Drinks

Go For Gold! 10 Golden Recipes for the Olympics

Summer 2016 is here, which means it’s finally Olympic season! There’s nothing like getting so engrossed in a race, match or gymnastics routine that you end up burning dinner on the stovetop… oh wait, does that only happen to me? Sure, we could all try to eat like Olympic athletes this time of year in solidarity with Team USA — superfood cereal, anyone? — but here’s something a little more fun to try: 10 golden recipes! That’s right; mashed potatoes, pizza, cake and more are all fair game here. And we threw in some bonus silver and bronze cocktails, because those are pretty great, too.

Golden Tomato Soup

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The 10 best smoothies: store-bought vs homemade

As the weather gets warmer, we find ourselves craving smoothies all the time. So what did we do about it? We taste-tested over 100 store-bought smoothies to find the very best ones! In the Battle of the Bottled, we found five awesome winners available at your local supermarket— check them out in our June 2016 issue. But if you’re more of a DIY type, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite homemade smoothie recipes, too. Slurp’s up!

Best Tropical

Store-bought: Evolution Fresh Defense UpStick a tiki umbrella in this combo of pineapple, mango and orange juices. It has no artificial sweeteners and delivers 310% of your recommended daily amount of vitamin C per serving. ($4.99 for 15.2 oz.)

Homemade: Kiwi-Pineapple SmoothiesIf you love tart and fruity smoothies, this one’s for you. Try adding coconut milk to make it more like a piña colada.

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5 summer sippers for Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day Weekend is right around the corner! Cue the sun emoji, beach emoji, dancing-lady emoji, sunglasses-guy emoji, etc. Once you’ve survived the insane traffic, you deserve a pat on the back and a nice stiff drink. So sit back, relax, and pour yourself one of these warm-weather cold ones — summer is finally here!

Cucumber Gin & Tonic

Upgrade your garnish by slicing your cuke crosswise and snaking it around the glass. This cucumber just got even cooler!

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The Year of the Vegetable: Cocktails and Desserts

We’ve declared 2016 to be The Year of the Vegetable, and eating your veggies has never been easier (or tastier!). We’ve shown you how to take veggies from side to main in the tastiest ways possible: build-your-own bowls, good-for-you tacos, and the best-ever veggie burger. For the final part of this package, we’re switching gears to our favorite veg-forward indulgences: cocktails and desserts! Make Happy Hour even happier and decadent desserts even more special with these healthy recipes.

 

Green-Tomato Mojito

When it comes to tomatoes, think beyond the Bloody Mary. Matthew Biancaniello, author of Eat Your Drink, muddles Day-Glo Green Zebra tomatoes in his mojito. They have “the perfect balance of fruitiness and acidity,” he says.

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How to Host Happy Hour for Less

Be your own bartender with a top-notch, five-bottle home bar that lets you make pretty much any popular cocktail and costs only $100. We’ll drink to that!

 

Five spirits experts share the bottles that deliver the best bang for your Benjamin. Try these pro picks to make your living room the best bar in town!

Rum

Plantation 3 Stars White Rum ($18 for 750 ml)

“This is one of my favorite white rums for any budget. An aged blend of Caribbean rums, it adds hints of tropical fruit to any drink, especially a daiquiri.” —Blair Reynolds, owner of bar and restaurant Hale Pele in Portland, OR 

Another great pick

Boozy Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum will wake up a mai tai—or any tiki drink. ($19 for 750 ml)

 

Gin

Citadelle Gin ($25 for 750 ml)

“Leave it to the French to come up with a delightfully flavorful gin. (No wonder: it’s made with nearly 20 herbs, roots, spices and flowers.) It pairs particularly well with citrus. One Tom Collins, please.” —Paul Clarke, author of The Cocktail Chronicles 

Another great pick 

Juniper-heavy Gordon’s London Dry Gin is a steal, and ideal in a gin and tonic. ($13 for 750 ml)

 

Tequila

Pueblo Viejo Blanco ($18 for 750 ml)

“This blanco tequila (which isn’t aged) is distilled in a traditional way. It has a citrusy, earthy flavor that shines in a margarita.” —Courtenay Greenleaf, corporate beverage director at Rosa Mexicano restaurants 

Another great pick 

Spicy Cimarrón Blanco offers fresh agave flavor. ($20 for 750 ml)

 

Vodka

Tito’s Handmade Vodka ($21 for 750 ml)

“Corn-based Tito’s is one of the most bright- tasting, clean vodkas around—which is why it’s so delicious on the rocks or in a martini. I also love that it’s from Austin, my hometown.” —Christina Cabrera, bar consultant at San Francisco’s Barbarossa Lounge 

Another great pick

Crisp Gruven Handcrafted Vodka, made from wheat and rye, is a cocktail go-to. ($11 for 750 ml)

 

Bourbon

W. L. Weller Special Reserve ($18 for 750 ml)

“I don’t make cocktails with anything I wouldn’t drink on its own. This bourbon has a sophisticated sweetness balanced by a fiery kick, which makes it great neat and in a mixed drink.” —Michael Neff, bar director at NYC’s Holiday Cocktail Lounge 

Another great pick 

Aged in charred oak barrels, Jim Beam Black is just as complex as pricier bourbons. ($22 for 750 ml)

 

By Joshua M. Bernstein; Photography by Aaron Dyer

 

7 Creative Ways to Celebrate National Drink Wine Day

Though we rarely need an excuse to drink wine, here’s a good one: It’s National Drink Wine Day! While a nice glass of red will certainly do the trick, a holiday like this deserves something a little more special, like a sparkling cocktail or a wintry mulled punch. And while you’re add it, infuse your meal with some vino, too! As Julia Child once said, “I enjoy cooking with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food!”

 

Sparkling Berry Sangria

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Bar Basics: Know Your Bubbles!

Champagne, cava and prosecco all sparkle, but they’re not the same. Get to know them a little better with this handy cheat sheet.

 

Champagne

Hometown

The Champagne region in northern France

Best traits

Can be toasty and dry (i.e. not sweet); available in a range of colors, from light golden to pink

Perfect date

A special occasion. Champagne uses high-quality grapes and takes longer to age, so it’s often the most expensive of the three. Save it for the times when you really want to celebrate.

 

Cava

Hometown

The Catalonia region in northeast Spain

Best traits

Earthier, fruitier and often less expensive than Champagne

Perfect date

A weekend party with friends. The crowd-pleasing flavor and budget-friendly price makes this sparkling wine great for a group. And who says you have to start the party with bubbles? Spaniards sometimes serve cava after a meal.

 

Prosecco

Hometown

The Veneto region in northeast Italy

Best traits

Light, crisp and apple-y; usually the sweetest and least expensive of the three sparklers

Perfect date

A leisurely Sunday brunch. You can sip prosecco on its own, and it also makes a great cocktail mixer. Thanks to its super-affordable price and low alcohol, bottomless mimosas can be had by all!

 

No matter which bubbly you choose, you can whip up a killer cocktail for your New Years Eve party. Here are some of our faves:

Cranberry-Cava Sparklers

 
 

Double Orange Spritz

 
 

Pomegranate Lava Lamp

4 Cocktails to Keep You Cool

The dog days of summer are upon us, and while we’re all about keeping hydrated,  sometimes you need something stiffer. These cocktails are refreshing, delicious and super seasonal– you may even forget how hot it is after all!

Cucumber Gin and Tonic

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Chill Out with These Chilled Wine Cocktails

The best way to celebrate Wine Wednesday during the summer? Chill out! A bottle of white wine on ice is great, but a pitcher of sangria or a fruity spritz is even better. So try one of these deliciously cooling cocktail this evening, and Wine Wednesday may never be the same again.

 

Tropical White Sangria

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How to Make the Ultimate Mint Julep

The Kentucky Derby may be over, but its famous cocktail, the Mint Julep, lives on– it’s National Mint Julep Day! So in honor of this fresh and strong cocktail, we’re sharing our best recipe. T-G-I-Saturday, right?
 

The Ultimate Mint Julep

1 teaspoon confectioners sugar

5 fresh mint leaves, plus 1 mint sprig for garnish

1/2 cup bourbon (4 ounces)

Crushed ice

 

Directions

Add the sugar, the mint leaves and a few drops of the bourbon to a chilled glass. Muddle or crush the mint with a spoon to create a thick paste.

Add a handful of crushed ice to the glass. Place a straw so that it reaches the mint paste at the bottom of the glass. Pour the remaining bourbon over the ice.

Add more crushed ice, making a mound that reaches to the top of the glass and leaving about 1 inch of the straw peeking above the rim.

Garnish with a mint sprig.

 

For a fun twist on the Mint Julep, try our Rye Julep, with a hint of grapefruit!