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Photo by Stuart Mullenberg

New England Buck

In creating this mocktail, Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli was looking for a way to marry warming winter notes with classic New England flavors. Combining a sage-juniper syrup with apple cider did the trick, and then he added ginger beer “to remind us in the winter months of the tropics, and also give a flavor that in and of itself is hot.”

 

4 oz. apple cider
1 oz. sage and juniper syrup (see below)
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
2 dashes Regans’ orange bitters (see tip)
Ginger beer
Ice cubes
Tools: shaker, strainer, barspoon
Glass: highball

Combine all ingredients with ice except the ginger beer and shake briefly to integrate ingredients. Strain into an ice-filled glass and top with ginger beer. Stir and serve.

 

Sage and Juniper Syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
5 fresh sage leaves
10 juniper berries (dried ones are available at many gourmet groceries)

Heat ingredients in a saucepan until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let sit 10 minutes, then strain into a clean glass container. Keeps refrigerated for up to a month.

 

Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli, Craigie on Main, Cambridge, Mass.

 

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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

 

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recipe_blackberry_soda

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.

 

Ingredients

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)

 

Tools

Blender
Fine-mesh strainer
Saucepan
Slotted spoon
Large wooden spoon
Glass jar

 


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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.

 

 

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Step 2

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

 

 

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Step 3

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

 

 

 

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Step 4

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

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

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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.

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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.

 

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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

 

Ingredients

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


Tools

Bowl

Saucepan with lid

Teapot

Strainer

Spoon

 

 

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Step by step photos by Stuart Mullenberg

 

 

Step1

Step 1

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

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Step2

Step 2

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

 

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Step3

Step 3

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

 

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Step4

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.

 

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Step5

Step 5

Strain tea into a teapot and serve.

 
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