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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Fergie's Voli Light Vodka, and Diet Secrets

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Fergie poses with her new vodka, Voli Light.

© Russell James for Voli Light Vodkas.

After eight nonstop years of touring with the Black Eyed Peas, musician Fergie’s taking an indefinite break to focus on other projects, like her new low-calorie vodka, Voli, which comes in six flavors: Original Lyte, lemon, orange vanilla, pear vanilla, raspberry cocoa and espresso vanilla.
 
“I think a lot of people with healthy lifestyles like me, who love to work out, work hard, socialize and have a drink at the end of the day, have been craving something like Voli,” says Fergie. “I put the cocoa fusion or orange vanilla over ice, and it’s perfect. There are no extra sugars, and it’s a drink that doesn’t need any mixers.”
 
Although she works out almost every day and uses a meal delivery service to stay in shape, she does break her healthy habits for certain restaurants. Here's How Fergie Cheats on Her Diet.

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Cocktails with House-Distilled Spirits

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Mile High Spirits

Courtesy of Mile High Spirits

 

 

As interest in locally made spirits grows, a handful of small craft distilleries are now serving their own cocktails. In Denver, Mile High Spirits serves only liquors made on premises.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cocktails

Whole Egg Cocktails

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Eastern Standard

© Mimi Ritzen Crawford / Eastern Standard

 

 

A little known fact is that, like rhubarb and ramps, farm fresh eggs are also in season during spring, when they’re a staple of the Easter table. Besides hard-boiled pastel eggs and quiche on the buffet, flips—drinks made with whole eggs—can make fantastic holiday cocktails.

 

 

 

 

 

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bars

Bitter Sparklers

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Clyde Common

© David Lanthan Reamer / Clyde Common

 

 

Often brushed off as sweet and simple, sparkling cocktails can have great complexity, and many bars are choosing to carbonate their own innovative drinks in-house.

Amor Y Amargo serves their carbonated Americano on tap >

 

 

 

 

 

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Mad Men

'Mad Men' Cocktails

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An old-fashioned is Don Draper's drink of choice on AMC's Mad Men.

© Dave Lauridsen

 

 

An Old-Fashioned is Don Draper’s drink of choice on AMC's Mad Men. Here, classic cocktails for the premiere of the fifth season of Mad Men this Sunday >

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rhubarb Cocktails for Spring

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Rhubarb Fizz

Courtesy of Blue Hill Stone Barns

 

Often baked into pies to balance the sweetness of fruits like strawberries, tart rhubarb—landing in markets now—is a versatile ingredient for early spring cocktails. The vegetable can be made into jam, infused with bitters or squeezed fresh for a diverse mix of seasonal drinks. Thirsty for a Rhubarb Cooler?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cocktails

Cocktail Guide Sneak Peek

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Cocktail Preview

© Lucas Allen



The latest edition of F&W Cocktails focuses on classic drinks and mixologists’ updates. Here, the Sidecar as interpreted by Jonny Raglin of San Francisco’s Comstock Saloon >

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Guinness Cocktails

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Jasper's Corner Tap

Courtesy of Jasper's Corner Tap

 

Guinness is more than just a tasty stout you drink on St. Patrick's Day. The complex, malty bitterness makes it a fantastic mixer in a range of cocktails (and even frozen drinks) being served now from Boston to Virginia. Ever heard of a Black Velvet?

 

 

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Cocktails

The Rise of House-Made Mixers

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Blue Cow Kitchen & Bar

© Alen Lin/Blue Cow

From tonic water to blood-orange ginger beer, bartenders are making everyday mixers from scratch as a way to upgrade even the most mainstream cocktails.

Read more about house-made mixers >

 

 

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Cocktails

High-Tech Cocktails

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Looking beyond shakers and muddlers, the most advanced mixologists are now using unusual tools like sous vide water baths, vacuum pots and even paint-can shakers to expand their repertoires of delicious cocktails.

In New York City at Momofuku Ssäm Bar's new experimental bar annex, Booker and Dax, the French Culinary Institute's director of culinary technology Dave Arnold has brought in cutting-edge equipment. Though some of Arnold's techniques are captivating for patrons—the Red Hot Poker, for instance, rapidly heats winter cocktails before your eyes—he's less concerned about showmanship. "The concept of the bar is to use any means at our disposal to make delicious drinks," Arnold says. "We're not primarily focused on interesting presentation."

The Bangkok Daiquiri is one of Arnold's favorite examples. By employing technology he calls "nitro muddling," his team can avoid the unpleasant side of muddled herbs: namely, pieces of bruised, dull-colored vegetation getting caught in your straw or your teeth. In a mixing tin, he pours liquid nitrogen over fresh Thai basil, freezing it. The frozen basil is muddled with rum, topped with lime juice and simple syrup, then shaken. When the drink is strained through a tea strainer into a glass (pre-chilled with liquid nitrogen), only minute flecks of vividly green basil come through.

Relatively straightforward orders benefit from behind-the-scenes preparation. Manhattan cocktails are made in advance for consistency and pre-bottled in individual servings with liquid nitrogen to stave off oxidization. Though not as visually striking as a glowing poker or flash-frozen basil, according to Arnold, the wow effect is still there because the drink is not diluted with ice and there's enough extra left in the bottle for a second pour. "We actually serve you more liquid than can fit into your coupe," he says, "which people seem to enjoy."

Here's where to find more high-tech cocktails:

Aviary, Chicago: At Grant Achatz's buzzy state-of-the-art cocktail lounge, expert mixologists use a double-chamber vacuum pot to create the Rooibos cocktail tableside. In the bottom pot, gin is heated over a flame until it's sucked into the upper pot where it is infused with Rooibos tea, grapefruit, lemon zest, crushed almonds, herbs and spices. When the heat source is removed, the drink gets muddled back into the lower pot and served warm.

The Cocktail Bar at the Windsor Court Hotel, New Orleans: The newly opened lounge borrows sous vide techniques from the kitchen for the Lion Amongst Ladies cocktail. The sealed mix of herbal Damiana liqueur, lemon, flamed orange peel and tequila is infused with kumquats in a warm, sous vide bath over the course of two hours.

Citizen R+D, Phoenix: At this bar-cum-research-lab, mixologist Richie Moe creates ice-cold rum-based Paint Can Punch with a repurposed antique paint-can shaker, which is so loud and vigorous that it shakes the room. Also in his workshop: a cold-drip coffeemaker used to make a Three-Hour Margarita, which for obvious reasons needs to be ordered well ahead of time.

Bourbon & Branch, San Francisco: The Bay Area's popular speakeasy offers classes in molecular mixology for the home bartender. The class covers everything from foams and spherification to working with liquid nitrogen. Students are encouraged to invent and test their own high-tech tipples.

Related: 50 Best Bars in America
Cocktails for the Coupe
Highball Cocktails

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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

Already looking forward to next year (June 19-21, 2015)? Relive your favorite moments from the culinary world's most sensational weekend in the Rocky Mountains.