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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Drink This Now

Secrets to Drinking Like You're in Havana

Havana Beach

I'm not saying I went to Cuba. But if I had gone, I probably would have spent most of the time eating lots of grilled lobster (the stripey Caribbean kind, not the red Maine kind) in paladares (restaurants run out of magnificent family homes) and over-consuming exceptional rum-based cocktails. As the birthplace of the mojito and the spot where Ernest Hemingway popularized the Papa Doble (a double frozen daiquiri), Havana would inspire any non-heretics to drink copious amounts of each. Again, I'm not saying that I went there, but if I had, these would probably have been my most memorable brushes with alcohol. MORE >

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Bottom Shelf Upgrade

Summer Spirit Infusions

Spicy Margarita

© Christina Holmes

It’s an essential tenet of mixology: Great drinks start with quality spirits. But when the liquor on hand would be more appropriate at a frat party than a cocktail bar, don’t give up. “Throw some fruit in there and kick-start an infusion,” suggests Brandon Lockman, a bartender at the Red Star Tavern, in Portland, Oregon.

Here, Lockman shares ideas for fantastic infusions for every spirit, plus the perfect summer cocktails to make with them. MORE >

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Drink This Now

Kümmel 101: How to Use the Sweet-Savory Dutch Spirit

Kummel Cocktails: Ouest Daisy

Lafayette's Ouest Daisy © Noah Fecks

Historically consumed in Europe as a shot before or after a round of golf, kümmel, a caraway- and cumin-infused spirit that originated in Holland, has found its place in America as a sweet-savory addition to cocktails. At chef Andrew Carmellini’s newest New York hot spot, Lafayette, beverage manager Megan Mina uses Combier kümmel in a refreshing tequila cocktail.»

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Shandy 2.0: Modern Takes on the Simplest Beer Cocktail

Son of a Gun's Shandy

House Fermented Shandy Courtesy of Son of a Gun

One of the simplest summer cocktails, the shandy is a refreshing blend of beer and lemonade—or citrus soda or ginger ale depending on where you're ordering one. But since "simple" isn't American bartenders' M.O., shandy upgrades are popping up around the country that use seasonal syrups, spices, hard liquor and, in the case of Son of a Gun in Los Angeles, re-fermentation. MORE »

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Drink This Now

Spicy, Tangy, Fruity, Frothy: The Newest Strawberry Cocktails

Strawberry Sky

Donna's Strawberry Sky © Craig Cavallo / Serious Eats

Bartenders who love in-season strawberries for their bright, floral flavor and gorgeous color, are now debuting complex spring cocktails with contrasting ingredients like chilies, egg whites and vinegar. At Donna in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg, bar manager Jeremy Oertel pairs the springy fruit with tequila and serrano peppers in the Strawberry Sky. MORE >

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Drink This Now

Boozy Horchata

Horchata Milk Shake

Horchata Milk Shake © Con Poulos

Horchata, the delicious Mexican drink of cinnamon-flecked rice milk is getting an adult makeover from bartenders across the country, making it the ideal cocktail for this Cinco de Mayo. MORE >

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Drink This Now

How to Flavor Cocktails with Indian Spices

Heart of Gold Cocktail

Heart of Gold © Robert Gunn

Indian spices like saffron and cardamom are now pantry staples for many cooks, but bartenders are also finding uses for the aromatic seasonings in deliciously complex cocktails. MORE >

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Sesame, Mustard and Olive Oils Now Enhancing Cocktails

The Torpedo

The Torpedo © Emily Hsu

We use oils in just about every aspect of our lives: cooking, cleaning, car maintenance. Now bartenders are using oils—sparingly—in cocktails, for their intense aromas and flavors. MORE >

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At-Home Mixologist

Two Great Cocktail Pairings

A cocktail created by a great mixologist can be as thrilling as a dish by a star chef. In this preview of the 2013 edition of F&W Cocktails, our annual compilation of the year’s best drink and bar-food recipes, we showcase some of the most inspiring combinations in America. With recipes!

Bacon-Wrapped Cherry Peppers

Photo © Lucas Allen

THE PAIRING
Bacon is great with the smoky flavors in this mezcal cocktail.

Black Dahlia
Mixologist Leo Robitschek. The NoMad Hotel, Manhattan

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Bacon-Wrapped Cherry Peppers
Chef Colby Garrelts. Bluestem, Kansas City, MO

 

 

Kansai Kick Cocktail

Photo © Lucas Allen

THE PAIRING
Fried foods go well with boozy drinks. This nutty, tangy one is especially refreshing.

Kansai Kick
Mixologist John deBary. PDT, Manhattan
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Shrimp-and-Shiitake Gyoza
Chef Jesse Cruz. Lucky Belly, Honolulu

BUY THE BOOK
To buy F&W Cocktails 2013, go to foodandwine.com/books

Related: Reinvented Classic Cocktails

Drink This Now

The Crème Revival

Dixie Cocktail Courtesy of Hard Water

Dixie Cocktail Courtesy of Hard Water

Mention crème de cacao or crème de menthe to anyone who drank through the 80s and they will cringe as if they had just been offered a pair of parachute pants. Though associated with saccharine, often artificially colored cordials, true crèmes can be elegant, velvety digestifs or superb cocktail modifiers. Today, artisan producers are restoring crèmes to their respectable form, much to the delight of bartenders who use the vibrantly flavored, sweet liqueurs in revivals of long-lost cocktails and terrific new drinks. MORE >

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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.