behind the scenes

What We’re Drinking: the Beers Knees

There’s never a bad day to be part of our magazine’s food team, but it’s a particularly good day when you can kick back, relax and have one of the country’s best bartenders make you a cocktail. A few weeks ago, Ryan Magarian — the Portland, Oregon-based cocktail guru and co-founder of Aviation American Gin, — visited the Every Day with Rachael Ray test kitchen and whipped up some of his favorite warm-weather cocktails. We loved all the drinks, but the Beers Knees, a gin and wheat beer concoction, is the one we’ll be sipping all summer. Lucky for us, Ryan shared the recipe, so you can make this bubbly, citrusy drink for your next backyard cookout, concert in the park, beach barbecue– or wherever summer takes you.

 

 

 

Beers Knees

1 1/2 oz Aviation American Gin
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz Honey syrup*
3 oz Hefeweizen (Ryan is partial to Widmer Hefeweizen, a local brew)

 

Pour gin, lemon juice and honey syrup in a pint glass, fill with ice & shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled Collins glass (with or without ice). Top with Hefeweizen. Garnish with a lemon wedge

 

*To make honey syrup; stir equal parts honey and heated water and stir until the honey dissolves; let cool

 

 

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Behind the Scenes: Making Mezcal Cocktails

In our May issue, we explore tequila’s rival sibling, mezcal, a smoky, slow-roasted, double-distilled liquor also made from the agave plant. We tasted tons of mezcal cocktails from the country’s best bartenders and adapted two favorites–plus created one of our own! Go behind the scenes and explore our mezcal cocktail-making process. Then, get our fabulous cocktail recipe that was the result of one tasty testing session. ¡Salud!

Test Kitchen Associate, Charles Grayauskie and Test Kitchen Director, Janet McCracken doing some delicious research.

 

Lots of different ingredients go into making the perfect cocktail! The green Vida bottle (left) is actually many bartenders’ go-to mezcal: easy to find across the country and very easy to drink.

 

 Pouring up Old Major’s La Rosa Bonita

 

From our test kitchen, The Smokin’ Dog–our own riff on the Greyhound!

 

6 oz. fresh grapefruit juice (pink or yellow)

1 oz. mezcal

Splash of club soda

1 grapefruit twist

Fill a rocks glass with ice, then add grapefruit juice and mezcal. Stir to blend; top with a splash of club soda. Garnish with the grapefruit twist. Makes 1.

 

Flashback Friday: Rach’s Wedding!

To start off our weekly “Flashback Friday” series, why not share the most important day in Rachael’s life? Her wedding! Take a peek at some of the best shots, then see more here.

Rachael Ray's Wedding

Rach in her beautiful flowing wedding dress on top of the Tuscan castle, Castello di Velona, where the wedding was held.

Rachael Ray's Wedding

A cozy, peaceful place, Castello di Velona has beautiful 360-degree views. From every location you look out over cultivated, manicured land, dotted with grapevines.

Rachael Ray's Wedding

Rach and John embrace at the altar after they’ve recited their vows.

Rachael Ray's WeddingRachael with her mom Elsa and sister Maria, moments after the ceremony. See the kiss, the cake, the first dance and more beautiful moments.