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.
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.
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.
It’s finally Spring, the season of brunch! Few things are better than a leisurely Sunday brunch, especially one enjoyed al fresco with a Bloody Mary or Mimosa in hand. As much as I love to brunch, I’m also the kind of person who likes to kick back and take it easy on the weekend, so if I’m having people over, I want an easy-going, one skillet kind of meal. Frittatas are the perfect solution, and so easy to change up to suit the season or the time of day. They’re also delicious hot or room temperature (some say they’re even better room temp), so there’s no worrying about keeping it hot. And with all the time you save, you can make brunch cocktails!
It’s finally here – the first official day of Spring! Winter always seems to drag on and on here in New Hampshire, but lately these longer days make it feel like warm spring breezes are just around the corner. I’m welcoming the new season with plenty of fresh and fruity cocktails, and today I’m sharing two recipes I’ve created with Gran Gala Orange Liqueur.
I have been wanting to make a milk-clarified cocktail for ages, and I finally sat down and did some research on the subject. If you’re not familiar, milk clarification is a technique used to render cocktails (typically punches) beautifully clear that was super popular back in the 1700s and 1800s. Back in the day, the end goal was less about pretty clear cocktails and more about softening the flavor of the booze and making a batched cocktail that would keep for a long time.