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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Bars

Grammy Winning (Drinks) at the Beverly Wilshire

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Halo with a Twist Tied for Best Grammy Cocktail at the Beverly Wilshire

Although I'm totally looking ahead to the Oscars, I'm still thinking about the Grammys. Here's where I wish I was, besides front row for the awards: At the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Not just because the place was filled with the people who won awards (and who can’t be named here) but also because its restaurant/bar, Blvd, honored some Grammy nominees with an adorable list of drinks. The Best Drink nominees included:

*“Halo” with a Twist: Champagne, St.-Germain elderflower liqueur, lemon twist
*Lady’s Poker Face (After Tequila): tequila, cassis, lemon juice and sugar
*Fearless n’ Swift: vodka, Navan (vanilla-infused Cognac), caramel sauce, black lava salt

The hotel announced that the drink winners were a tie: Halo and Lady's Poker Face. Those drinks are now off the menu now that the Grammys are over. But starting next week, look for Blvd's special Oscar drinks, perhaps the Precious Pisco Sour or a Sandra Bullock Sazerac. (And if you want to work on your own versions of those drinks, F&W has some key recipes for pisco sours and Sazaracs, too.)

Cocktails

Cocktails to Go in Austria

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drinks

© Jen Murphy
Cocktails at the Drinks Company in St. Anton am Arlberg.

 

Amid the wooden chalets, ski and snowboard shops and fabulous artisanal food stores on the main street of St. Anton am Arlberg is a window showcasing glowing neon liquids in all sizes of bottles. What looks like a futuristic mad scientist's laboratory is actually a shop, called the Drinks Company. With roots in one of the oldest Tyrolean herbal distilleries, it works with herb farmers and specialized mountain farmers who supply the ingredients for excellent herbal elixirs, brandies, schnapps and grappas. Each beverage is stored in a gorgeous, beaker-like glass vessels, and customers can taste samples of Alpine Herbs Root Spirit, Farmer Fruit Brandy and even pre-made caipirinhas. Once you find your favorite, you pick a bottle to fill with your drink of choice and take it to go.

Bars

High West: Utah's Best New Après-Ski

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Hot toddy at High West Distillery.

© Kristin Donnelly
A riff on a hot toddy at High West Distillery in Park City, Utah.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m not really a skier but I always love the après party—which, as my coworker Jen Murphy mentioned in her envy-inducing posts about a recent trip to Austria, is more popular in Europe than in the U.S. David Perkins, founder of the High West Distillery in Park City, Utah, is trying to change that. On Saturdays, in the cozy new saloon next to his copper stills, he’s serving hot late-afternoon cocktails to skiers fresh off the slopes while a local bluegrass band plays. I popped into High West while I was out in Utah last month and loved the Rock n’ Rye. Made with freshly muddled oranges and lemons, hot water and High West’s Rendezvous Rye, it’s essentially a riff on a hot toddy with a cute little addition: a rock-candy stick so drinkers can sweeten it to taste. After finishing the drink, I couldn’t decide what surprised me more: that I got this lovely, warming buzz hassle-free in Utah (read more about that here) or that I briefly considered taking up skiing.

Baking

Whoopies for Valentine’s Day

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Mail-order whoopie pies for Valentine's Day

© Magenta Livengood
Whoopie pies from B. Hall Baker

For anyone looking for a sweet worth mail-ordering for Valentine’s Day, or any day, B.Hall Baker’s new mini whoopie pies are now available online. Washington, DC-based Beryl Hall, a former Hill staffer, keeps the calories low by keeping the pies small (she bakes them in madeleine molds). She gives her red velvet pies a rich tang (and a vibrant red color) with raspberry juice, raspberry extract and powdered raspberries from France. “Whoopie pies are a Yankee thing, but I’m trying to make them Southern,” the San Antonio native says, so this spring she’ll release coconut-cake and bananas Foster versions.

Restaurants

Sledding to Dinner in Austria

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rodel

© tourist office St. Anton am Arlberg
Fearless rodelers in St. Anton am Arlberg, Austria.

After six epic days in the Austrian Alps, I must admit that the highlight involved a sled, not a snowboard. In St. Anton am Arlberg, children and adults alike partake in rodeling (what we know as sledding in the States). One brilliant restaurateur (apparently with no fears of liability) decided to set a restaurant called the Rodel Alm mid-mountain. Adventurous diners take their toboggans up the gondola, sled down the steep, barely lit hill and stop for dinner at this supercozy Tyrolean restaurant with live Tyrolean music and enormous portions of pig’s knuckle (schweinshaxe) with honey-infused sauerkraut, spinach spaetzle and kaiserschmarren (chopped up pancakes topped with warm apples and powdered sugar—a favorite of Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn). Of course dinner is accompanied by fantastic wines and a shot or two of schnapps (we opted for hazelnut) to keep rodelers warm on the 2.7-mile ride back down the mountain. At the bottom, a little hut with a bonfire outside awaits. Locals cheer on the rodelers, passing out celebratory glühwein (mulled wine) and beers. They then dare you to ride a tiny, circular tray down a nearby hill to see who can get the most air off of a jump. Our friend Stefan became a local legend that night, setting a new tray-sledding record. 
 

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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.