The French 75


When my friends Patty and Lauren came over for dinner last week, they brought the ingredients to make a cocktail. One of those ingredients–a simple syrup–spilled all over Patty’s bag in transit, but let’s not focus on that. Instead, let’s focus on the e-mail exchange that I had with Patty yesterday about the drink that she made.

Continue Reading

Pickle Juice & Chili Salt in Your Beer


Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone!

As a Jew, I’m not quite sure who St. Patrick is or why he has a day; I’m more familiar with St. Schlomo and his afternoon where you eat chopped liver and call your grandmother, but that’s neither here nor there. What is here and there is that some of you (many of you?) will be drinking beer today, and I’d like to tell you about something that I experienced involving beer last Saturday during a meeting of the “Bad Movie Club.”

Continue Reading

The Negroni


At the bar of Michael Symons’s Lola in Cleveland, Ohio, I first encountered the Negroni.

Michael Ruhlman, who was there to participate in a segment we were shooting for Food Network online, ordered the drink and I asked him about it. “It has Campari,” he told me, “gin and sweet vermouth.” I ordered one too and when it came I assumed, because of the bright red color, that it would be sweet. I was very, very wrong.

Continue Reading

Cold-Brewed Iced Coffee


Two things rattle me on weekends: waiting in line for brunch and waiting in line for coffee.

I avoid the first by cooking brunch at home (it also saves us money), but the second is hard to avoid not because I can’t make coffee at home, but because we live just a few feet away from a truly excellent coffee shop. This coffee shop is so excellent that Craig won’t drink coffee when I brew it, he gets his ritual latte no matter how long the line. So when it comes to Sunday coffee, unless I’m making lattes, Craig’s not having it. Which is fine because since he’s waiting in line anyway, I just have him pick one up for me too. That is, until this weekend, when late Friday night….

Continue Reading

Homemade Ginger Ale


On a Sunday afternoon, lounging around my apartment watching “Terms of Endearment” on HBO, inspiration suddenly strikes and I am compelled to make ginger ale from scratch.

It would take a team of behavior specialists and Debra Winger fans to analyze this phenomenon, but suffice it to say: I was hot and I had ginger. I recalled a recipe for homemade Ginger Ale in Jean-George’s book “Cooking At Home with a Four-Star Chef”, so I tore myself away from Aurora Greenway and studied the recipe.

Continue Reading