Holiday Cocktail Party in Vermont (with Hot Punch Recipe)

I’ve been tasked with bringing my cocktail knowledge back to Vermont this month, where I can attest, a good drink is scarcer than hen’s teeth, as they say in the Northeast, and finding a bottle of Fernet Branca is harder than Chinese algebra (another favorite Vermont colloquialism).  My parents have asked me to play bartender …

Stocking The Home Bar

The LibationLab guide to stocking your home bar.  There are “minimum” (to avoid embarrassment) and “expanded” (to impress others) versions in each of 4 categories with notes.  It works well as a shopping list/checklist. 1. Alcohol Respectable Minimum: Keep a bottle each of whiskey, gin, vodka, rum, tequila, brandy, Cointreau, dry and sweet vermouth. Expanded …

How Do You Take It?

Simple vocab guide for commonly confused terms used when ordering spirits: neat or straight: served at room temperature, without water or ice, in a short, stemless glass. straight up or up: shaken or stirred with ice, strained, and served in a chilled, stemmed cocktail glass. Of course, on the rocks is on the rocks.

Spiked Juice

I have fondest memories of drinking Sturm at  Raschhofer Rossbräu, a bar/restaurant I frequented while living in Austria a decade ago, give or take a month.  It’s an effervescent,  not fully fermented red wine, which is cloudy and available only in the autumn.  Federweisser is the general term for this category of quick-fermented grape juice, …

Throwback: The Frozen Piña Colada

Last night, we were checking out the Blackbird, a new bar on Market Street between Home and Lucky 13, and encountered the unexpected.  They have a frozen piña colada on the menu, and despite the cool weather and heightened kitsch factor, it was really good. Tip: the quickest way to end a brain freeze is …