World Cocktail Day: Celebrate Like a Pro with Tips from Morgan Schick of Aaxte

May 13, 1806 marked the day that The Oxford Dictionary published and defined the word cocktail:

Cocktail (noun): An alcoholic drink consisting of a spirit or several spirits mixed with other ingredients, such as fruit juice, lemonade, or cream.”

We celebrate World Cocktail Day each year on the anniversary of that momentous day. But let’s be real; the cocktail has since become more than a simple wedding of ingredients and a flick of the wrist. To shed light on modern day cocktail menus and trends so that you can enjoy World Cocktail Day for all it has to offer, we sat down with Morgan Schick for a drink (or three!), the bar manager of revered San Francisco hotspot Trick Dog and the town’s newest Basque-inspired restaurant and bar Aatxe. A self-proclaimed charmer who openly admits to bringing his own liquor on long flights, Schick, who is part of the Bon Vivants, a nationally recognized cocktail, hospitality, marketing, and design firm, shares his secret recipe for understanding, mixing, and enjoying au courant cocktails.

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Have fun! Drinking is about a good time. Schick advises, “Take drinking seriously, but don’t be too serious.” Appreciate the craft and enjoy the art.

Ask the experts. “It’s hard to tell from a cocktail list if a drink will be sweet, sour, or bitter,” says Schick. Don’t hesitate to chat with the bartender, so you can feel confident about exactly what you’re ordering.

Write your own tale. A cocktail is an experience, not a drink. At Trick Dog, menus are conceptually themed and cocktails are named after colors, zodiac signs, and San Francisco landmarks. Give your home-mixed favorite a quirky twist by coining it after a memorable adventure, or order something extra exotic when out to make it a night to remember. Currently, the menu at Trick Dog is Chinese-themed, and anyone who dares to enter may order the Boduolige Shuang. Say what?  Count us in.Continue Reading

Mother’s Day Cocktails: 10 to Try as You Toast Mom

Blog Mom's Day Cocktails Founding Farmers Cucumber Delight copyAs you raise a glass to the special mom in your life on Mother’s Day, we invite you to think beyond the Bloody Mary. We’ve rounded up 10 refreshing craft Mother’s Day cocktails from some of the OpenTable 2015 Top 100 Best Brunch Restaurants in America to make Sunday even more delicious.

1. Absolutely Smashing at Lokal, Chicago, Illinois: Orange vodka, pineapple, and orange juice combine for a decidedly adult way to start the day.

2. The California Cooler at Great Maple, San Diego, California: Strained over ice, this cooler with fresh-pressed watermelon juice, mint, lemon press, agave, and organic Square One cucumber vodka will help you chill out.

3. Cucumber Delight at Founding Farmers, Tysons, Virginia: American Harvest vodka is mixed with the fresh flavors of Domaine de Canton, cucumbers, and cantaloupe (pictured).

4. Dirty Gertie at Gertrude’s, Baltimore, Maryland: Get down with a dirty blend of lemon peel-infused‏‏ Tito’s vodka, ‘dirty Gertie’ mix, Old Bay-dusted shrimp, and an Old Bay-seasoned rim.

5. Duck, Duck, Goose at Echo and Rig Steakhouse & Butcher Shop, Las Vegas, Nevada: With a blend of Ketel​ One Oranje and fresh pomegranate arils, and muddled with fresh lime juice, agave nectar, and mint bitters, this almost sounds like a health drink. Almost.

6. Pimm’s Cup at Rosebud, Atlanta, Georgia: Drink like the royal family with Pimm’s, lemonade, fresh citrus, mint, and cucumber. PS: Don’t forget to raise a glass to Charlotte.

7. Pistol Punsch at Root & Bone, New York, New York:  Sugar moonshine, black tea, cardamom, and pineapple come together for a Southern-style wake-up call on Mother’s Day.Continue Reading

Cheers to DC Cocktail Week, November 17-23

DC Cocktail WeekDiners in our nation’s capital take their cocktails as seriously as their politics — so you can be sure D.C. Cocktail Week is going to be seriously delicious. From November 17-23, enjoy a specially crafted cocktail paired with a delightful amuse bouche for one price to whet your appetite before dinner! Participating restaurants include America Eats Tavern, FiolaFounding Farmers, Penn Commons, STK, Wildfire, and many more. Pairings include an autumn harvest Manhattan and a roasted pumpkin arancini with a savory apple compote (Bastille), a “La Volpe” with picoletto of stracciatella with heirloom beets, house made apple butter and roasted walnuts (Casa Luca), the “Smoke on the Water” with a serrano jack sushi plate (Farmers Fishers Bakers), and a Framboise Goose draft cocktail paired with coconut shrimp (Mama Rouge), among others.

Book a table to taste these one-of-a-kind creations and toast to Washington, D.C.’s booming cocktail culture. Make a reservation.

 

Trending on OpenTable Restaurant Reviews: Smoke

smoke
I’m not sure how I feel about this, but here is a photo of a smoked salmon martini.

Smoke gets in your eyes — and it can also get in your food! While smoking fish and meats is likely as old as eating fish and meats, chefs and mixologists have been smoking other ingredients to add another layer of flavor to dishes and drinks. Find out what OpenTable diners are saying about this tasty technique.

Autre Monde, Berwyn, Illinois: “The braised short rib melted in my mouth, and the fresh chard accompaniment was perfect for a cool fall evening. Even better, the smoked lamb shank was to die for.”

Bar Tartine, San Francisco, California: “Standouts were roasted beets and another course of smoked potatoes — which had some of the most lovely smokey flavor I can recall.”

Cook Hall, Atlanta, Georgia: “Smoked Old Fashioned that arrives in a closed mason jar with smoke enclosed … ready to shake and infuse!”

* The Farm House, Nashville, Tennessee: “We started our night with the cornmeal-crusted quail and waffle with smoked honey, then the beet salad. Both were excellent.”

Fatty Cue, New York, New York: ” If you love smoked foods, this is the place for you — even the watermelon was smoked (and delicious)!”

Hakkasan, San Francisco, California: “Don’t miss the Shanghai dumplings and the fall-off-the-bone tea-smoked short rib.”

*  Maysville, New York, New York: “Gotta try the smoked oysters.”

Metropole, Cincinnati, Ohio: “The bread and smoked butter was very good — the highlight.”

Mile End Delicatessen, New York, New York: “Dinner stars that we tried include appetizers of fried artichokes, beet salad and chopped liver, entrees of smoked meat burger (messy to eat but worth the fight), grilled trout (who would’ve thunk!), and a sausage plate.”

Mistral, Princeton, New Jersey:  “Of the six dishes we ordered, these were the standouts: the corn arapa, which is like a cornbread pizza with a generous amount of duck confit and other delicious things as toppings, the smoked pappardelle with Brussels sprouts, which my husband wanted seconds of.”

Niche Restaurant, Clayton, Missouri: “Smoking egg, short rib, steak, cocktails, quality rolls and butter — all delicious.”

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