Tag Archives: craft whiskey

Hudson Valley Cider pairing with Maille mustard Rarebit

My fridge is often filled with remnants of current projects, tastings and swag scored from recent events I’ve attended. Often these ingredients come together to create a impromptu meal on those late nights after work when I’m just too tired to shop for dinner.

Bad Seed Bourbon Barrel Aged Cider

Bad Seed Bourbon Barrel Aged Cider

Having recently finished a cider project I’m still swimming in delicious offerings, my favorites being the barrel aged beauties from Bad Seed Cider in Highland, NY. Bad Seed’s Bourbon barrel aged cider has just enough of a whiskey edge to appeal to my spirit loving side while being a stellar choice in cider. A bit edgy, and full of flavor, yet dry with a fabulous long finish. Pouring myself a glass after a long night I pondered what I could come up with to accompany it. Well apples and cheddar are a natural right?

Using some English Cheddar left over from a recent tasting, and a bit of Maille mustard I’d acquired at an event to launch Maille’s new NYC location in the Flatiron in NYC, I whipped up one of my childhood favorites with a few updates, Rarebit.

Rarebit is often made with dark beer and dry mustard but this version uses cider and Maille Dijon for a tasty twist. Maille makes a number of different mustards that could work in this dish but I prefer the original. The apple flavors play well with the spicy Dijon and salty, savory cheddar.

Rarebit, a tasty, satisfying snack!

Rarebit, a tasty, satisfying snack!

I love Rarebit as a midnight snack especially when evening stretches into night and, usually, when overindulgence in alcohol has taken place. Rarebit is also good in the afternoon, as a light supper with a green salad and  is made in a jiffy as it can be made in advance, save for the final toasting. To get it just right, toast the bread on a baking sheet until each piece is evenly browned on top. Then turn the pieces over and toast them about half as much on the second side before adding the cheese.

Rarebit with Cider and Maille Dijon

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Maille Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • 1 1/2 cup Bad Seed Bourbon barrel aged cider
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, or to taste
  • 1 pound extra sharp white English Cheddar, Double Gloucester or other English cheese grated
  • 4 to 8 pieces lightly toasted bread
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped scallions


  • 1. Put butter in a saucepan over medium heat and, as it melts, stir in flour. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and very fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in mustard and cayenne, then whisk in cider and Worcestershire sauce.
  • 2. When mixture is uniform, turn heat to low and stir in cheese and scallions, again stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and pour into a heatproof container to set (you can refrigerate for up to a day at this point).
  • 3. Spread mixture thickly on toast and put under broiler until bubbly and edges of toast are crisp. Serve immediately.
  • Enjoy

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Filed under cheese pairings, cocktail recipes, Food and Wine Porn, irish cheese, NYC recipes culture, whiskey pairings, wine and food culture, Wine Pairing Recipes

Boozy Brooklyn Egg Cream; A childhood favorite for adults only

Sammy's Romanian table side egg cream!

Sammy’s Romanian table side egg cream!

I love egg creams! Whether crafted from vanilla (Manhattan style) or made with Fox’s U-Bet chocolate syrup (Brooklyn style) they are a favorite treat with a long history. Traditionally they contain no egg or cream, just the perfect ratio of frosty cold milk, bubbly seltzer and sweet syrup. The inventor of this NY iconic beverage remains a mystery but mentions date back to the 1880s, with one possibly theory that it was based on a try at recreating a favorite French drink enjoyed by Yiddish theatre poineer Boris Thomashevsky in Paris. Another popular theory is it was created on accident by Louis Auster. In the 1890s Brooklyn candy shop owner Louis Auster sold hundreds of egg creams a day, he even had his own secret recipe for chocolate syrup that he took to the grave.

Today, Sammy’s Romanian, my favorite NYC kitsch palace, turns this simple classic into a table side presentation, ending with a drizzle of Fox’s U-Bet swirled on your table. Eisenberg’s, one of NYC’s oldest deli counters serves countless egg creams paired with their deli sandwiches to happy customers daily. Down in the East Village Gem Spa newsstand is a stop on more than one food tour searching for the perfect egg cream!

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Boozy delicious egg cream!

When I first tasted Kings County Distillery’s chocolate corn whiskey I immediately though of trying my hand at egg cream greatness, but, with a boozy twist. This unusual whiskey, made in Brooklyn, is crafted from a blend of 80% NY state organic corn and 20% malt barley. After distillation it is infused with ground cacao bean husks from Mast Brothers Chocolate factory, also in Brooklyn. Smooth and rich it tastes like a bitter, silky, dark chocolate, without any sweetness. I honestly didn’t think I’d ever have a need for chocolate whiskey, but, this is truly a phenomenal tipple that is perfect on its own or for mixing. Combining the rich chocolate flavor with vanilla I found adult egg cream heaven! Serve the traditional way with a salty pretzel on the side and enjoy a classic with a twist!

Boozy Egg Cream

4 ounces ice cold whole milk

1.5 ounces Kings County chocolate whisky

4 ounces chilled seltzer

2 tablespoons vanilla syrup

Blend milk, whiskey and 1 tablespoon syrup in fountain glass. Pour in seltzer, stir and drizzle additional syrup on top.

King's County Chocolate Whisky

Kings County Chocolate Whisky

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Filed under Cocktails and Spirits, NYC recipes culture, Travel, whiskey pairings, wine and food culture, Wine Pairing Recipes

Springsational Sparkling Cocktails!

It’s getting warmer outside! For me that means more sparkling wine and one of my favorite warm weather wines Rose! I’ve created two refreshing springsations that are a great way to start any evening or celebration!Fire up the BBQ, sit back, relax and dream of summer. Enjoy with Grilled Salmon, Goat Cheese and Beet Salad or BBQ Chicken with Cherry Chipolte Sauce!

Sparkling Springtini-
To 1 shaker filled with crushed ice add- 1/2 oz Orange Vodka, 1/2 oz Cointreau Liquor, 2 dashes of Fee Brothers Rhubarb Bitters. Stir and strain into martini glass. Fill with chilled Sparkling Rose. I like Gruet Rose but you can use any dry fruity sparkling rose! Garnish with orange slice and edible flowers petal.

Sparkling Spring-Get Your Mojo On-Ito
To 1 shaker filled with ice add 1/4 oz Roses Lime Juice, 1/2 oz Limoncello , 2 dashes Fee Brothers mint bitters. Strain into martini glass, add sugar cube and fill with dry sparkling wine. I like Cristalino Cava but your favorite dry brut sparkling will work. Garnish with slice of lime and a fresh basil leaf.

Fee Brothers Bitters are available online- http://www.feebrothers.com

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Artisan Rye Whiskey, Ginger, Apple, Star Anise Cocktail Pairing with Louisiana Cheese Plate for Superbowl

I’ve decided this year instead of doing a wine or beer pairing for Superbowl my drink of choice for the day will be a tasty infused whiskey based drink.This spicy sweet exotic drink will pair well with most Asian or Thai foods, smoked salmon or a Southern style pulled pork.
In honor of all the Saints fans I suggest checking out Chef John Folse’s Bittersweet Plantation Louisiana cheeses (available at Whole Foods), adding some Vermont aged cheddar, honey spice glazed pecans and some hearty brown breads for a great game day pairing! You can add an apricot/orange marmalade along with a few whole grain mustard’s, sliced cured ham and local honey to vary the flavors and combinations.

I’ve used Tuthilltown rye whiskey for my version but you can substitute any good whisky if it’s not available in your area. Enjoy and have a great game day!

Artisan Whiskey Ginger Cocktail
1/2 lb fresh ginger, peeled
6 allspice berries
2 whole star anise
1/2 cup apple juice
1 c sugar
1 bottle Tuthilltown Rye Whiskey
Soda water

Grate ginger using a coarse grater. In a large saucepan, combine 8 cups cold water with ginger, allspice, and star anise. Bring to a boil, lower heat and cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in apple juice and sugar and continue heating till all sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Pour the mixture through a fine sieve into a pitcher and refrigerate until well chilled. To serve, pour over ice,using a combination of 2/3 ginger mixture and 1/3 soda water. Add 1 oz whiskey for each 8 oz serving. Garnish with cherry and orange

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