International G & T Day (April 9th) has come and gone, but why not celebrate this classic elixir the whole month of April as we transition from spring to summer. Even though the G & T has lost some of it's luster over the past decade, it still remains iconic, especially for traditionalists. New age bars and bartenders have begun to modernize it by serving it many different ways without losing the distinct G & T taste. The classic G & T is experiencing a renaissance.
Dry-Cured, Aged Ham
Thinly-sliced, bold flavored hams with a chewy texture and typically higher salt content.
A classic example of this style of ham, that nearly all of us know, is the Italian favorite, Prosciutto. You’ll find ham in this style typically served in micro-thin sheets as a melt-in-your mouth appetizer.
- Bayonne Ham
- Serrano Ham
- Jamón Ibérico
For those who don't drink, who aren't in the mood to drink, or maybe drank too much the night before, a well-balanced, fresh, non-alcoholic beverage with complex flavors and thirst-quenching chararcteristics can be hard to find. Drinking flavored waters, protein drinks, and drinks with low sugar and calories may be fine for some people, but it would be nice to have something more or special. A drink with a little something extra.
Arriving on the scene is the non-alcoholic cocktail known as the 'mocktail'.
Thank you to my friend and writing colleague, Katelyn Green, for contributing and sharing this excellent piece on "Homemade Wine Ice Cream". Don't forget about the author, Kristen Nunez, as well. We all know how difficult the writing profession is and the importance of being recognized for good work. I assured Katelyn that my readers, audience, and both foodies and wine connoisseurs alike would love it. Please share the direct link to this piece and the awesome lifestyle blog at the end of the story for more great info. Social media links below.
Earth Day is celebrated on April 22nd and to honor what it stands for I am offering up truly "green", farm-fresh, organic ingredients and cocktails for spring. As an added bonus, I list the best fruits, veggies, herbs, spices, and florals to be used in cocktails, infused spirits, syrups, purees, and juices for the season, best way to prepare them, and what base spirits pair best with them. Thank you to Nicole Friend and my friends from over at Sauza Tequila for contributing.
This post is dedicated to my dear friend and apprentice, Sam, who has impressingly become, in a very short time, a masterful liquid chef and home mixologist. I am proud to have taught him many of my trade secrets and he is well on his way to serving me a quality and well-balanced cocktail. I hope to impart more wisdom onto Sam in the coming months. Also, to Ann, his romantic assistant, and friends Julia, an aspiring mixologist and Christie, a friendly, neighborly imbiber, who have all found a better appreciation of good drink-making skills and cocktails.
With the fall harvest and upcoming Thanksgiving feasts, it’s the perfect time of year for fall/winter cocktails incorporating seasonal shrubs (sweetened vinegar-based syrup). Made with respect from seed to glass, my friends over at Prairie Organic Spirits are using their fine spirits to create seasonal fall/winter cocktails made with homemade shrubs.
National Liqueur Day is October 16th. It’s never too early to begin thinking about the holidays, and Thanksgiving is—deep breath—just over a little over a month away. Many liqueurs/cordials are perfect to be sipped in the winter months so why not make some of your own and gift to others for the holidays or even make some for a holiday party.
The classic citrusy Italian liqueur limoncello, almond-flavored amaretto, and cocoa cream-flavored Irish cream are always crowd-pleasers and are great anytime.
One of my favorite things to do is Do-It-Yourself (DIY) infusions and batched cocktail projects. I've been experimenting in the laboratory for quite a while now and I still learn something new every time. The fun thing about infusing spirits, liqueurs, syrups, and waters is that there aren't a lot of rules and complicated techniques to employ. Plus, it allows for using fresh ingredients and healthier, low sugar content, less expensive, and adds a personal touch. Most of the time it's just mixing things together, taste testing and experimenting, and seeing what happens.