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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Spirit School

Detroit's Spirit Revival

Detroit's Spirit Revival

Less than a mile across in some places, the Detroit River was a haven for bootleggers during Prohibition, as boats would ferry liquid cargo from "wet" Canada to "dry" America. Today, the shipments could be heading in the other direction, thanks to David Landrum and Peter Bailey, the entrepreneurs behind Two James, the first distillery in Detroit since the 1920s.

The longtime friends, who named their company after their dads (both called James), are making small-batch spirits in a former doughnut factory and taxi-repair shop in the Corktown neighborhood. (A tasting room, located in the distillery, serves cocktails and sells bottles.) Distilled with lots of juniper and other botanicals, the duo's London dry gin is inspired by Bailey's father, who grew up above a pub in England. "Wild juniper grows like crazy here, but no one cultivates it. Now we've found some people who are willing to plant it for us," says Landrum. Their rye whiskey, currently in barrels, is made with 100 percent Michigan-grown rye and was inspired by Landrum's dad, who was born in Kentucky.

Despite Detroit's recent bankruptcy, the young distillers are optimistic about the city's future. "I've watched Detroit go through horrible times, but the bankruptcy might actually be a good thing—it's trimming the fat," says Landrum. "And there's a resurgence of people moving back to the city. It's exciting." twojames.com

Related:
Detroit: Soul Food for a Hungry City
Small-Batch Superstars
Ultimate Beer Guide
American Beer, Bourbon and More

Drink This Now

5 Things You Need to Know About Bourbon

I drink a lot of bourbon. I don’t say it as a boast. Every dirtbag with $25 to his name can do the same, and many do. But over the years, I’ve gained brainpower corresponding to my liver damage, and become something of a bourbon geek. Or at least I’ve communed with enough bourbon geeks to pick up a few facts about the greatest of all American spirits. Some are random, some are esoteric, but some you just can’t be without. Here, five things you need to know.

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Trendspotting

Napa Valley After Dark

Napa After Dark: Rooftop bar at The Thomas

Winemaker and restaurateur Joel Gott on Napa's new late-night scene.

"Just a few years ago, the only options after 10 p.m. in Napa Valley were cigarettes and beer at the local dives: Pancha's in Yountville, Ana's Cantina in St. Helena or Henry's in downtown Napa. And there's nothing wrong with those spots. But now there's a real late-night scene here, with craft cocktails and great wine. It's particularly true in downtown Napa. The place that really started it all is Morimoto [open until 1 a.m.], which has the biggest late-night scene: It feels more like Los Angeles than Napa. Down the block is The Thomas [open until 1 a.m.], which gets a lot of locals, sort of a wine-dork group. And it has a rooftop that's like a big party. Empire [open until 2 a.m.] launched a few months ago, and it has a serious cocktail program. It gets a good tourist crowd, since it's right next to the new Andaz hotel, which also has a lively bar scene until 1 a.m. Napa's not just about daytime tastings at wineries. We're the adult Disneyland, so we need to cater to everyone."

Related: Napa Travel
Napa's Most Beautiful Wine Tasting Rooms
Napa Restaurants

Video of The Week

Kit Kat Piano

It's no Steinway but this keyboard made out of Kit Kat bars makes some of the sweetest music we've ever heard:

Related: Beautiful Art Inspired Desserts
Candy Remix Recipes
Ultimate Candy Guide

Blogger Spotlight

Easy Meals from a Recipe Goddess

Over nearly 18 years in the F&W Test Kitchen, former senior editor Grace Parisi created more than 1400 recipes including reader favorites like grilled eggplant parmesan and her perfect herb-and-lemon roasted chicken. Grace's dishes have been widely adored because they're delicious, but also because they often incorporate just the right twist to make a simple recipe really great (like baking a whole stack of pancakes at once as one fluffy cake). It's no surprise that she's now doing the same thing on her blog, Tales of a Recipe Goddess, which she's writing while working on a new memoir-style cookbook. Her recent take on shakshuka is not to be missed.

 

Related: All of Grace Parisi's Recipes
Grace's Weeknight Dinner Party Menu
Grace's Easy Holiday Brunch

 

 

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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.

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