Freelance Food & Drinks Writer

Tag Archives: whiskey

Shrubbin’ it at Westport Cafe & Bar

Shrubs are a free-form thing. The basic formula’s pretty simple: fruit, sugar and vinegar. How much, what kinds, how they’re combined and how they’re used is then all up to the bartender.

Arturo Vera-Felicie continues pushing the shrub envelope at The Farmhouse, most recently by bottling a fizzy cocktail called Ophelia’s Lament that combines aquavit with his rhubarb/orange shrub.

Caitlin Corcoran, a barista at Parisi Artisan Coffee in Union Station, created a signature drink with a cold press honey crisp apple shrub that was good enough to qualify her for the U.S. Barista Championship competition in Portland this April.

The Blood & Glass at Westport Cafe & Bar

And then there are the guys at Westport Cafe & Bar. They had a line of shrubs aging when I dropped in a while back, including orange, red plum-red wine, and green apple. Some go into non-alcoholic sodas, most notably the sweet-and-sour orange soda served at Westport Street Fare.

I love a good savory soda and have even started making them at home, but shrubs in cocktails make me even happier. WC&B combines their orange shrub with Famous Grouse Scotch whisky and Cherry Heering to make WC&B’s Blood & Glass, a stirred riff on the classic Blood & Sand.

“It’s really velvety and smooth versus the Blood & Sand, which is almost like a broken vinaigrette,” owner Aaron Confessori told me. He and business partner Richard Wiles also use shrubs at The Boot, which they opened in February.  Continue Reading

More than a shot of Irish

Admit it. You might just do a shot of Irish whiskey tomorrow. I don’t blame you. Those Jameson specials are hard to resist. Just remember that there’s more to Irish whiskey than St. Patrick’s Day. Irish whiskey is a fascinating spirit. Much of it is light and gentle, but there are plenty of heavyweights to… Continue Reading

More Manifesto favorites

Deciding which recipes to run with articles is painful at times, and my recent piece in Imbibe! was no different. The magazine’s editors picked the Girl From Cadiz, a Hendrick’s cocktail created by Ryan Maybee to represent Manifesto and The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange. It is indeed a delicious drink, good enough to be… Continue Reading

Hot Toddy How To

Hot toddies are so simple they don’t really need instructions. Whiskey, sugar, hot water, nutmeg and possibly a slice of lemon have been fortifying folks through the winter months since at least the mid-eighteenth century. That said, there are a few things that make a difference. Good whiskey’s one. Scotch, bourbon, rye, Irish—it doesn’t matter,… Continue Reading

Templeton on the Boardwalk

During Prohibition, the thirsty drank almost anything they could get their hands on, as long as it carried a kick. But Al Capone preferred rye, especially that from Templeton, Iowa. Which is why Templeton Rye’s featured in Sunday’s season two premier of Boardwalk Empire. It’s hard to say where the product will pop up, but… Continue Reading

Making up bourbon ground

There are plenty of things to do in Kentucky, but I don’t see how it’s possible to visit without indulging in at least a little bourbon. Oh, wait… that’s right. I was pregnant back in 2006, which meant my first bourbon country experience was bourbon-less. So, let’s just say that I had a lot of… Continue Reading

Manhattan Story: a Majestic version

It was late one Saturday, and we were tired of where we were but not tired enough to go home. So we went to The Majestic Restaurant on Broadway, slipping downstairs to catch the last of the The Bram Wijnands Trio’s last set and order one drink. I’d almost forgotten how much I love the… Continue Reading

Manhattan Story: a first taste

My first Manhattan was a lark. I ordered it at the now-defunct Paradise Cafe in Lawrence, way back in 1991, because I didn’t want a girly drink, and my husband assured me a Manhattan was anything but girly. He was right. Made with rye whiskey, it was all muscle, with just enough sweet vermouth and… Continue Reading

Are jackalopes real?

Yes, if you happen to be in Colorado. That’s where I found a bottle of Jackalope Gin, made by Peach Street Distillers of Palisade, on the western slope. It’s a traditional juniper-forward gin, thanks to the several varieties of locally grown, hand-picked juniper berries used to make it. Coriander, angelica (a parsley-like herb), oris root… Continue Reading

Italian bluegrass

Last Friday’s Aperol experiments yielded a winner: the Bluegrass cocktail. I adapted it from a recipe found on Difford’s Guide, a voluminous yet easy-to-use online cocktail guide that allows you to search by ingredient. It turned up this drink, credited to Hayden Lambert at Merchant Hotel in Northern Ireland. Aperol combines nicely with Maker’s Mark,… Continue Reading