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The Best Gin for a Martini

Do you need to spend big bucks to make a great martini? Does one style of gin work better than another in this cocktail? I convened a tasting of martinis made with ten different gins to test out a variety of gin styles and price points. More

The Best Gin to Buy on a Budget

While we can happily find a good bottle of bourbon for twelve bucks or ten or even eight on sale, it's startlingly difficult to find good gin for less than $20. I know—this month, I scoured and I searched and I hunted, and I tried 15 of 'em. Here are the best gins that'll run you less than an Andrew Jackson. More

How to Make Cocktails at Home: The Serious Eats Guide to Essential Cocktail Techniques

So it's getting to booze o'clock, and you're ready for a drink, but you're new to the mixing game and you're not quite sure how to get started. You've come to the right place: after three and a half years of writing about cocktail technique on Serious Eats, I've gathered my tips, essential pointers, and the wisdom of a few stellar bartenders into one handy guide. More

The Best Tequila for a Margarita

I'm on a quest to find the best tequila for a margarita. Do you need to spend big bucks to make a great version of the drink? Are there affordable brands that make good margs? I convened a blind tasting of margaritas made from ten different tequilas to find out. More

The 10 Best Budget Rums

Rum is a category of spirits that offers many wonderful values—bottles that taste like they should cost way more than they actually do. You can very easily find great rums, both white and dark, under $20, and today, I'll introduce you to a few of my favorites. More

How to Make Big Batches of Cocktails for a Crowd

Martini Monday:

I'd fudge (pardon the pun) things just a little, regarding the water. Instead of using 26 ounces of stuff and 6 ounces water, I'd use 27-1/2 ounces stuff, and 4-1/2 ounces water. It'll make the math SO MUCH EASIER for the other ingredients because then you can just multiply everything by 10.


20 ounces Bailey's
2 1/2 ounces vodka
5 ounces chocolate liqueur
4 1/2 ounces water

With lower-proof ingredients such as Bailey's and chocolate liqueur, this should provide enough dilution.

I won't be able to verify via taste-test that this recipe works for you, since I don't tend to drink sweet cocktails, but it should work, and I hope you have enough time to test it yourself, if you're so inclined. Hope that helps!

The Best Gin to Buy on a Budget

Bombay is 86 and Sapphire is 94; that's true (and it means I need to edit the post to reflect that point). What I meant, though, was that the Sapphire's botanical recipe downplays the juniper, compared to the white label, which makes Sapphire taste softer, more rounded, and less piney than Bombay white. I apologize for being unclear.

The Best Gin to Buy on a Budget

it's possible for us to both be right, yes?

I drink a lot of gin, and I've worked very hard to educate my palate; I know what I like.

The Best Gin to Buy on a Budget

Gordon's didn't make the cut. Glad you guys enjoy it, but it's not my thing.

25 Cocktails Everyone Should Know


I feel the need to respond, and here's what I want to say: I agree with everything you said. Thanks for commenting.

Mike Dietsch

The Serious Eats Guide to Bourbon


The nice thing is, we're both right. As I said in the post, the sweet mash was an experiment. Woodford tried it in 2008, so it was old news during your tour. Here's a press release that explains it:


As far as I know, this was a one-time release, so it's true that both a) they've experimented with it once in the past and b) they now make only sour mash.

How to Make Cocktails at Home: The Serious Eats Guide to Essential Cocktail Techniques

@Charles Richter: Fair point on the Benedictine, thanks.

How to Make Cocktails at Home: The Serious Eats Guide to Essential Cocktail Techniques

For decades, a company called Heublein marketed a line of bottled cocktails, the Manhattan among them. I have a link here to an old ad for the line.


Today, Heublein, or what's left of it, is part of Diageo, and the bottled-cocktail line is defunct.

The 10 Best Budget Bourbons

I'll redo the list:

Old Ezra
Old Ezra
Old Ezra
Old Ezra
Old Ezra
Old Ezra
Old Ezra
Old Ezra
Old Ezra
Old Ezra

Butter-Basted Pan-Seared Thick-Cut Steaks

I did something crazy and delicious when I cooked this steak.

Saturday night, Father's Day Eve, I made griddled cheeseburgers, in butter. The burgers lost a lot of fat in the cooking process, so after the pan cooled down, I poured the mix of fat and butter into a container and stored it in the fridge.

It was that beefy, buttery goodness that I used to baste my Father's Day steak. Yes, that does mean we had more beef this weekend than is healthy, and yes, it also means that I cooked my own steak on Father's Day, but hey. I love cooking steaks.

So You Want to Write a Cocktail Book...


Yes, I talked to Kim Tait on the phone for 90 minutes, actually! I couldn't include everything she told me, but I felt it was necessary to cover Tait Farms in the book.


Good question; we haven't talked about that yet.

So You Want to Write a Cocktail Book...

There's still a lot you can do in fall and winter: apple, kiwifruit, citrus, and pomegranate, among others. Though as long as you're buying the book, I'll be equally happy if you buy it in October or April!

So You Want to Write a Cocktail Book...

I've already talked a little about that:

When Ann and I developed the book, we had in mind a summer 2014 release, to hit at the peak of the farmers' market's bounty. The book was going to be a squarish format, softcover, organized by season, and aimed at crunchy-granola Greenmarket fans (like me). Then Countryman/Norton's sales team went into action and decided the book had potential to be an end-of-year shopping-season success, aimed at a broader market. So now we're launching in October, and we're no longer going for a seasonal approach.
Here's the problem with a summer release: cookbooks don't sell well in summer. A lot of books don't sell well in summer. The Christmas/holiday season is the book industry's hottest time of the year. My publisher decided they'd sell more books in the fall than in the summer. They're the pros; I'm not. I trust them that this is the right decision.

So You Want to Write a Cocktail Book...


Scrivener is an interesting piece of software. It's more of a manuscript-management system than it is a word-processing program. The metaphor it uses is that of a corkboard. You pin index cards to the board, and you can use those cards for anything--in my case, I used them primarily for recipes. I also divided each narrative (non-recipe) chapter up into sections, and each section was an index card.

You can rearrange the order of the cards by simply dragging and dropping their icons. This made it very easy to reorder the recipes once we changed the structure of the book. I don't think Word offers functionality like that.

So essentially, every part of the manuscript was a separate file within Scrivener. When I was ready to submit the manuscript to my editor, I compiled the Scrivener files into one large file, using a Compile tool within Scrivener. I then saved that to Word format and did minor edits and clean-up in Word before submitting the manuscript.

Scrivener isn't free, but I think the license is only $40 or so.

So You Want to Write a Cocktail Book...

VeganWithaYoYo: I do have non-alcoholic drinks in the book, though perhaps not as many as I should have included. (Maybe I can do that if I get a second edition!) One thing that's always true, though, is that just about any shrub is great topped off with club soda.

Easy Home Bar: 5 Fun 2-Ingredient Drinks

Just going for some variety in styling my photos, for Pete's sake. Give me a break.

Easy Home Bar: 5 Fun 2-Ingredient Drinks

I liked the BLL better than I expected to, though as I think I noted, I found that it tasted just a little metallic. I enjoyed the hell out of the cocktail, though. I'd serve that at a summer party, if I had enough room in this shoebox to host one.

Easy Home Bar: 5 Fun 2-Ingredient Drinks

Uh. The Godfather cocktail I wrote about IS the one with scotch and amaretto.

The Best Drinks We Drank in March

The Lock Yard is a very cool place to spend an afternoon.

How to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love Bitter Drinks

It's perfectly fine to dislike Fernet. I can't normally stand it on its own; I find it's much better as a mixer. Sometimes, I'll drink it as a digestive. I had it after Thanksgiving dinner one year, and I found it immediately made my bloated stomach feel better. But then again, so do other bitter liqueurs that I usually enjoy drinking, so I don't see an upside.

The Best Budget Irish Whiskeys


There's some contract distilling in the Irish whiskey arena. The company that sells Michael Collins, for example, is currently in a lawsuit with Beam, Inc., over a contract to make Collins at Beam's Cooley distillery. But it's not like LDI where it's quiet and sort of secretive.

2 Gingers was made under contract at Cooley, too, but then Beam bought the brand.

Cooley makes Kilbeggan, Greenore, Connemara, and Tyrconnell.

New Midleton makes Jameson, Tullamore Dew, Powers, Paddy, Redbreast, Midleton Rare, and Green Spot. Green Spot is made under contract for a wine merchant in Dublin.

Old Bushmills makes Bushmills and Black Bush.

FWIW, Bushmills is owned by Diageo; Midleton is owned by Pernod-Ricard; and as I said, Cooley is owned by Beam, Inc., which in turn is now owned by Suntory.

How to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love Bitter Drinks

I will admit, I prefer rye in a Boulevardier.

Slow-Cooker Harissa Beef Stew With Lemon Yogurt


We drank zinfandel with this. The mildly sweet, low-tannic fruitiness really cut through the heat, while still complementing the beef.

The Best Gin for Negronis

The Best Gin for Negronis

Lorenzo --

Maybe she just doesn't care for mass-produced world market products. I hear they're the in-thing to hate right now.

Homebrewing Basics: All About Yeast

Yeast have the most important job in brewing: they start with sugar and break it down, leaving alcohol, carbon dioxide, and a variety of flavors. The importance of yeast often gets forgotten when conversations about beer turn to grain and hops, but yeast actually have the potential to contribute more unique flavors to your beer—both good and bad—than any other ingredient. Last week we talked about grain, and next week we'll look at hops, but today I'll be giving you what you need to know about yeast to make the best homebrew possible. More

The Physiology of Foie: Why Foie Gras is Not Unethical

Video or photographic footage of one badly managed farm or even a thousand badly managed farms does not prove that the production of foie gras, as a practice, is necessarily harmful to the health or mental well-being of a duck. Foie gras production should be judged not by the worst farms, but by the best, because those are the ones that I'm going to choose to buy my foie from if at all. More