Cocktail O’Clock: What’s Up Doc?

I’m officially obsessed with ginger beer. You used to only see it utilized in a good old Moscow mule, but I increasingly find it turning up in all kinds of cocktails, from rum-based drinks to poptails. As far as I’m concerned, it’s all good.

Here’s one of the most creative uses of ginger beer I’ve seen yet — combined with carrots and cognac for one killer cocktails from Kevin Diedrich of Jasper’s Corner Tap & Kitchen in San Francisco.

What’s Up Doc?

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Cocktails Gone Spherical

Now that “handcrafted” cocktails have become about as commonplace as craft beer, bartenders and bloggers are looking for new ways to impress. You might think molecular mixology is gimmicky, but you gotta admit that these 8 cocktail spheres look pretty amazing.

 1. Old Fashioned In the Rocks

At Grant Achatz’ Aviary in Chicago the old fashioned comes neat — very neat. Drinkers get to smash the sphere open and watch the drink explode out.

2. Spherical Pickleback

Just about every bar in Brooklyn now serves a pickleback (a shot of whiskey backed by a shot of pickle juice). Only Do or Dine—home of the foie gras donut—serves a molecular pickleback, whereby the back — the spherical ball of pickle juice — explodes inside your mouth.

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Not Your Average Easter Eggs

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or you know, aren’t an East Coast elitist food snob), you know that deviled eggs are trendy. But you couldn’t show up to Easter Brunch with just plain old deviled eggs, now could you?

No, you couldn’t. But never fear, chef Adam Carpenter of Jasper’s Corner Tap and Kitchen in San Francisco has three original recipes for deviled eggs: one that uses the season’s bounty (spring peas!), one that gets creative with a classic recipe, and one that is just right for ESers (bacon!)

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America’s Best New Sandwiches — 2012

You want sandwiches? We got sandwiches. Last year, Endless Simmer’s post on America’s Top 10 New Sandwiches was our most-read story of 2011, and even helped turn The New Luther into a bit of a sell-out phenomenon. But America’s sandwich artisans haven’t stopped innovating, and we haven’t stopped salivating. So here we go, for your drooling-at-work pleasure, this year’s list of America’s top 10 craziest, loveliest, cheesiest, most creative new sandwiches.

10. The Noble Pig —  Noble Pig Sandwiches, Austin

Texas may be best known for its beef, but perhaps not for long, if chefs John Bates and Brandon Martinez have anything to say about it. Their year-and-a-half-old Noble Pig serves up a namesake sandwich that somehow combines everything that is beautiful about pork products on one truly outstanding sandwich. Tender pulled pork, spicy slivers of ham, and crispy bits of bacon are all mixed together, topped with provolone cheese, and served on toasted, house-baked bread, for a porky trifecta that hits all of the spots. (Photo: Marshall Wright)

9. Pane et Panelle — Bar Stuzzichini, New York

Chickpeas may get typecast as functioning only in falafel form, but it turns out balls aren’t all they can do. Panelle is actually an old Sicilian street food snack—chickpeas and flour formed into light, airy strips and fried in olive oil. Stuzzichini‘s sandwich revives that classic and perfects it, layering crispy strips of panelle on a sesame-studded bun, in between levels of soft ricotta and caciocavallo cheeses. The result is a light-but-addictive sandwich that will make you curse every overly dense falafel wrap that has crossed your lips.

8. Chicharrones Banh Mi — Ink Sack, Los Angeles

There are a million banh mis in American nowadays, but we were most swept away by this version from Top Chef champ Michael Voltaggio. At his new Ink Sack sandwich shop, tender slices of pork belly and pork butt are topped with pickled vegetables, plus the kicker — crispy chicharróne fried pork rinds, creating one incredible multi-culti pork bomb.

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Top 10 New Foods of 2011

Another year gone by, another chance to look back fondly at the thousands of things we stuffed our faces with in 2011. After much internal debate, we’ve narrowed it down to just 10 — the very best new things we shoved in our mouths in 2011.

10. Tater Tot Poutine

Montreal’s greasiest, gravy-iest contribution to the food world, poutine officially became a trend back in 2010. It got even more amazing this year when chef Kyle Bailey of D.C.’s ChurchKey had the ingenious idea to replace the french fries with tater tots.

9. Kouign Amann

We first discovered this over-the-top traditional pastry, which is something like a croissant with twice as much butter and sugar, on a trip to Brittany, France this summer. Returning home, we were pleased to find it blowing up in the states. The best version we’ve tasted to far is the one above, from Starter Bakery in Oakland. It has also popped up at Dominique Ansel in New York and Bouchon Bakery in L.A.

8. Nouveau Filipino

Filipino food is among the most far-out in the world, so it was only a matter of time before it got a hipster update. From Adobo Hobo’s Filipino tacos in San Francisco to Maharlika’s spicy arroz caldo in New York (above), we’ll take all the creative Filipino cuisine we can get.

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Cocktail O’Clock: Happy Repeal Day

The worst thing about Monday is that even though it’s universally acknowledged as the hardest day of the week, it’s somehow also the one on which it’s least socially acceptable to drink.

But wait a minute — us boozehounds have the upper hand this week, because Monday marks the 78th anniversary of the repeal of prohibition, which we’re pretty sure is a national holiday. Enjoy this original cocktail recipe — The Rodriguez Sour — from Kevin Diedrich of Jasper’s Corner Tap & Kitchen in San Francisco, or find your favorite poison in Endless Cocktails.

Rodriguez Sour

2 oz Partida Blanco tequila
.75 oz Lime
.75 oz Pineapple juice
.5 oz Jalapeno syrup
.25 oz Green Chartreuse

Shake all ingredients together.

Strain and pour into a rocks glass.

Garnish with slices of jalapeño.

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