The Beer Cocktail: Friend or Foe?

Beer Cocktails! (Sorry...)

Beer Cocktails! (Sorry…)

As many of you already know, cooking is not my “thing.” That’s why I write about beer and not the epicurial challenges of the kohlrabi, whatever that is. Left to my own devices, I’d be eating salads or sandwiches for every meal — the sandwich being basically the salad between slices of bread. I am really quite righteously impatient, though, so sometimes I just get a fistful of raisins and a fistful of peanuts and take bites from alternating hands.

Beer appeals to me for a number of reasons: it’s cold, it’s tasty, it can get you a little fucked up. We mustn’t forget, though, that it is also extremely easy to prepare.

  1. Open fridge.
  2. Pull out beer.
  3. Open beer.
  4. Drink beer.

My sense of economy is therefore threatened when approached by the idea of beer cocktails. I realize this has been a thing for a while now (as has calling something “a thing”), but I’ve never explored beer cocktails due to the above elegance of simplicity. I am understandably wary about a beer drink that involves more than these four steps. But then I had a Joan Harris at the Market Garden Brewery in Cleveland, OH. Continue reading

Homemade Limoncello: Stupid Easy, Deceptively Impressive

Last February, ShannIMG_1540on and I walked to the main branch of the Brooklyn Public Library to learn about the history of cocktails and, of course, drink a variety of them for free in the classy environs of the material evidence of Humanity’s learning.  The teacher was this dude Benjamin Zorn from Tooker Alley, and his lessons included a few free recipes.  So I took him up on the challenge and decided to make for the holidays and as a gift for my cousin Mitch’s engagement a batch of limoncello.

And, man, was it easy.  I’ve never brewed my own beer nor made rotgut in the tub, but I feel pretty confident that making limoncello is one of the easiest ways you can sex up the booze in your life.  And I’m pretty sure it’s one of the easiest ways to, say, make a unique gift to present to someone and garner ooo’s and ahh’s.  You’ll then inevitably get to drink some of that present, too.  Score.  It’s great for after dinner, sweet and tart and thick. Continue reading

The Potable Tomato

potabletomatoTomato juice that comes in a can is nasty stuff. This opinion of mine, I think, has its roots in a childhood aversion to the sight of it coating the inside of a glass. My favorite aunt regularly drank V8 for breakfast, and though I loved that woman dearly, the memory of a red, viscous mess being poured down her throat that early in the morning is, even now, enough to make me queasy. No amount of vodka and olives can make up for what is wrong with canned tomato juice. No Bloody Marys for me.

But some time ago, Roger (a.k.a. Godfather of Cocktails) suggested that I would warm to the drink if I made my own tomato juice or, better yet, since it would eliminate the coating sediment, tomato water. This past weekend, between taxing bouts of sunning myself on a dock and sunning myself in a hammock, I finally gave it a try and was not disappointed in the results.

Here’s what you do: you core and quarter about six large tomatoes and throw them in a blender with a little salt. Puree those babies and then put them through a cheesecloth. (You can either put a wooden spoon over a pitcher and tie the cheesecloth to it, or, if your pitcher is sturdy, you can just use a couple clothespins to suspend the cheesecloth from the side of the pitcher.) After it strains, you can drink the juice straight, and it’s liquid summer sunshine. But let’s be honest. What you should really do is put some vodka in it. Continue reading

GoogaMooga: Ready, Set, Go.

Superfly Presents unleashes the Great GoogaMooga today.  We’re psyched.  Check out  below the thoughts Superfly co-founder Kerry Black has on the grub at the festival.

Why combine a food festival with a music festival, and why is Brooklyn a good place to do so?
Put most simply, we love food and we love music!  Together, the two are the perfect combination.  We wanted to really celebrate everything that makes New York culture so amazing with GoogaMooga, and Brooklyn is a very obvious leader in both food and music.  We’re New Yorkers who are always seeing shows and eating out, in Brooklyn in particular.  Then to throw GoogaMooga in Prospect Park was our ideal.  There is so much beauty and personality to that space.

How will this year’s GoogaMooga be different from last year’s?
We’re introducing Cafe GoogaMooga this year and three very cool Pop-Ups by April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman, Gabe Stulman and Roberta’s.   The VIP Cocktail Experience is a new take on VIP with 10 different cocktail bars like Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog, Clover Club, Pouring Ribbons, and Dutch Kills.

Any particular favorite vendors you’re looking forward to patronizing?
All of them, but let’s see…Roberta’s Ren Fair, Kasadels, Jeepney, and Baohaus.

Summer Cocktail Spectacular

cocktailTemperatures are once again rising like a flock of seagulls on the wing. It’s important to hydrate…and why not throw in a little gin while you’re at it? We’re calling on all you gifted mixologists out there to cool our sweaty brows.

Send your signature summer cocktail recipes to We’ll try the ones we like best and rate them according to taste, creativity and capacity to refresh.

It’s only right that the winners receive a token of our gratitude. What will it be? An artful swizzle stick? A crocheted beer coozie? A hand-mixed glass of Shannon’s signature cocktail, the Bee’s Knees? You’ll just have to win to find out.

So get to it! Shake, stir, and please, please chill. The address for entries is, one more time,

Monisha’s Grub Match Pick: Yerba Buena

Monisha's Grub Match PickThe first contender in this month’s Grub Match is Monisha De La Rocha. Here’s a little about Monisha and her pick, cocktail haven Yerba Buena.

Do you have any food pet peeves? Many. Cold salads, cold butter that you can’t spread. The taste of burned garlic. Lemon juice from a bottle. Pre-grated parmesan cheese (wax, much!). Being served at a restaurant on a plate that’s clearly either just come out of the fridge or oven. Having my wine poured for me by my server the second my glass looks empty (I’m going to order a second bottle anyway, just let me drink in peace!).

Let’s pretend you’ve come into uncountable gobs of money—who do you hire as your personal chef? The truth is that if I had uncountable gobs of money, I’d quit my job and spend most of my time cooking each meal in my humungous Barn kitchen, and make all those things that require ridiculously expensive ingredients. I’d have every color and variation of salt, and I would think it made a difference in the food.

What is one item that is always in your refrigerator? An extra 4-stick box of unsalted butter. Butter makes everything better. Continue reading