Serrano Mocha

Serrano Social Club owner, Tony Serrano, adapted his childhood hot chocolate into a coffee lover’s cocoa with this namesake mocha. Try using a local fruit honey, like blackberry, for added brightness and don’t skimp on the quality of the cocoa or milk.


8 oz. of organic whole milk
1 1/2 tsp. cocoa powder
1/2 Tbsp. of honey
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1 1/2 oz. freshly brewed espresso

Combine all ingredients, except espresso in a stainless steel pitcher. Grind, dose, tamp and pull your espresso into a coffee cup. Steam your milk to a velvety consistency while the shot pulls. Pour your mocha milk into the espresso, slowly lifting the crema to the top of the drink. Dust the top with just a hint of cocoa and chili powder (mostly for nose).


Tony Serrano, Serrano Social Club, Modesto, California








Almond Bing Fizz

One of our favorite flavor combos is cherry and almond, a delicious match-up that takes center stage in this soda, mixing fresh Bing cherries with almond syrup. A squeeze of lemon and a splash of soda water, and you’ve got the perfect summer refresher.

10 fresh Bing cherries, stems removed and pitted
1 1/4 oz. Sweetbird almond syrup
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
Soda water
Ice cubes
Tools: cherry pitter, muddler, shaker, strainer
Glass: Collins
Garnish: lemon twist or skewered cherry

In a shaker, muddle pitted cherries to a pulp. Add remaining ingredients, except soda and shake. Strain into an ice-filled glass and top with soda water. Garnish.






Homemade Chai

If the word “chai” makes you think more of a syrupy concentrate than of a decadently spiced and creamy tea, it may be time to trace this age-old beverage back to its roots. Masala chai, which literally translates to “spice tea,” is a blend of Indian black tea, Indian spices and milk. With ingredients thought to possess healing properties, many of the masala chai spices have been used as a part of the Hindu ayurvedic tradition for over 5,000 years. It was the British colonists’ addition of milk and sugar that finessed masala chai into the bold yet silky tea we drink today. This recipe, from Jesse Jacobs, owner of Samovar Tea in San Francisco, fuses the pungency of cardamom and ginger with unexpected spices, like saffron and licorice root, for a delicate, yet vibrant, chai. According to Jacobs, no two chai recipes are alike, and he encourages customizing the blend to suit your personal tastes. “Every Indian grandmother will give you a different authentic recipe,” Jacobs says. “If you like your chai with more caffeine, add more Darjeeling tea. If you want more spice, grate in extra ginger and add a few additional peppercorns. With chai, the options are truly limitless.” —Tracy Howard



1 Tbsp. Assam tea
1 tsp. Darjeeling tea
1 two-inch-long cinnamon stick
1 tsp. dried, shredded ginger root*
5 whole cloves
5 peppercorns, whole
2 cardamom pods, whole
1/4 tsp. shredded licorice root*
5 saffron threads

2 cups water

3 Tbsp. raw cane sugar

2 cups whole milk

* Jacobs recommends checking your local health-food store for hard-to-find ingredients



Saucepan with lid







Step by step photos by Stuart Mullenberg




Step 1

Combine all dry ingredients, except raw cane sugar, in a large bowl and set aside.



Step 2

In a large saucepan, boil 2 cups of water with 3 Tbsp. of raw cane sugar; stir to dissolve sugar.




Step 3

Add dry chai blend, stir to blend, and boil for 10 minutes.




Step 4

Add 2 cups of whole milk and watch closely as you barely bring it to a boil. Turn off heat when chai reaches a boil. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes.




Step 5

Strain tea into a teapot and serve.





Photos by Stuart Mullenberg

Homemade Blackberry Soda

Bike rides, flip-flops, beach trips and berries mean summer is definitely in high gear, and what better way to make the most of the season than by chilling out with a refreshing fruit soda? This homemade blackberry soda from 2009 James Beard Award winner Maria Hines, chef and owner of Tilth restaurant in Seattle, combines the delicate flavor of lemon verbena with ripe, jammy berries. Subtly herbal, with just the right amount of sweetness, this no-fuss soda is perfect for lazy afternoons on the porch or a backyard barbecue with friends.



1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup fresh lemon verbena leaves, loosely packed (if you can't find lemon verbana, you can substitute for another herb, such as thyme)
2 pints fresh, ripe blackberries
Ice cubes
Soda water (Hines uses Fever Tree)



Fine-mesh strainer
Slotted spoon
Large wooden spoon
Glass jar



spacer Step 1

Combine sugar, water and lemon verbena leaves in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.




Step 2

Remove verbena leaves with a slotted spoon and let  the syrup cool completely.




Step 3

In the blender, puree the blackberries until fruit makes a thick pulp.





Step 4

Strain blackberry juice into a jar by pressing blended fruit through a fine-mesh strainer with a large wooden spoon.





Step 5

Add the verbena syrup to the blackberry juice and stir well. This is the base for your soda and will keep refrigerated for one week.




Step 6

To serve, fill a Collins glass with ice and add 1 part of blackberry-lemon verbena juice to 3 parts club soda. Stir gently to combine and garnish with a sprig of lemon verbena and fresh blackberries. Serves 4.






Photo by Stuart Mullenberg

Imbibe's Five-Spice Fizz


1 oz. cranberry juice

1/2 oz. Chinese five-spice syrup (see below)

2 kumquats, cut in half

3–4 oz. kumquat Dry Soda

Ice cubes

Tools: muddler, shaker, strainer

Glass: flute

Garnish: fresh kumquat


Muddle kumquats in a shaker. Add ice, cranberry juice and syrup and

shake vigorously. Double-strain into a chilled glass, top with Dry Soda

and garnish.


Chinese Five-Spice Syrup
from Scott Beattie's Artisanal Cocktails (Ten Speed, 2008)


5 whole star anise pods

1 Tbsp. fennel seeds

1 3-inch cinnamon stick, broken into pieces

1 tsp. whole cloves

1 Tbsp. Szechuan peppercorns (available in most Asian markets or online)

2 2/3  cups simple syrup (dissolve 2 2/3 cups granulated white sugar into 2 2/3 cups  hot water and let cool)

2 tsp. honey


Process the spices to a coarse powder in a spice or coffee grinder. Heat a stainless steel pot over medium heat and toast the spices by shaking in the pan until they begin to smoke (this will only take a few seconds). Remove pan from the heat, shaking and tossing the spices repeatedly. Return the pan to the heat until spices begin to smoke again, remove from the heat and shake and toss the spices again. Repeat this step three more times, or until the spices are very aromatic. Once fragrant, add the simple syrup to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and add the honey. Simmer for five minutes, then remove from the heat. Let the mixture cool to room temperature and strain through a fine-mesh strainer. Makes 2 2/3 cups and will keep for up to one month in the refrigerator.




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