How To Make a Manhattan

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Cocktail-wise, Craig–who’s now our official bartender–has two drinks up his sleeve. The first, a Sidecar, I wrote about a few weeks ago. Now he has a new one, perfect for these chilly-weather months: a Manhattan.

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How To Make a Sidecar

My planned Christmas gift for Craig this year was a copy of The P.D.T. Cocktail Book by Jim Meehan and Chris Gall, based on the drinks at P.D.T. (Please Don’t Tell) in New York which was just named the best bar in the world by Drinks International. It’s a bar that’s hidden inside a hot dog restaurant; to get there you have to go through a telephone booth. Any time that I ever tried to go there, I was always turned away and told to make a reservation next time. But I’m not bitter over bitters. As things worked out, I was sent a press copy of The P.D.T. book last week and even though I could’ve saved it to give Craig on December 24th (or is it the 25th that you give gifts? This Jew doesn’t understand Christmas) I decided to give it to him now. And Craig, who’s often aspired to building up our bar and making drinks for our dinner parties, couldn’t have been more delighted.

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The Raw Rhubarb Daiquiri

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You can taste great food in your head long after you first experience it. That’s the case for me and the rhubarb cocktail I drank at Franny’s in 2009. Most rhubarb drinks have a cooked quality to them; the rhubarb is generally poached in a sugar syrup. The Franny’s rhubarb drink (which, apparently, is made with Aperol) is nothing like that. The rhubarb flavor (which comes from juicing rhubarb raw) is intense and sharp and the cocktail, as a whole, is incredibly bracing. It’s the kind of drink that makes you sit up in your seat, alert and ready for dinner.

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Basil Lime Daiquiri

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The best drink I’ve drunk in recent memory was the basil lime daiquiri I drank at ABC Kitchen, Jean-George’s highly praised farm-to-table restaurant attached to ABC Carpet. The drink positively glowed with its fluorescent green color and intense basil-y aroma. Here, let me show you a picture….

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A Burr Grinder

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Following my coffee trials on this blog must be like having a petulant four year-old child who wants soup then wants pizza then wants soup again and so on.

See, at first I told you not to worry about grinding your beans fresh in my post: “How To Make a Good Cup of Coffee.” Then Amanda Byron, director of coffee at my favorite coffee shop in New York, Joe, held an intervention (see here) where she told me I was crazy not to grind my beans fresh. I ignored her but felt guilty as time wore on.

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The French 75

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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.

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Pickle Juice & Chili Salt in Your Beer

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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.”

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