Posts in Creating Cocktails
4 Ways to Upgrade Your Vodka Soda

The Vodka Soda is pretty much the un-cocktail. It’s typically meant to be as tasteless and chuggable (is that a word?) as possible. Admittedly, most of the time when I thought of a Vodka Soda, I thought of a drink meant to induce drunkenness with as few calories as possible. And that’s about it. I definitely dismissed it altogether for a while there. But it was actually my aversion to it made me want to do some tweaking and throw a few back in the name of R&D. After trying a bunch of easy variations, I’m ready to stand behind the Vodka Soda as a really fun and delicious cocktail template.

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The Best Lemonade Recipe Ever. Seriously.

If there’s one drink that’s the embodiment of summertime in America, it’s good ol’ fashioned, homemade lemonade! The simple, timeless combination of lemons, sugar, and water creates the most refreshing beverage during these dog days of summer. Pretty much every recipe out there will tell you to juice some lemons, add sugar and water, stir well - and voila! Good stuff. The really smart recipes will instruct you to make a quick simple syrup first, which is a big improvement. But I have an upgrade that will make for the best damn lemonade you’ve ever tasted - and you still only need those three ingredients: lemons, sugar, and water!

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Foraged Cocktails: Sumac Berry Lemonade

August is here, and in southern New Hampshire, the ripe, crimson cones of sumac trees are dotting the edges of roadways and fields everywhere you look. The Staghorn sumac, or Rhus typhina, is very easy to identify thanks to those spiky red cones coated in fuzzy fibers, reminiscent of velvety deer antlers. Sometimes confused with Poison sumac (Toxicodendron vernix), the staghorn, smooth, and winged sumacs that grow throughout the US are actually all edible - and quite delicious! Fortunately, there is no confusing the edible from the non-edible sumacs, as Poison sumac produces white berries, and edible varieties produce red ones.

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Tiki Cocktails to Sip on This Summer

You can sip on tiki cocktails year round, but they’re that much better on the beach, poolside, or even just lounging on the couch in front of the AC on a hot summer day. The tiki genre is a vast and eclectic sea of cocktail recipes, but most have the following characteristics in common: the use of rum, tropical fruits, citrus juices, and often exotic spices in the form of syrups, liqueurs, or bitters. You can’t go wrong with a classic Mai Tai, but if you’re looking for something new and different, give one of these a try the next time you’re in the mood for something tropical.

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3 Garden to Glass Botanical Gin Cocktails

It’s almost officially summer, and wild cocktail ingredients are flourishing all around yards, fields, and forests in the northeast. June is a fantastic month for foraging in New Hampshire, and it seems that every day a new plant is popping up around my backyard. Dandelions, violets, plantain, daisies, yarrow, milkweed, wood sorrel, and many more wild edibles are easy to find this time of year, and growing in abundance.

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The Art of the Cocktail Garnish

If it’s possible that there’s one thing I’ve become a bit known for in my little corner of the internet, it’s making a pretty cocktail garnish. As a photographer and a highly visual person, I have always been immediately drawn to a drink (or a plate, for that matter) that is beautifully presented. It’s in our nature to be drawn to beauty, to seek it, and even to be influenced by it. Yes, in many ways, beauty truly is power.

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Exploring Flavor in Cocktails & The Impact of Aroma

Even though there are lots of combinations of flavors that a lot of folks would agree go great together, science still isn’t really clear on why these combos appeal to us. Theories have tried to prove that foods that share some of the same chemical compounds will naturally taste good together. But studies have shown that that is not always the case, and in fact, in certain world cuisines, foods which don’t share any of the same compounds work best together. You can read more about the studies here.

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Creating Cocktails: What Are the 8 Tastes?

Today I want to talk a little about creating cocktail recipes. This is obviously a major passion of mine and something that I love to study both the art and science of. One of the things about creating, making, and drinking cocktails that fascinates me endlessly are all of the different flavors we can experiment with. This is the first in a series of posts dedicated to the elements of crafting your own cocktails.

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