Tap That Sap: 13 Amazing Maple Cocktails

As winter announces its overdue presence and maple harvest time looms, we yearn for maple syrup more than ever. We pour it on pancakes, use it to glaze bacon for our burgers, and drizzle it over snowball-sized scoops of ice cream. However, there’s no place we like it more than at the bar. That’s because the amber liquid has a rich, deeply flavorful sweetness, which works well to mellow out liquor’s sharper tones. Here are 13 amazing maple cocktails.

Charcut, Calgary, Canada
Bar manager Mackenzie Oullette has fond childhood memories of making lollipops by pouring boiling maple syrup into the snow. Now she makes a similar maple taffy to garnish her whiskey rich Fléche cocktail, which gets a sugary lift from even more Grade A syrup. Make a reservation at Charcut.

Maple Cocktails

Burritt Room & Tavern, San Francisco, California
The phrase ‘study abroad’ used to conjure images of drinking in foreign countries while trying to improve international relations one hookup at a time. But now that we’re older, slightly wiser, and a tad more refined, the phrase makes us think fondly of this cocktail with the same name. Bourbon based, it’s sweetened with dark Grade B maple syrup and given some nuance through the inclusion of pear liqueur, allspice dram, and lemon juice. Make a reservation at Burritt Room & Tavern.

Maple Cocktails

Almanac, New York, New York
Simply called the Maple, this cocktail is essentially a seasonally accented Old Fashioned. The kick of the Overholt Rye and the botanicals of the dry vermouth are smoothed out by a dose of salted maple syrup and a couple of dashes of housemade orange bitters. Make a reservation at Almanac.

Maple Cocktails

The Salty Sow, Austin, Texas
The Maple Glazed Old Fashioned sounds like it could be an amazing doughnut. It’s also the name of this self-explanatory sipper, which features the classic cocktail sweetened with…yeah, you guessed it. What gave it away? Make a reservation at The Salty Sow.

Maple Cocktails

Gather, Berkeley, California
Earl Grey-infused maple syrup perks up this scotchy sipper, which would most certainly appeal to Ron Burgundy. Dubbed the Northern Exposure, it’s filled out with lemon juice, egg whites, and bitters. Here it goes, down into our bellies. Make a reservation at Gather.

Maple Cocktails

Wildwood Kitchen, Bethesda, Maryland
The Sunday mornings cocktail evokes brunch in a glass. Bacon-washed bourbon is mellowed out with hickory-smoked maple syrup, and vanilla and cinnamon tincture. The glass is finished off with a Serrano ham chip and an orange peel. Make a reservation at Wildwood Kitchen.

Maple Cocktails

The Smith-Midtown, New York, New York
Named after the lovable pig in Charlotte’s Web, the Sweet Wilbur aims to evoke the countryside. Sugar maple liqueur is blended with bourbon, allspice dram, apple cider, and bacon bitters (an item that made it into our Christmas stocking). To complete the cocktail, the rim is rolled in vanilla salt. Make a reservation at The Smith-Midtown.

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Curry Around the World: 8 Favorites to Feast on

Full of flavor, vibrant, lively, and bursting with antioxidants — it’s easy to see why curry has taken hold across the globe. With nearly every continent, and dozens of countries spanning each, boasting their own iconic curry dishes, we thought it apropos to highlight curry around the world and round up eight of our favorites. You can even find these colorful concoctions right here in the States.

The Country: India (specifically, Western India)
The Curry: Vindaloo. Hailing from the region of Konkan Goa, vindaloo is derived from a Portuguese pork dish marinated in wine and garlic. In India, the wine is swapped for palm vinegar, the pork for chicken or lamb, and red chile peppers, potatoes, and warming spices like cinnamon, clove, and cardamom are added to make an addictively spicy curry.
Find It Here: Chef Nilesh Singhvi serves up an unabashedly authentic rendition of lamb vindaloo at the legendary Bombay Club in Washington, D.C. — it’s marinated in aged vinegar with all the right spices.
Make a reservation at Bombay Club.

Curry around the world

The Country: Malaysia
The Curry: Rendang. With a heavy Indian influence, Malaysian curries are typically made with curry powders chock full of turmeric, coconut milk, shallots, ginger, shrimp paste, chili peppers, garlic, and tamarind. The dried meat version, known as Rendang, is rich in coconut milk and often served during celebratory events, like weddings.
Find It Here: In true Malaysian form, chef-owner Salil Mehtaat of Laut in Manhattan (one of the first Malaysian restaurants to receive a Michelin Star) simmers your choice of beef, shrimp, or chicken until completely dry with grated coconut, exotic lemongrass, and lime leaves, adorning his rendang with decadent coconut milk.
Make a reservation at Laut.

Curry around the world

The Country: India (specifically, North India)
The Curry: Punjabi Curry. Like Thailand, India is home to many varieties of curry, differing in flavor and spice level tremendously from home to home. Americans are likely most familiar with butter chicken, one of many Punjabi curries known for their use of masala (a blend of ginger, garlic, onions, and tomatoes) with ghee and mustard oil.
Find It Here: At Marigold Maison in Phoenix, you can find a Punjabi curry made with tender goat and sautéed with vibrant spices, such as cumin, cardamom, coriander, and garam masala.
Make a reservation at Marigold Maison.

Curry around the world

The Country: Japan
The Curry: Katsu Curry. Though Japan eschewed outside culinary influence for many years, curry found its way into the country’s cuisine — here it’s made with onions, carrots, potatoes, and a curry-powder-based roux and often served over rice or noodles or topped with a fried pork cutlet (called tonkatsu), like in the case of Katsu Curry.
Find It Here: For a true taste of Japanese Kastu Curry, head to Zentan in Washington, D.C., where chef Yo Matsuzaki crusts tender pork jowl in panko before deep frying it and serving with housemade curry sauce and a soft-boiled egg.
Make a reservation at Zentan.

Curry around the world

The Country: Jamaica
The Curry: Curry Goat. Indian indentured servants brought their beloved curry with them when they came to the West Indies. But unlike typical East Indian masala blends, Jamaican curries rely on pimento and pass on Indian spices like cardamom, star anise, and mace.
Find It Here: One of the country’s top Jamaican restaurants, Miss Lily’s in New York serves up a bona fide Jamaican curry goat stew, made with slow-cooked goat, a turmeric-pimento-laced curry sauce, peas, and potatoes, dished over jasmine rice and served alongside grilled roti bread.
Make a reservation at Miss Lily’s.

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D.C. Restaurant Week Winter 2016: 9 Winning #RWDMV Dishes

Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Week starts today and runs through January 31. It’s a delicious way for you to mix up your dining routine, explore blossoming neighborhoods, and experience some of the area’s best restaurants – at a hefty discount. Three-course, prix-fixe meals cost $22 for lunch and $35 for dinner (excluding tax and gratuity). Given the chill that’s in the air, we wanted to suggest to you 9 of our favorite warming and winning dishes that you can try during D.C. Restaurant Week Winter 2016. So start planning where you want to go and what you want to eat. And, act quickly – these tables will go fast.

Founding Farmers, Tysons Corner, Virginia
You’ve never had eggplant marinara quite like this. Rounds of the purple veg are deep fried then stacked up in a mini cast iron skillet with layers of ricotta cheese and mushroom cream and finished off with plenty of nonna-style ragu. It’s comfort incarnate.  Make a D.C. Restaurant Week reservation at Founding Farmers.

D.C. Restaurant Week Winter 2016

Zentan, Washington, D.C.
There are few dishes more warming on a winter’s day than a bowl of ramen. A spicy miso broth cradles circlets of char siu pork, a slightly runny boiled egg, a handful of golden corn kernels, and bean sprouts. Remember: slurping isn’t just acceptable; it’s considered a compliment. Make a D.C. Restaurant Week reservation at Zentan.

D.C. Restaurant Week Winter 2016

Evening Star Café, Alexandria, Virginia
How could you pass up a dish called the Fairytale Pumpkin? We couldn’t. A ring of roasted pumpkin wedges accented with brown butter and a speckling of rye crumble sits atop sunchoke puree. You’ll leave feeling certain you’ll live happily ever after. Make a D.C. Restaurant Week reservation at Evening Star Café.

D.C. Restaurant Week Winter 2016

Penn Commons, Washington, D.C.
These ravioli pair the rich earthiness of wild mushrooms with the sweetness of caramelized onions. Coronated by a mélange of onions, carrots. and other root vegetables, the flavor-packed pasta is lavished with a ladle full of rich sage cream. We like to sop up the last of the sauce with the restaurant’s rightfully adored pretzel baguettes. Make a D.C. Restaurant Week reservation at Penn Commons.

D.C. Restaurant Week Winter 2016

Pennsylvania 6, Washington, D.C.
When temperatures dip, we love filling up with a big bowl of carbs. This mezze maniche rigate bolstered by lamb shoulder ragu will do the trick nicely. Frankly, we’re getting hangry just thinking about it. Make a D.C. Restaurant Week reservation at Pennsylvania 6.

D.C. Restaurant Week Winter 2016

Tico, Washington, D.C.
Slightly spicy and gloriously gooey, this Manchego rich mac ‘n’ cheese warms the belly and the heart. Everyone at the table should get their own portion because it’s too good to share. It might sound like we’re promoting greediness, but we’re just being pragmatic. Make a D.C. Restaurant Week reservation at Tico.

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Where’s the Beef? 11 Alternative Burgers Without an Ounce of Moo in Them

We have absolutely no problem with a classic beef burger – like we could turn down an American icon? – but, sometimes we want to switch up our routine. Luckily, Angus ain’t the only protein in play in the patty game anymore. Chefs are utilizing unconventional meats sourced from the land and sea. From shrimp and salmon to kangaroo and bison, these burgers are far from your average Big Mac. Here are 11 alternative burgers that buck the convention that is beef.

Azu, Ojai, California
This is one lean, green burger machine. The primo patty is forged out of grass-fed, fat-marbling-free bison. Don’t worry, there’s still some gluttony involved. It comes topped with onion jam, Gorgonzola, and bacon — and there’s a side of fries. Make a reservation at Azu.

Alternative Burgers

Badmaash, Los Angeles, California
Sacred cows are left out of the equation when it comes to making these alternative burgers. Instead, well-spiced lamb takes the lead. Served on a brioche bun, they come with red onion ringlets, iceberg lettuce, juicy Roma tomato slices, and paprika-pepped mayonnaise. Make a reservation at Badmaash.

Alternative Burgers

The Commoner, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Chef Dennis Marron didn’t want to follow the flock when he was designing his burger. So he created one out of lamb to stand out from the herd. It comes capped with Moroccan-spiced aioli, Indian relish, and whipped goat cheese. Make a reservation at The Commoner.

Alternative Burgers

Sambar, Culver City, California
Here’s one done the Bombay way. The chicken burger comes with a plethora of flavor-boosting toppings, including crispy chicken skin, hempseed chutney, and summer fruit chutney. Warning: it may inspire you to book a trip to India — and we will not cover the cost of the ticket. Make a reservation at Sambar.

Alternative Burgers

Sepia, Chicago, Illinois
We want this burger baaad. Sorry, couldn’t resist. The Middle Eastern-inspired round is made with lamb and finished off with pickled eggplant, fiery harissa aioli, and feta crumbles. Make a reservation at Sepia.

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