Cocktails

Toast the Preakness with a Black-Eyed Susan

By Jessica MischnerGood EatsMay 15, 2015

Despite the mint julep’s high profile, the Derby isn’t the only Triple Crown race with its own cocktail. The Preakness has a signature libation, too. And at Baltimore’s annual post-run Winners Circle Wind Down, the Black-Eyed Susans taste a little different. That’s because Woodberry Kitchen mixologist, partner, and Director of Operations Corey Polyoka applies his restaurant’s regional, farm-driven ethos to the Preakness’s official cocktail. Instead of vodka—traditionally the drink’s primary spirit—his recipe uses Breuckelen rye. “I love rye and try to use it whenever I can for the historic tie,” he says. “So much rye has been made in the area in the past, and it’s starting to be produced around here again.” Rum goes in, as usual; Polyoka sources his from Lyon Distilling in nearby St. Michaels. Lightly acidic verjus, the sweet-tart pressed juice of unripened grapes, replaces store-bought sour mix (you can buy it here or you can sub in a mixture of lemon and lime juice), and pitted cherries add sweetness. “This version hits that same tropical note as the original,” Polyoka says, “but it’s more balanced and technique-driven.”

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Make this Now: Bayou Horchata

By Jed PortmanGood EatsDecember 23, 2014

Tis the season for milky refreshments of all sorts, from creamy eggnog to clarified milk punch. For Bobby Heugel, co-owner of the bar the Pastry War in Houston, it’s horchata season. Well, it’s always horchata season. Heugel deploys the pearlescent rice milk liberally at the Pastry War, a modern mezcaleria where aguas frescas and sal de gusano meet small-batch spirits on a menu of high-concept Texas Mexican cocktails.

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Corn Meets Corn Liquor

By Jed PortmanGood EatsSeptember 16, 2014

Bourbon wouldn’t be bourbon without corn. Literally. American law requires that any whiskey perched alongside the bottles of Maker’s Mark and Buffalo Trace at the liquor store come from a mash that is at least fifty-one percent corn, with a remainder of barley, wheat, or rye. So infusing the flavor of fresh corn into brown liquor made a sort of intuitive sense for Chris Spear, the Frederick, Maryland–based chef and culinary instructor who writes the blog Perfect Little Bites. “At first, I thought I’d just throw some corn into some bourbon and see if I could get the flavor I wanted,” he says. After some trial and error, he added a second step to the process: dosing the whiskey with a little melted butter, which leaves behind a tinge of flavor and a rich, silky texture

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