Corn Dogs Gone Gourmet

State fair season may still be several months away, but at ES we think about corn dogs 24/7/365. Now, here’s a corn dog even ya’ll uppity foodies won’t be ashamed to embrace.

Chef Kyle Rourke of Red Star Tavern in Portland has been giving corn dogs all kinds of gourmet upgrades, serving rabbit corn dogs with carrot-habanero dip, lobster corn dogs with mango relish, and venison corn dog with fig preserve. We asked him to share a recipe for one from his menu that’s just slightly more acceptable for home cooks.

Chicken Kielbasa Corn Dogs

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Cocktail O’Clock: The Gringo

It’s a billion and one degrees outside. Does that call for a frosty beer? Or a cold glass of juice? Maybe a shot of tequila? How about all three?  Red Star Tavern in Portland, Oregon is now serving The Gringo, a beer-based cocktail that will make you forget all about the heat.

The Gringo

1.5 oz. silver tequila (100% agave)
.5 oz. St. Germain elderflower liqueur
1 oz. grapefruit juice
1 Double Mountain Vaporizer Pale Ale (or your favorite pale ale)

Shake tequila, elderflower, and grapefruit with ice. Strain over fresh ice.  Top off with pale ale. Serve in a salt-rimmed glass with a grapefruit twist.

For more summertime cocktail recipes, check out Endless Cocktails

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Top 10 New Things to Put in Your Drink

We’ve certainly never been against drinking here at ES — it just traditionally takes a back seat to eating. However, in the last year we’ve found ourselves getting more and more excited about cocktails — because every time we go out we discover our favorite ingredients have migrated from the plate to the glass. From fruits and vegetables to spices and more, here are our top 10 favorite new things to mix in our drinks.

10. Saffron

A saffron ice cube anchors the Venetian, one of several new food-inspired cocktails at Tulio in Seattle.

Not just for paella anymore, the Spanish spice has started showing up in cocktail glasses, too. Saffron Restaurant and Lounge in Minneapolis has mixed the pricier-than-gold flakes into saffron-mango mojitos, saffron-blood orange martinis, and their current offering, the gin-based Saffron Rose. Tulio, an Italian restaurant in Seattle, recently introduced The Venetian — a vodka cocktail poured over an orange-y saffron ice cube. For those experimenting at home, the folks over at Video Jug have a video on how to mix a saffron vodka martini. (Tulio photo: Evan Johnson)


9. Beets

Fresh beet juice, ginger and vodka make up the Beetnik at Colorado's Dogwood Cocktail Cabin.

It’s hard to make a drink look more dramatic than when filled up with bright red beet juice, as in the beet sangria at New York’s Tailor or the Beetnik, a vodka-ginger-beet concoction served at Crested Butte, Colorado’s Dogwood Cocktail Cabin. Meanwhile, the gals at The Humble Kitchen have a recipe for their own tequila-based Beetnik. (Dogwood photo: eenwall)

8. Mole

Mole bitters liven up the Palermo Gentleman at Death + Co. in New York.

Mexico’s spicy-sweet chocolate treat is making the surprising transition from tamales to cocktails via Bittermens Bitters newest product, Xocolatl Mole Bitters. A neat way to add quite a substantial kick to any drink, the mole bitters are showing up in new cocktails like the tequila-based Chipilo at Brooklyn’s Buttermilk Channel and several options at Manhattan’s Death + Co. (Photo: Vidiot)

7. Sriracha

Every Top Chef contestant’s favorite secret ingredient can save a cocktail menu too, as in “El Scorcho,” a fiery mix of habanero infused vodka, sriracha, and jalapeno foam at Bend, Oregon’s Blacksmith restaurant. The sauce also makes a great replacement for Tabasco in bloody Marys — the blog White on Rice Couple has a great recipe, and if you want to get super-serious, check out their instructions on how to make sriracha from scratch. (Photo: White on Rice Couple)

6. Chinese Five Spice

A Chinese five spice grilled lemon garnishes the Fortune Teller at Bar Pleiades in New York.

Another ingredient Chinese chefs may be shocked to discover in American cocktails, C5S is showing up both as a garnish, as in the Fortune Teller drink served at the Surrey Hotel‘s new Bar Pleiades in New York, and as the basis of a drink, such as Imbibe magazine’s Five-Spice Fizz. (Photo: Bar Pleiades)

Next: Top 5 New Things to Put in Your Drink

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