Shots Shots Shots: Follow These Top Mixologists on Instagram for Better Cocktail Pics

Mixologists of Instagram

Scrolling through your Instagram feed can make you thirsty. That’s because mixologists have flocked to the photo sharing service since it debuted in 2010, using it as a forum to showcase their most striking cocktails, share recipes, and give patrons a virtual peek behind the bar. Here are six top mixologists to follow on Instagram if you’re looking for inspiration on what to drink next.

Melisa Lapido, aka @melis_boozy_cure, of 31 Supper Club, Ormond Beach, Florida

“Garnishing is a passion for me,” says Lapido. “I treat it like adult arts and crafts.”

The results are wow-worthy and usually earn her hundreds of likes. She uses a broad array of techniques to add pop to her potables – from trimming a lemon peel with a ravioli cutter so it becomes lacey to creating unique ice components.

These eye-catching creations have translated into surging bar sales. “It’s amazing how many people come into the bar and tell me they saw something on Instagram that they want me to make,” she says. “Fresh fruit changes daily, so they might not get the exact same thing, but it gives me a sense of their palate.”

Pro Tip: “I like shooting against dark or black backgrounds, because it highlights the colors of the drink.”

Mixologists of Instagram

Rhys Alvarado, aka @rhyseespieces, of Burritt Room + Tavern, San Francisco, California

Rhys Alvarado got on Instagram three years ago to find out what his fellow mixologists were doing and to promote his own work. “If you don’t publicize your stuff, you get lost,” he says. “It’s about keeping the bar relevant in such a dynamic scene with so many openings.”

He has a soft spot for showcasing vintage glassware in his photos, such as antique coupes, Collins glasses with frosted etching, and crystal Old Fashioned tumblers. He’s equally focused on his garnish game, which heavily focuses on fresh fruit. If it’s not perfect, he won’t bother posting the pic. “I saw on a Corona ad the other day featuring a lime with brown edges in it,” he says. “I would be peeved if that was in my Instagram shot.”

Pro Tip: “Don’t post after midnight because no one will see it. I don’t post in the morning either because people aren’t thinking about drinking unless they have a problem. Posting at one or two in the afternoon is great because that’s when people start making plans for the evening.”

Mixologists of Instagram

Jose “Chuck” Rivera, aka @chucktending, of barmini, Washington, D.C.

“Every cocktail is a piece of art,” says Rivera. “People fall in love with a drink visually first.”

To ensure it’s love at first sight, he spends a lot of time working on his garnishes. He aims to use components that are “edible and beautiful,” such as a black olive wrapped in ibérico ham, lavender blossoms, and parsley ice.

Almost every cocktail pic is accompanied by the drink’s recipe because Rivera feels it’s important to share the craft and allow followers to try it at home if they’d like.

Pro Tip: “Playing with colors is really important. I don’t want a red cocktail with a red garnish on a red napkin. That’s too flat. Mix it up.”

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Sweet! 13 Top NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2016 Desserts

NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2016 kicks off on July 25th and runs through August 19th. Diners can save at hundreds of the city’s best restaurants with three-course $29 lunches and $42 dinners — which include dessert, arguably the best part of any meal. Here we present 13 of our top picks for meal enders sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Banana Pudding at Miss Lily’s
Chef Adam Schop created Miss Lily’s famous, creamy, and decadent banana pudding. It comes layered with freshly cut bananas and delicious vanilla wafers for some added texture. Make an NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2016 reservation at Miss Lily’s.

NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2016

Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée at David Burke Kitchen
The classic vanilla bean crème brûlée gets a seasonal twist from executive pastry chef Tracy Wilk with the addition of summery strawberry rhubarb jam and lemon thyme cookies. Make an NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2016 reservation at David Burke Kitchen.

NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2016

Devil’s Food Cake at The Dutch
The name aside, the devil’s food cake from pastry chef Summer Bailey makes us feel positively angelic. Served with an elegant quenelle of vanilla ice cream, it’s a sin to skip this one. Make an NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2016 reservation at The Dutch.

NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2016

Key Lime Pie at Charlie Palmer Steak
Savor the sweet and sour flavors of this summertime delight. Graham crumb, chantilly cream, and raspberry round things out in this version from executive chef Ryan Lory. Make an NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2016 reservation at Charlie Palmer Steak.

NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2016

Torta della Nonna at Tarallucci e Vino
This translates to grandma’s cake (and you wouldn’t want to disappoint her — or executive chef Cara Hermanson — by not ordering it). This quintessential Italian specialty is both delicate and delicious, filled with thick custard and topped with pine nuts and a sugary glaze. Make an NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2016 reservation at Taralluci e Vino.

NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2016

Molyvos Sundae at Molyvos
Executive chef Carlos Carretto gives the traditional ice cream sundae a Greek accent with baklava ice cream, Samos caramel, walnuts, and shredded sesame halva served in phyllo dough. Make an NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2016 reservation at Molyvos.

NYC restaurant Week Summer 2016

Chocolate Genoise at The Liberty Room at Aureole
Sponge cake gets an assist from coconut marshmallow and coconut ice cream in chef Renaud Besnard’s spin on this French favorite. Make an NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2016 reservation at The Liberty Room at Aureole.

NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2016

Sherbet Parfait at STK Midtown
Keep things fresh with this refreshing sorbet trio with a berry compote and almond crumble – perfect for summer indulging, courtesy of executive chef Andy Kitko. Make an NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2016 reservation at STK Midtown.

NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2016

Maple Syrup Pie at Left Bank
It’s like breakfast for dessert with this ender from chef Laurence Edelman. Slathered in dark amber maple syrup and accompanied with cider cookies and creme fraiche, this Canadian-inspired dessert is always on the menu Left Bank. Make an NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2016 reservation at Left Bank.

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Boozy Popsicles: 7 Alcohol-Amped, Adults-Only Frozen Treats

Torn between a fresh-from-the-freezer sweet treat or an ice-cold cocktail as the best way to cool down this summer? Now you don’t have to choose because clever bartenders are adding a hit of hooch to pops in a rainbow of colors. Here are 7 boozy popsicles guaranteed to give you a buzzy brain freeze.

Nacional 27, Chicago, Illinois
Are you more of a Crockett or a Tubbs? Ordering the Miami Vice paleta allows you to indulge your fantasy of being either one of the pastel-prone policeman. The vibrant pop is a mix of strawberry daiquiri and piña colada. Playing Jan Hammer’s iconic theme song to the show on your iPhone while you’re slurping one down is perfectly acceptable, but doing air drums is forbidden. Make a reservation at Nacional 27.

Boozy Popsicles

Gracias Madre, West Hollywood, California
Knock back too many of these boozy popsicles and you just may wake up to find yourself somewhere in Mexico wearing little more than a sombrero. The svelte-but-deadly cocktail on a stick is made with tequila blanco, roasted pineapple, and jalapeño to add a kick of capsaicin. If you do overindulge, make sure you take a selfie of yourself in that sombrero, as it would make an unforgettable Instagram profile pic. Make a reservation at Gracias Madre.

Boozy Popsicles

Cindy’s, Chicago, Illinois
Every Saturday, executive pastry chef Jove Hubbard sells popsicles out a takeaway window on Michigan Avenue. Call it a pop pop-up. There will always be one boozy selection, such as his piña colada enriched with Hamilton Jamaican Pot Still Black Rum. Not included: a paper umbrella or slice of pineapple. Make a reservation at Cindy’s.

Boozy Popsicles

Del Frisco’s Grille, Washington, D.C.
How do you improve on sangria when it’s already the ideal summertime sipper? You turn it into an icy pop, that’s how. Made with pinot grigio, peach schnapps, strawberry puree, and peach chunks, it’s equally breezy and boozy. Make a reservation at Del Frisco’s Grille.

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The Menu at Oriole Chicago: Behind the Windy City’s Hottest Tasting Experience

The 13th of 15 courses to arrive at the table of fine-dining West Loop newcomer Oriole is “Gianduja.” Named for a milk chocolate composed of 30% hazelnuts, it is technically a cheese course that’s meant to be picked up and eaten in one or two bites. It vaguely resembles a cheese board — a thin pretzel lavash dolloped with hazelnut chocolate cremeux, Raclette cheese, and black currant sorbet with fragrant nasturtium and dots of lavender gastrique. And in a previous version, it was. But, like everything on the menu at this imaginative restaurant from executive chef/owner Noah Sandoval (of the now-shuttered Senza) and pastry chef-partner Genie Kwon (Boka, Eleven Madison Park), it evolved.

“(The Gianduja) is a pretty big evolution from how we first presented the cheese course, literally, on a wood board,” says Kwon. “But we kind of took that philosophy of taking things with really delicious flavors on their own, making them taste as much like themselves as possible, then combining, re-hashing, and improving them. The guest gets all these flavors in one bite that holds together miraculously.”

oriole chicago

It was a group effort — involving discussions weighing whether to combine the cheese and chocolate courses and how to make the Raclette taste more Raclette-y (salt!), plus plenty of tinkering from sous chef-baker John Gorr (Publican Quality Meats) to create an edible ledge out of flatbread.

But collaboration and constant fine-tuning are the pillars of this intimate, 28-seat restaurant and its $175 tasting menu. For the four friends behind Oriole — Sandoval, Kwon, general manager Cara Sandoval (Sandoval’s wife), and sous chef Tim Flores — it represents the realization of Sandoval’s longtime dream for a restaurant with “as many courses as it takes” to fulfill and stretch the team creatively, while also simply “making guests happy.”

“It’s food we’re excited about, that we would want to eat,” he says.

Like other tasting menus, there are crescendos — like the salty, acidic steelhead trout capped with smoked roe and served with artichoke-marjoram broth. Seasons play a part in what appears on the plate, too, though Sandoval notes, “You’d never see me change the entire menu for spring or fall — that scares me.”

Oriole Chicago

There are also plenty of seeming miscalculations that make total sense in actuality. For instance, the house sourdough arrives smack dab in the middle of the meal — “to bring your palate back down a bit” between a brightly acidic Alaskan king crab course and that smoky, salty trout. Creamy, umami-rich uni is followed by even more decadent foie gras. But for Sandoval, who cut his teeth dazzling diners at Michelin-starred (and undetectable for many) gluten-free Senza, it’s as much about how things flow together as what constitutes them individually.Continue Reading