out to dry for a half hour before using.

Bacon-Infused Popcorn
Darren Sylvin, executive chef, Aloft Boston Seaport (Boston, Mass.)
1 lb. bacon
1 cup popcorn kernels
½ cup coconut oil
pinch of salt

Rough cut bacon into 1-inch cubes. In a deep and wide soup pot, render bacon under low flame until completely crispy (about 20 minutes). Once fully rendered, separate bacon and fat through a fine strainer. Reserve bacon pieces on the side for later. Clean out pot and return to medium flame with all of the reserved bacon fat and coconut oil. Add kernels and a pinch of salt and stir until kernels are fully coated with fat and oil. Put lid on pot and begin to vigorously shake pot back and forth over flame until kernels begin to pop. Continue to shake until the popping fades. (Not shaking will result in burnt popcorn.) Once popping has stopped or reduced significantly, remove from flame and stir in remaining bacon pieces. Place in bowl and serve.

Here’s another margarita using colored salt.Red Cuervo Margarita

The Red Cuervo Margarita
2 parts Jose Cuervo Silver tequila
1 part fresh lime juice
1 part triple sec
1 part grenadine
agave syrup to taste
lime for garnish
colored salt for rim (see recipe above)

In a cocktail shaker, add ice and all liquids. Shake well! Run a lime wedge around the glass edge and then dip the glass into red colored salt. Add ice and strain in liquids from the shaker. Garnish with a lime wedge and served.

Baby Back Ribs
The Newes from America Pub at Kelley House (Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.)
8 racks baby back ribs (about 10 lbs.)
2 Tbsp. paprika
½ Tbsp. brown sugar
½ Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. celery salt
½ tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. cayenne
½ tsp. dry mustard
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. onion powder
1 ½ qt. beer (a lager or red ale works great)
1 cup of bourbon (this is our recommended addition)

Pre-heat oven to 225 degrees F. Place ribs on an unlined sheet pan and coat each slab liberally with rub made from all dry elements. Cover with aluminum foil, leaving an opening that you will close later. Place pan on bottom oven rack. Fill each pan with beer and bourbon through opening in foil; close opening. Cook for 5 ½ hrs. Ribs should have a good crust on top and be very tender. Let cool. Serves 15-20 people.

These ribs need a good whiskey cocktail to go with them. Try out The Upbeat.

The Upbeat
2 parts Hudson Maple Cask Rye
¾ part sweet vermouth
1 barspoon Amaro Montenegro
2 dashes Fee Bros. Black Walnut bitters
cocktail cherry

Add liquid ingredients to a mixing glass, then ice. Stir until well-chilled and strain into a pre-chilled cocktail coupe. Add the cherry for garnish and serve.

Super Bowl Beef Chili
Richard Doucette, executive chef, Lighthouse Grill at Harbor View Hotel (Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.)
28 oz. ground beef
4 Spanish onions (diced)
1 head of celery (diced)
8 red bell peppers (diced)
2 bunches cilantro (chopped)
2 jalapenos (seeded and diced)
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 cup red wine vinegar
½ bottle Cholula Hot Sauce
11 oz. can diced tomatoes
11 oz. ketchup
11 oz. canned red kidney beans (drained)
11 oz. canned black beans (drained)
12 oz. canned chipotle peppers in adobo
2 cups ground ancho peppers
1 Tbsp. granulated garlic
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. crushed red pepper flakes
8 Tbsp. whole cumin
2 Tbsp. black pepper
4 Tbsp. dried Mexican oregano
4 Tbsp. smoked paprika
kosher salt to taste
1 cup red wine (our addition)

Combine all liquids, set aside. In a large pot on medium-high heat, brown ground beef. Strain off excess fat. Add all vegetables and cook until tender. Add all spices and toast until fragrant. Add be
ans and all liquids. Reduce heat to low. Cook slowly for two hours. When serving, provide shredded cheese to garnish the top of each bowl.

The perfect cocktail for chili is a Smoky Paloma. The smoky flavor comes from the mezcal.

Smoky PalomaSmoky Paloma
1.5 oz. Sombra Mezcal
1 oz. fresh grapefruit (an orange can be substituted if necessary)
½ oz. fresh lime juice
½ oz. sugar (or simple syrup)
1 pinch of salt
1 lemon

Muddle fruit with the remaining ingredients. Strain into a glass with ice (it can be salt rimmed if you like) and garnish with a grapefruit or lemon slice.

New England Lobster Roll
Gustavo Calderon, executive chef, 3800 Ocean at Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa (Riviera Beach, Fla.)
1 ½ lb. lobster meat (if lobster meat isn’t available in your area, substitute crab meat)
½ cup mayonnaise
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 inner stalks of celery and leaves, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. parsley, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. tarragon, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. capers, finely chopped
2 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
salt and black pepper to taste
4 rolls split, brushed with butter and lightly toasted
1 tsp. Old Bay (for garnish)

Chop lobster meat into bite size pieces and add to a bowl. Mix mayo, lemon juice, celery, herbs, capers, and seasonings; add to lobster and mix well. Chill the lobster salad in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes to marinate. While lobster salad is resting, brush the four rolls with butter and toast slit side down in a pan until light golden brown. Fill toasted rolls with roughly one cup of the salad mixture and garnish with a light sprinkle of Old Bay. Best with some fresh kettle chips.

Gridrion HoneyPair the lobster roll with a Gridiron Honey.

Gridiron Honey
1 ½ parts Reyka Vodka
¾ part fresh lemon juice
¾ part honey
½ part Becherovka
club soda

Combine all ingredients, except the soda, into a shaker. Shake and then pour into a rocks glass. Top with the soda and serve.

Recipes: Making Cocktails With Port Wine

Port wine is having a bit of a renaissance with bartenders and mixologists, as Facundo Rum has brought to our attention, sharing the Facundo Bishop recipe with us. It is indeed warming and lovely to relax with and we highly recommend it. The cloves spice up the orange, which hugs the warming rum and sweet port.

Here’s the recipe for the Facundo Bishop, plus four additional cocktails that include Port wine as an ingredient.

(Note: While making these, we used Graham’s Fine Ruby Port. You can use a white port in any of these, but we recommend reserving it for summertime.)

Facundo Bishop
2 parts Facundo Eximo Rum
1 part Ruby Port
1 teaspoon white sugar
3-4 whole cloves
orange wedges

Place port, orange wedges, and cloves in a small pot. Warm and allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes, but do not allow the liquid to boil. Pour contents into a snifter or stemless wine glass. Add Eximo and stir. Add sugar and serve warm.

Red Dog MartiniRed Dog Martini
(Courtesy of Bar None Drinks)
3 oz. vodka
1/2 oz. ruby port
2 tsp. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. grenadine

Pour all ingredients into a shaker with cracked ice. Shake, then strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lime twist.

Port, bourbon, and maple syrup come together in the Second Circle. This one comes to us from Laura Sant who tells us astrologer/bartender Patricia Clark Hippolyte developed the drink especially for Scorpios as part of her “Mixstrology” series. Of the cocktails here, this is our favorite.

Second Circle
2 oz. bourbonSecond Circle
1 oz. ruby port
1 tsp. maple syrup
1 dash Angostura bitters
3 Luxardo or maraschino cherries for garnish

Combine bourbon, port, syrup, and bitters in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled champagne coupe; garnish with cherries, preferably pierced by a plastic sword.

New York Sour
(Courtesy of Eater.com)
2 oz. bourbon
3/4 oz. lemon juice
3/4 oz. simple syrup
2 dashes peach bitters
4 bar spoons port (ruby or tawny)

Add bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup, and bitters to cocktail shaker with ice and shake. Strain into rocks glass with ice. Float port atop.

Ruby Port Cocktail Inspired by Picholine in NYC
(Courtesy of KitchenFiddler)
3 ounces port (ruby or tawny)
½ a lime
splash of ginger ale
additional lime wedge, for garnish

For each drink, fill a rocks glass with the cracked ice. Add the port, then squeeze the juice from the half a lime into the glass. Add a generous splash of ginger ale and stir, using the handle of a long spoon to mix it up. Garnish with a fresh lime wedge and serve.