"IN gold-rush-era San Francisco, bars lined every block of the Barbary Coast, the area where pioneer mixologists — back when they were called bartenders — honed their craft. Rye whiskey was their staple. A hundred years later, a visitor would have been lucky to find one or two rye labels on the shelves of bars in major American cities;bourbon had taken over as the American whiskey.
Over the last few years, though, that has changed, as rye has emerged as a go-to craft spirit of the moment."
As a rye lover, this is great news for me. Read more here.
(makes 16 brownies) 250g good quality bittersweet chocolate (if you want them to be less gooey/fudgy then only use 175g) 100g butter 120ml (about 1/2 cup) bourbon 2 eggs 3 tbsp dutch process cocoa powder, sifted 75g (about 1/2 cup) plain flour 190g (about 3/4 cup) sugar
Preheat oven to 160 degrees C. Grease very well and line the bottom and two long sides of a 20x30cm slice/brownie tin (can be substituted with a 20cm square cake tin but you may have to bake it slightly longer as it will be thicker). Let the baking paper hang over the long edges, it will make it easier to lift brownie out later. Prepare the brown butter; place butter in a small saucepan on low heat until it melts, continue to stir over low heat but keep a close eye on it, as it begins to bubble and the milk solids separate and settle at the bottom of the pan. Stir it frequently at this point, so that the milk solids do not settle at the bottom of the pan for too long and burn. Continue until the mixture turns brown and smells nutty but take care not to leave it for too long or it will taste burnt. Remove from the heat.
Today I'd love to share 8 fun tips for drinking wine! It's nerdy, but I like learning etiquette tips (do you?) and thought you might like to hear these fascinating wine dos and don'ts before heading out to holiday parties and romantic dinners. Below, I wrote out the tips, and the genius Gemma Correll illustrated them. Here goes...
1. Fill red wine glasses 1/3 full, white wine glasses 1/2 full, and sparkling wine 3/4 full.
2. Twist the bottle at the end of pouring a glass of wine, to prevent drips (and to give it a flourish!).
3. Cheers! When clinking glasses, make eye contact with the other person. Otherwise, according to French superstition, you'll risk seven years of bad luck (read: bad sex). You also should clink glasses individually with each person at the table without crossing anyone's arms.
4. If someone is toasting you (your wedding, your birthday, your general awesomeness), don't take a sip. Just smile and look humble.
5. Always hold your wine glass by the stem. Many people mistakenly think you only need to hold white wine by the stem (so you don't warm up the wine), but experts say you should hold red wine by the stem, too, so you can see its color and clarity, as well as to avoid smudging the glass with your fingerprints. Otherwise, wine snobs might call you a "bowl grabber"! :)
6. On the table, your wine glass goes to the right of your water glass.
7. While taking a sip, you should politely look into your glass. (And not at another person, if you're in the middle of a conversation.)
8. The host's duty is to make sure glasses stay filled. "My eyes go to empty glasses immediately," wine expert John Thoreensays. "It's a real radar thing for me."
9. Or happily forget all the tips above, and just eat, drink and be merry! Hope you enjoyed these! Thanks again to Gemma for the awesome illustrations. xoxo
1 RECIPE TRADITIONAL PASTRY PIECRUST (RECIPE BELOW)
2 TABLESPOONS HEAVY CREAM (TO GLAZE THE PIE EDGES)
3 LARGE EGGS, ROOM TEMPERATURE
1/2 CUP PLUS 1 TABLESPOON SUGAR
1 1/4 CUPS DARK CORN SYRUP
1/2 TABLESPOON PURE VANILLA EXTRACT
1 TABLESPOON BOURBON
5 TABLESPOONS UNSALTED BUTTER, MELTED AND KEPT WARM
1 1/2 CUPS CHOPPED PECANS
3/4 CUP SEMISWEET CHOCOLATE CHIPS
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
To Prepare the Pie Shell: On a lightly floured work surface, roll out half a ball of dough into a 10-inch circle.
Place the circle in a 9-inch pie plate so the edges of the circle drop over the rim.
Using your thumb and index finger, crimp the edges of the pie shell.
Brush the edges with heavy cream to create a golden brown finish. Set the pie shell to the side.
For the Filling: Using an electric mixer on medium speed, mix the eggs, sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, and bourbon. (Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl at least twice while mixing.)
Add the warm melted butter, and mix well.
In a separate bowl, combine the pecans and chocolate. Sprinkle the mixture over the bottom of the pie shell. Pour the filling over the nuts and chips.
Place the pie plate on a baking sheet, and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the pie is firm. (The middle will remain a little loose but firm up after the pie is removed from the oven.)
Transfer the pie to a wire cooling rack, and let it cool for 2 to 3 hours before serving.
Serve with a drizzle of Bourbon Sauce or ice cream.
Note: This pie is best served at room temperature or warmed at 350 degree F for about 10 minutes. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or wrap it in plastic wrap and freeze it for up to 2 weeks.
"EDUCATING the average drinker on the qualities of firewater, and how to best enjoy it, has been one of the central credos of the new generation of mixologists. “Knowledge!” they cry, as they throw back shots of Fernet-Branca.
But some booze-addled misconceptions continue to cling to the lizard brain of the American tippler. An army of bartenders can protest that a wetter martini is both more delectable and historically accurate, but certain committed fanciers of the cocktail, channeling their inner Gray Flannel Suit, will still maintain the drink attains perfection only at its driest, when vermouth is banished from the barroom."
Want to know where people cross the line from connoisseur to snob? Read on!
To close out the Fall 2011 Season, Women Who Whiskey held the third Gentlemen Edition event at The Orient Express.
The Orient Express is a little jewel of a bar. Modeled after a 1920s train car from the Orient Express--with wooden luggage racks on the walls peppered with vintage suitcases and books--the bar is next door to the Turks & Frogs--a wine bar--and owned by the same people.
The lighting is dim and cozy, with jazz classics like Etta James and Billie Holiday playing quietly in the background. Intimately lit tables for two dot the long narrow establishment, and the bar always has beautiful floral arrangements displayed to greet you as you come in.
And the cocktails are amazing. Not just a whiskey bar, The Orient Express serves reimagined variations of all the tastiest cocktails from Prohibition--Gin Fizzes, Old Fashioneds, and Sazeracs. And the skilled bartenders will make you anything you don't see on the menu.
The waitstaff is gracious and accommodating and very on top of it. We had only one waitress for a rather large group and she stayed on top of everyone's tabs, never making anyone wait.
It even has a small kitchen and offers a variety of appetizers and small entrees. What I had--a sort of grilled chicken panini with fresh mango chutney--was absolutely delicious, as seemed everything else on the menu.
The Orient Express is the ideal bar for any date--it's quiet, intimate, and romantic--but also for a night out with some girls.
I would highly recommend going, if only to try their elderflower cocktails.
Our next Women Who Whiskey outing took us out of the West Side to the East Village, to a renown little dive bar called Blue & Gold.
Blue & Gold has been open for as long as anyone can remember, and despite being in the quickly gentrifying Lower East Side, it has maintained the lowest prices in Manhattan.
A generous pour of whiskey--anything from Canadian whiskey to Bourbon to Scotch--will run you between $3 and $6, depending on what you get. And they have quite a selection! Beers--even the imported variety--are also quite cheap.
There's no wait staff, just a busy bartender who does nothing more than pour beers and liquor. If you ask him nicely, he'll throw in a little mixer, but cocktail are not Blue & Gold's M.O.
The bar is dark, paneled in worn wood--the built in board game booths scarred with the marks of generations young people in search of a cheap drink. It has a pool table covered in bumper stickers and an old-fashioned juke box in the back, and on the wall a tiny chalk board for enforcing pool table etiquette.
It's not a place for a first date or high heels, but this grimy little dive bar certainly has it's own timeless charm.
Even when three people in a row put Journey on the jukebox.