'alcohol' on Serious Eats

Cocktail 101: Let's Talk Proof

When someone talks about the proof of a spirit or liqueur, what's that person talking about? The proof of a spirit is measured by taking the percentage of volume of alcohol in the spirit, and doubling it. So a spirit with 44% alcohol by volume (or ABV) is an 88-proof spirit. Why does proof matter? Read on, friends. More

Scooped: Beer Caramel Ice Cream

In the world of upscale ice cream, salted caramel is the new black. Every parlor with a pedigree has a version, and home ice cream makers practically write it love poems. I won't be the first to say that salted caramel is one of those perfect foods best left unmolested by other flavors. But I can't leave well enough alone. More

Poll: Four Loko, Ban or Don't Ban?

Earlier this week, the New York Daily News announced that the State Liquor Authority had hammered out an agreement with major beer distributors to stop shipping Four Loko as of November 19th. Why the move to stop selling? Sold in a number of sweet, fruity flavors, each 23.5-ounce can of the drink, 12.0% ABV, has as much alcohol as a six-pack of beer, and a huge hit of caffeine, besides. Should it be banned? Take the poll» More

Zombie Cocktail

[Illustration: Helen Jane Hearn] Zombies are called zombies because they are seriously alcohol laden. According to the original Zombie recipe, there are the equivalent of seven and a half ounces of alcohol in a just one Zombie. This would compare... More

Serious Beer: This Year's Oktoberfest Brews

I set out this year to try some of America's best märzens. These beers are just the ticket for getting you into a fall mood. They're rich and crisp, reminiscent of cool fall breezes and rustling autumn leaves. Check out our recommendations—but also keep in mind that freshness is king. If your local brewery makes a märzen, check it out now. If they've got one on tap, order a steinful straightaway. More

Serious Beer: Tasting Belgian Fruit Lambic

If you haven't tasted a traditional Kriek or Framboise before, you're in for a surprise. They're funky and acidic, with hints of shoe leather and wet dog. These days, you'll frequently see fruit beers with added sweeteners and fruit juices—lots of folks love them, but we encourage you to try the real thing sometime. Traditionally sour fruit lambics may not be beers for beginners, but they're a palate-expanding experience we highly recommend. More

Like This Drink? Drink That Wine

A cheat sheet of wine suggestions, based on your other beverages of choice. If you like your coffee dark and strong, you might also like an equally robust Shiraz or Malbec. And if you're into Coronas, pour yourself a glass of the light, not-too-sweet Torrontes. More

Serious Grape: New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc Under $17

The New Zealand government is funding research into "new flavours" in Sauvignon Blanc, but we'd prefer to just let the flavors be. We recently tasted ten New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs that sell for $10 to $17, and were pleased with the results. For the most part these wines are enjoyable, with bright, refreshing flavors that are perfect for summer. They're a great accompaniment to grilled shrimp or rich curries, or just a giant bowl of chips and guacamole. More

Time for a Drink: Stephan's Sour

A simple gin sour given a boost of character and flavor by the addition of celery bitters, Stephan's Sour is a classically styled drink from Seattle bartender Murray Stenson, winner of the "American Bartender of the Year" award at last week's Tales of the Cocktail. More

Seriously Asian: Stir-Frying with Booze

Although alcohol is more commonly used in stir-fries containing meat, pairing wine with vegetables is an easy way to build complexity of flavor without exerting any effort. Compared to just a stir-fry with salt and garlic, adding wine as a finishing touch to the dish infuses a heady perfume in the greens. Try it just once and you'll be keeping the bottle on hand for more than just an accompaniment to your meal. More

Bartenders Rediscover 'Fun' at Tales of the Cocktail

While there were many new spirits and other products to discover at this year's Tales of the Cocktail, one of the most intriguing developments was the renewed emphasis placed by bartenders on service and hospitality—the very elements of the bar world ignored by so many frowning, arm-gartered bartenders during the recent speakeasy trend. More

Serious Beer: Mostly Sour American Fruit Beers

While we're not really all that interested in who can make the sourest beer imaginable, we're thrilled at all the great, creative fruit beers coming out of American breweries. Some of these delectable examples are juicy, zippy, and full of real fruit flavor; others are funky and horsey, quite challenging for the beginner—and sometimes thrilling to the nerdiest among us. These aren't beers for chugging in front of a game; they're complex sips that demand your full attention. We consider ourselves very lucky to have gotten a taste. More

Serious Beer: Hefeweizen from Germany

Hefeweizen is a wheat beer, but for lovers of serious beer, what makes it exciting is the yeast. (Hefe actually means yeast in German, so this shouldn't be a huge surprise.) The special ale yeasts that are used to make traditional German Hefeweizen produce crazy flavors and aromas during fermentation—you can taste cloves and banana, spice and smoke, even traces of vanilla and bubblegum. More

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