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By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Cocktails

The New Vegetable Cocktails

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Garden Variety Margarita

© Courtesy of The Wayland
Garden Variety Margarita

While fresh-squeezed fruit juices have become common on serious cocktail menus, some of America’s best bartenders are turning to vegetables to incorporate seasonal and bitter components into their drinks.

A new spot with creative, vegetable-heavy cocktails is The Wayland in New York City’s East Village. “Most of the drinks I make come from the kitchen,” says owner-mixologist Jason Mendenhall. His refreshing Garden Variety Margarita was inspired by a cold remedy he creates at home, featuring kale and ginger juice.

For the bar’s version, he added smooth silver tequila, lime juice and agave; he serves the cocktail on the rocks with a rim of smoked sea salt. “I wanted to capture that vegetal component without scaring people away,” he says. Five days after opening, the vivid green drink became the bar’s most popular cocktail. Next up on The Wayland’s rotating drink list is a beet-juice-and-mezcal concoction, and Mendenhall is working on radish bitters as well as umami-packed mushroom bitters.

But The Wayland is not alone in trying to integrate fresh vegetables into cocktails. Here are some bars serving savory drinks to look for across the country.

Urban Union, Chicago: Recently opened, Urban Union makes a Celery Gimlet that goes down like “a cold cup of vegetable juice,” according to co-owner Jason Chan. It’s a little more complex than that, of course, and features house-made celery bitters, Hendrick’s gin, green chartreuse, St. Germaine, fresh lime juice, verjus (acidic, unripe grape juice) and a fresh celery stalk. 1421 W. Taylor St.

The Bent Brick; Portland, OR: This upscale neighborhood tavern is aggressively local, with all products, including spirits, coming from the Pacific Northwest. The Border Crossing cocktail combines a beet-based “shrub”—syrup typically made with fruit juice or vinegar—with apple brandy, smoked tea and black pepper.

Bar Congress, Austin: The Miso Mule is a Japanese take on a Moscow Mule that’s served in copper mug with crushed ice. Created by Portland transplant and bar manager Adam Bryan, the salty-smoky drink has 12-year-old Yamazaki whiskey, miso paste muddled with chunks of radish and honey, and tart Italian lemon soda.

Mateo’s Cocina Latina; Healdsburg, CA: This Mexican spot offers a seasonal Martini de Calabaza made with spiced organic pumpkin puree, cream and Reposado tequila.

Related: America's 50 Best Bars
Beautiful Cocktail Recipes
Garden-to-Glass Cocktails

Recipes

Onions are a Surprise Superfood

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Sauteed Chicken Breasts

© Lucy Schaeffer
Sauteed Chicken Breasts

According to Chris Kilham, Fox News' “Medicine Hunter,” the onion is much more than a kitchen staple. The underappreciated superfood deserves to be ranked with powerhouse foods like pomegranates and green tea, as onions help boost immunity, protect against heart disease and even have anticarcinogenic properties. While eating a raw onion every day is the most efficient way to benefit from the vegetable's healthful properties, it’s not the most appealing. Instead, take a suggestion from Melissa Rubel Jacobson, who uses diced onions in this fast recipe for Chicken Breasts with Apricot-Onion Pan Sauce.

Related: Great Chicken Breast Recipes
Heart-Healthy Foods
More Recipes for Onions

Recipes

Joe Beef Wins Food52’s Cookbook Tournament

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Confit of Guinea Hen Legs

© Fredrika Stjärne
Confit of Guinea Hen Legs

The results are in: The Art of Living According to Joe Beef won Food52’s third annual Piglet Tournament of Cookbooks. In the site’s final round of bracket-style cookbook competition, guest judge Alice Waters chose Beef over Christina Tosi’s Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook. Despite her disappointment over the high fat content in many of the buzzy Montreal restaurant’s recipes, the produce-championing Waters loved the book’s idiosyncratic stories, unconventional layout and pervasive “deep love of Montreal.” Joe Beef chefs Frédéric Morin and David McMillan shared some of their fantastic French-Canadian recipes with F&W a few months ago, including this indulgent Confit of Guinea Hen Legs with Prunes and Honey. The recipe is enriched with rendered duck fat, and best served with an Alice Waters–friendly watercress salad.

Related: Recipes from Cookbook Legends
Cooking with Honey
French-Inspired Dishes

Recipes

“American” Chinese Food Lands in China

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Sesame Chicken

© Lucy Schaeffer
Sesame Chicken

Many of the most popular Chinese dishes in the US are Americanized—no bones, no feet, no serious spice. But as cities like Beijing become more international, take-out favorites like General Tso’s chicken, chop suey and fortune cookies are winning favor in the country that inspired them, Newsweek reports. One of our favorite Chinese-American dishes is sesame chicken. Ready in just 35 minutes, Marcia Kiesel’s version of the sweet-and-crispy chicken is coated with a spicy ginger-garlic sauce and mixed with a healthy serving of broccoli.

Related: Fast Chinese Recipes
Tasty Fried Chicken
Healthy Asian Recipes

Recipes

Nigel Slater's Blackberry Focaccia

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Warning: Test Kitchen Tease snapshots may cause cravings, lip-smacking and an unshakeable desire to cook.

Blackberry Focaccia

© Justin Chapple
Blackberry Focaccia

When it comes to focaccia, most people are familiar with savory versions like Pisaladiere, a version topped with anchovies, olives and caramelized onions. This week, the F&W Test Kitchen tested an unusual dessert variation—Blackberry Focaccia (left) from Nigel Slater’s forthcoming cookbook, Ripe: A Cook in the Orchard. This blackberry-studded, confectioners' sugar–dusted focaccia is substantial and just barely sweet. Slater recommends cutting it into thick wedges and eating it when warm, but we loved it just the same in smaller squares, which we served with steaming cups of tea. Slater's cookbook won't be out until April, but this savory focaccia from the F&W archives, topped with caramelized onions, pear and blue cheese, is a good variation to try for Super Bowl Sunday

 

 

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