For six years, I worked at a tiny Farm/Restaurant in Woodstock, Vermont called Pane e Salute. Among the many perks of my time there was the opportunity to taste a lot of different wines. During my last autumn with Pane, I got to taste the Bonny Doon Vineyards Verjus de Cigare, which is actually a non-alcoholic beverage made from grenache grapes. It’s pretty much the best grape juice you’ve ever tasted in your life.
Because Bonny Doon recommends using Verjus as a mixer for cocktails, I naturally set to work experimenting. The following two cocktails are what resulted from these experiments (with expert input, of course, from my bosses). They were very tasty, and I recommend checking out the Verjus. It is not terribly expensive and it offers a world of interesting possibilities. Use these two drinks as a jumping off point. Play around; have some fun. Recipe
Sometimes you just really want Mexican flavors. It could be breakfast time, it could be dinner time; you want Mexican (or at least Tex Mex). Something crunchy, possibly?
Steak with Mexican flavors is always fantastic. But building tacos is annoying – better something where everything is piled on in advance, and you can just dig in. Steak Tostadas it is! And – especially if it’s breakfast time – why not throw on an egg for good measure? Let’s do this thing. Recipe
What better time to discover a new cocktail than on Friday? Just a little something to carry you into the weekend. Since it’s November, and the weather has finally turned chilly, it’s time to break out the brown liquor. Let’s hear it for Cognac! Probably a nice platter of cheese and patê is in order as well.
Makes 1 Drink
2 oz Cognac
1/3 oz Cointreau
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz fresh orange juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker. Fill with ice. Shake thoroughly and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a real Maraschino cherry.
This will set you up for a great weekend.
Brownies. Everyone needs a good brownie recipe. It’s pretty much a necessity of life. I’m here to tell you that you need look no further! This is it. The one, the best, the only brownie recipe you ever need. It’s that good. I swear. And it’s really pretty easy to whip together. Just make sure you have enough chocolate!
The low baking temperature creates a really nice texture, and there’s room for playing with flavors. I’m partial to coffee and rum myself – because, why not? However, there are so many options! I’ve done coffee and cinnamon (clearly, I’m partial to coffee and chocolate), which was excellent. You can also boil down 1/2c stout to 1/4c and add that – I haven’t done this yet, because I don’t often have a stout just sitting around waiting to be used. It sounds excellent though. You could do lavender. Hazelnut. Plain, obviously.
Enough of the variations, you say, get on to the recipe! Ok, ok. I got carried away. Here it is: recipe
The other day, while looking for something a little different to mix up, I came across “The Secret Cocktail” in our Classic Cocktails book. Secret? Well, I’m intrigued. Tell me more.
Now, this is not the real name of this drink, as the description in our book was quick to point out. However, because of its true identity, many people tend to shy away from the drink, despite its excellent flavor. The thing is, the name is a bit of a misnomer, because this drink is anything but ‘girly’ – it is in face quite strong. So brace yourselves for the original…