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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Orphan Barrel Rhetoric 20 Year: Whisk(e)y Wednesday presented by Lock & Key

Orphan Barrel Rhetoric 20 Year
Orphan Barrel Rhetoric 20 Year
A new bourbon on the shelves at the Lock & Key Whiskey Bar, where I'll be hosting my Cutthroat Kitchen Viewing Party on August 10th, is the Orphan Barrel Rhetoric 20 year  ($23 at Lock & Key). This is the third whiskey in a series from Diageo under the Orphan Barrel moniker. Rhetoric was bottled in Tullahoma, Tennessee but it actually came from both the new and old Bernheim distilleries in Kentucky. The whiskey has an oaky and cigar-like sweetness nose while remaining delicate on the nostrils and almost masquerading as a Canadian counterpart. On the tongue the whiskey coats the mouth like warm butter and brings on a flavor of salted nuts. The greasy peanuts fade away into spices on the back of the tongue as the bourbon finishes with more of a 90 proof punch. The finish lingers long enough to be pleasant. While complex in a way, the Orphan Barrel Rhetoric is inconsistent from nose through the swallow in a way that shows little balance. It is overpowered by oak from the long aging process. Sure, it is old whiskey sourced from a Kentucky distillery, and I'd absolutely say it is worth a try for a whiskey nerd, I'm not sure you're really getting your bang for the buck.

Orphan Barrel Rhetoric 20 Year Bourbon
Average Score: 71.0


Whisk(e)y Wednesday is a blog post series on Bite and Booze sponsored by the Lock & Key Whiskey Bar. Lock & Key has one of Baton Rouge's best selections of bourbon, Scotch, Irish, and other whisk(e)ys available for on premise consumption. This WW feature was scored by Jay Ducote from Bite and Booze, Arthur Lauck from Lock & Key, and Jordan Lewis from tommysTV. Scores are marked for Nose, Taste, Finish, and Balance and Complexity using our own proprietary scoring system. Marks are then added and averaged, leaving us with a final score out of a 100 point scale. Our scale should be looked at on the full range of 0-100 rather than an academic range where 70 is passing and anything less is failing. A 50 should be considered a very mediocre whisk(e)y (though not undrinkable) while anything below 20 is absolute horse piss and anything above 80 is rather extraordinary and anything above 90 is world class.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Local Libations: Olive or Twist hosts Sweet Crude Rum Tasting

Sweet Crude Rum
Sweet Crude Rum




Olive or Twist is known for their ability to craft unbelievably delicious cocktails utilizing fresh ingredients and a flurry of inspiration. They're also known for great happy hour specials and the ever-popular weekly Wednesday free tastings! This Wednesday, July 30th from 7-9pm, Olive or Twist will be hosting Lafayette's Sweet Crude Rum. If you swing join the party you can taste the rum and sample some cocktails featuring Sweet Crude including their award-winning Hemingway Daiquiri. Rank Wildcat's distillers, David and Cole, will be there to tell you all about what they're doing in Lafayette, and the sample cocktails will be on the menu all day! Don't miss a great time with a wonderful Louisiana Rum.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

True Grit: 7 Places to get Shrimp & Grits in the Capital City

Shrimp and Grits is a typical Southern dish rumored to be the creation of South Carolina where it is often referred to as Low Country Shrimp. In Louisiana, we have a slightly different passion for shrimp and grits which can do you right for brunch or really any meal. Over the last couple months I gathered up a list of places in Baton Rouge you can get shrimp and grits any time and a few killer brunch spots as well. These restaurants displayed either a beautifully executed plate of gulf shrimp and grits or a creative twist on the dish that couldn't be ignored. So next time you get a hankering for ground corn and the bacon of the sea, look no further than these great spots in the Capital City:


L'Auberge Baton Rouge's 18 Steak: 777 L'Auberge Avenue

Creamy, hearty grits topped with delectable Louisiana shrimp? Count me in! The spicy tomato base of the shrimp brightens up with the slight crunch from the fresh green onions. Snag some of the grits in your bite and magic happens on your taste buds! The flavors blend together so naturally that you'll wonder where this dish has been all your life.


Gulf Shrimp and Grits with Cracklin and Heirloom Tomatoes


The Chimes Restaurant & Tap Room: 3357 Highland Road

Everyone goes to Chimes for something different. I usually go for the top notch beer selection, half-off oysters on the half shell from 4-7pm (or all day on Tuesdays!), and a big plate of red beans and rice. They also have New Orleans-Style BBQ Shrimp and Grits! A creamy grit cake dredged in a garlicky, well spiced sauce and jumbo shrimp is a favorite menu item for many at the legendary Chimes.

New Orleans-Style BBQ Shrimp
New Orleans-Style BBQ Shrimp


Leroy's: 4001 Nicholson Drive

They may be known for their fried chicken over at Leroy's, but it's the cast-iron Southern comfort dishes I like best. Take for example the Garlic Shrimp and Asiago Grits. These are some of the creamiest grits I've had and they don't hold back on the serving size. Leroy's shrimp and grits presents a mountain of silky grits topped with savory garlic shrimp and your choice of one of their splendid sides. You'll need a nap afterwards, but if you didn't they wouldn't be doing it right.

Garlic Shrimp and Asiago Cheese Grits
Garlic Shrimp and Asiago Cheese Grits


City Club: 355 North Boulevard

I met up with a friend at City Club downtown and happened upon their shrimp and grits. It's not often I make it over to City Club, but Chef Eric Arceneaux puts out some of Baton Rouge's best cuisine (you seriously need to try his breads). What I like most about this version of shrimp and grits is the nice tang from the heirloom tomatoes. The shrimp boasted a freshness you hope to find in Louisiana as well. These creamy, garlicky shrimp and grits should definitely be on your list to try in the Capital City.

Bite and Booze Bonus: City Club is a club. Unfortunately you have to know a member or be a member to get a bite of these Shrimp & Grits.

Shrimp and Grits at the City Club in Baton Rouge
Shrimp and Grits at the City Club in Baton Rouge


Le Creolé: 18135 E. Petroleum Dr.

Chef Ryan André does Southern comfort food right every day at Le Creolé, and his shrimp and grits dish is no exception. Creamy Papa Tom's grits smothered in a tomato-shrimp roux is the perfect craving fix. Ryan knows seafood and uses only the choices jumbo Louisiana shrimp in his masterful dish. The roasted bell peppers bring a bold flavor that brightens up the roux and gives the dish another textural element not typically found in this decadent favorite.

Le Creole's Shrimp and Grits
Le Creole's Shrimp and Grits


Portico: 4205 Perkins Rd. & 11777 Coursey Blvd.

Portico is breaking the mold with their shrimp and grits by whipping theirs into shape...literally. These delicious fritters of cheesy grits are molded around sautéed shrimp. Turning this classic Southern dish into an easy-to-share appetizer is a nice twist. The roasted pepper and mushroom cream sauce really builds the flavors...a must try in Baton Rouge for sure!

Creamy Asiago Cheese Grits Stuffed with a Sautéed Shrimp, Hand Battered, Deep Fried, and Topped with a Mushroom & Roasted Pepper Cream Sauce
Creamy Asiago Cheese Grits Stuffed with a Sautéed Shrimp, Hand Battered, Deep Fried, and Topped with a Mushroom & Roasted Pepper Cream Sauce


Mason's Grill: 13556 Jefferson Hwy.

Photo Credit: Mason's Grill
Photo Credit: Mason's Grill

Mason's Grill rocks their own version of shrimp and grits. The fried grit cake gets surrounded by sauteed shrimp in a nice butter sauce. This is the kind of dish that makes you wonder about all the other versions of shrimp and grits that might be out there. With a great combination of textures in each bite due the crispy and creamy grit cake met with the buttery shrimp, there's no way to resist it. Obviously Mason's is known for their brunch and this would be a great choice for that meal, but they actually spoil us by putting it on their full time menu! And speaking of brunch...


Who doesn't love a good shrimp and grits brunch? Here are a few more Baton Rouge shrimp and grits spots that proudly boast their own version on the brunch menu.

Juban's Shrimp & Grits: Gulf shrimp broiled in New Orleans barbeque butter, with garlic cheese grits,  and spinach primavera
Juban's Shrimp & Grits: Gulf shrimp broiled in New Orleans barbeque butter, with garlic cheese grits,
and spinach primavera

All of the aforementioned eateries have shrimp and grits on their menu at all times, but there are a few places in town that include it in their brunch menus. Here are a few of my favorites:

Juban's: 3739 Perkins Rd. 
Mansur's on the Boulevard: 5720 Corporate Blvd.
City Café: 4710 O'Neal Ln.
Frank's Restaurant: 8353 Airline Hwy.

If you have a favorite shrimp and grits dish in Baton Rouge that we missed leave it in the comments or let us know on the Facebook page!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sam Houston American Whiskey: Whisk(e)y Wednesday presented by Lock & Key

Sam Houston American Whiskey
Sam Houston American Whiskey
Tonight is again the night for Women & Whiskey at Lock & Key. The gathering starts at 6:30 with lessons about different types of whiskey kicking off around 7. Anybody interested in learning more about whiskey should feel free to attend, especially ladies who want to learn a thing or two to impress their significant other! One of the featured whiskeys tonight is Sam Houston American Whiskey ($7). Technically a bourbon, this corn-forward whiskey produces a creamsicle nose with aromas of orange and vanilla met with orange flavored corn syrup candy. Oak comes forward on the tongue as just a hint of cinnamon is present among all the citrus. The 86 proof spirit would pair very well with a Mexican Coke and make an orange centered Old Fashioned. Slight flavors of clove and coconut round out the palate. It finishes just like it starts with great balance but a complete lack of complexity. There's no lingering warmth as the whiskey pleasantly fades away down the gullet. Sam Houston is approachable, drinkable, and affordable, so in that sense it is worth trying, but it won't knock your socks off.

Sam Houston American Whiskey
Average Score: 68.33


Whisk(e)y Wednesday is a blog post series on Bite and Booze sponsored by the Lock & Key Whiskey Bar. Lock & Key has one of Baton Rouge's best selections of bourbon, Scotch, Irish, and other whisk(e)ys available for on premise consumption. This WW feature was scored by Jay Ducote from Bite and Booze, Arthur Lauck from Lock & Key, and Jordan Lewis from tommysTV. Scores are marked for Nose, Taste, Finish, and Balance and Complexity using our own proprietary scoring system. Marks are then added and averaged, leaving us with a final score out of a 100 point scale. Our scale should be looked at on the full range of 0-100 rather than an academic range where 70 is passing and anything less is failing. A 50 should be considered a very mediocre whisk(e)y (though not undrinkable) while anything below 20 is absolute horse piss and anything above 80 is rather extraordinary and anything above 90 is world class.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Fresh on the Shelves: The Bite and Booze Featured 5 at Calandro's

Bite and Booze Featured 5 at Calandro's Supermarket

I'm excited to announce a brand new promotion at Calandro's Supermarket, title sponsor of the Bite and Booze Radio Show! The Bite and Booze Featured 5 is a new monthly promotion supporting local products in your favorite neighborhood grocery store! You get 5% off of your entire basket (with no limit high or low) at both locations of Calandro's if you grab each of the five items being featured that month. We will be changing the items on a monthly, but starting now through the month of August you can grab these five items to ring up your discount:

Any Slap Ya Mama product
Any Cupcake Allie product
Any Hanley's salad dressing
Any Denicola's product
Any package of Richard's sausage or other pork products

Drop everything and head to Calandro's for the best local shopping deal you've ever seen, unless you hate deals... if you hate deals on great local products you may want to skip out on this one. All you have to do is check out with those 5 items in your basket and you'll automatically get 5% off your entire purchase.

Also, please leave a comment below about what local products you'd like to see in September on the Bite and Booze Featured 5!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Big Announcements from LA1: Whisk(e)y Wednesday presented by Lock & Key

Donner-Peltier's LA1 Whiskey
Donner-Peltier's LA1 Whiskey

Happy Whisk(e)y Wednesday everyone! I'm excited to share some big news out of Thibodaux, Louisiana's Donner-Peltier Distillery which means great things for LA1 Whiskey. They will soon be expanding their distillery and in the coming months will begin full time production of the LA1 Whiskey. This production will not only include the LA1 Louisiana Whiskey which has already been released a couple times in very limited quantities, but also some brand new spirits: LA1 Rye & LA1 Bourbon! If this doesn't make you excited, then you probably shouldn't be reading my Whisk(e)y Wednesday posts. I'll keep you posted about when we can expect these new whiskeys to be released. In the meantime, I think they still have a little bit of LA1 over at Lock & Key.

Also, congratulations to Donner-Peltier are in order because the Rougaroux Sugarshine Rum was just awarded a score of 93 by the Beverage Tasting Institute (BTI), making it the highest rated rum being made and produced in Louisiana! Make sure to look for all their products including the other Rougaroux Rums as well as the Oryza Vodka and Gin at both locations of Calandro's Supermarket in Baton Rouge!


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Bite and Booze Radio Show: Phil's Grill in New Orleans

The owner of Phil's Grill in New Orleans, Phil de Gruy, joined me on the Bite and Booze Radio Show to talk about burgers, the history of the building that houses his new location in the Warehouse District, and how he got into the burger business. Chuck P. of the Me and My Big Mouth Radio Show, my Chief Confusion Coordinator Blair Loup, and Jeff Herman, owner of Tiger Deaux-nuts, and I built some tasty burgers and enjoyed an afternoon with Phil. You can listen to the show and see all the glorious burger pics below:


At Phil's Grill, everyone builds their own burgers. Whatever you can dream up, you can have on a burger. There are over 1 million combinations, some great cocktails, and good times to be had at any of Phil's three locations.

Chuck P's Burger: White Bun, Fat City (Burger stuffed with Cheese and deep-fried), Swiss Cheese, Pecan Smoked Bacon, Peanut Butter and a Fried Egg.
Chuck P's Burger: White Bun, Fat City (Burger stuffed with Cheese and deep-fried), Swiss Cheese, Pecan Smoked Bacon, Peanut Butter and a Fried Egg.

Blair's Burger: Onion Bun, Philet Medium Rare, Pecan Smoked Bacon, Cheddar Cheese, Bleu Cheese, Red Onions, Jalapeño and Garlic Aioli and a Fried Egg
Blair's Burger: Onion Bun, Philet Medium Rare, Pecan Smoked Bacon, Cheddar Cheese, Bleu Cheese, Red Onions, Jalapeño and Garlic Aioli and a Fried Egg.

My Order: The Zapp'd Chicken, Jalapeno Bun, Crystal Wing Sauce, Chives, Spinach, Red Onions, Herb Goat Cheese Spread, Caesar Salad

Monday, July 14, 2014

Bite and Booze Radio Show: The Fountain Lounge at the Roosevelt

I had the pleasure of staying in the historic Roosevelt Hotel when the Bite and Booze Radio Show last hit New Orleans. More famously known for it's lobby that is frozen in time and the legendary Sazerac Bar, the Roosevelt is also the home to the Fountain Lounge. Chef Mark Majorie set us up with some of their Happy Hour bites and libations, which are only $6 on Tuesday-Sunday 4-6pm. This is a perfect bite to grab if you're in the neighborhood and there's free parking parking anytime you're dining in the Fountain Lounge! Take a listen to the show and check out the pictures of the food below:


A classic play of sweet and savory, these sweet potato bacon beignets hit the spot. The beignets themselves have a subtle sweetness and are like light puffy pillows. The crunch of the bacon adds a nice layer of textures and the pecan aioli ties everything together. There's no need for dessert when you can share this dish!

Sweet Potato Bacon Beignets over a Natchitoches Pecan Aioli
Sweet Potato Bacon Beignets over a Natchitoches Pecan Aioli

Brussels sprouts, radish, almonds, and more at the Fountain Lounge
Brussels sprouts, radish, almonds, and more at the Fountain Lounge

The beauty of The Fountain Lounge's summer Happy Hour is that you can stroll around the hot streets of New Orleans and pop in at the Fountain lounge and have a beverage as you do in New Orleans and also have a light and refreshing dish (for an affordable price). This tuna tartar was crisp and fresh with the perfect acidity and texture layers. The fermented red pepper paste brings the dish a little flare that rounds out the flavors. There are some seriously tasty dishes coming out of Chef Majorie's kitchen.

Ahi Tuna Charred and Tartar'd over a Fermented Red Pepper Paste with Pickled Ruston Peaches and Grilled Scallions
Ahi Tuna Charred and Tartar'd over a Fermented Red Pepper Paste with Pickled Ruston Peaches and Grilled Scallions

This dish is such a fun combination of flavors! I know it's weird to think of eating pork belly and fresh watermelon in the same bite, but think of it as the salt some sprinkle on their watermelon wedges in the summer. The saltiness of the tender pork belly really harmonizes with the fresh watermelon. I will definitely be back to have this dish again!

Star Anise Pork Belly with Fresh Watermelon, Local Radish, and Ponzu Dressing
Star Anise Pork Belly with Fresh Watermelon, Local Radish, and Ponzu Dressing

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Argentina: Street Food Bite and Booze of the World Cup






Folks, the road has been long, some knees have been grabbed, and each bite has been more delicious than the last. It's time for our last stop along the street food guide to the FIFA World Cup 2014. Argentina has fought valiantly and battles against Germany at 2pm today. This final segment along our street food journey includes a bite of the Choripan and a sip of the Argentina Cocktail.









Photo Credit: laylita.com
Photo Credit: laylita.com


Choripan is a typical snack or lunch item in Argentina. Similar to the American hot dog, Choripan is a link of chorizo on a freshly baked bun dressed with fresh chimichurri. Both of these ingredients can be found around town and make for the most hopped up hot dog you've had in a while. Chimichurri is a sauce composed of oil, lime juice, spicy peppers, parsley, garlic, and oregano. It's simple to make and delicious on numerous eats. This is a perfect item to serve up for the match!







Photo Credit: ohgo.sh
Photo Credit: ohgo.sh


The Argentina Cocktail has a lot of ingredients and a lot of deliciousness. Gin and vermouth come together with bitters and orange juice to make a flavorful drink. It's herbal and fruity, which is perfect for a day of watching other people run around and kick a ball back and forth while you sit in an air conditioned room. It's the final day of the World Cup so make a few drinks, eat a lot, and soak it in!


Germany: Street Food Bite and Booze of the World Cup






It's the final countdown!! Germany and Argentina go cleat to cleat in the final game of the FIFA World Cup 2014 today at 2pm. While they gear up for glory we're going to sit down to our second to last plate along the street food guide! This morning we're going to take a look at a great recipe for currywurst and the Bed of Roses Cocktail.











Photo Credit: finedininglovers.com
Photo Credit: finedininglovers.com

Currywurst is an extremely popular street food in Berlin. Steamed, then fried knackwurst (pork sausage) sliced and tossed in a curry sauce is all there is too it. The key to an authentic currywurst recipe is the sauce. This recipe for the sauce seems simple enough to execute and stays true to the curry ketchup phenomenon that is currywurst. The spiciness of the curry marries well with the concentrated tomato and slight sweetness of ketchup. This sounds like good game eats if you ask me!





Photo Credit: drink-agency.com
Photo Credit: drink-agency.com




The Bed of Roses cocktail features herbal liquors found often in the glasses of your everyday German. The main liquor is Josef Meiers which looks and tastes extremely similar to Jaegermeister. The "in your face" herbal flavor is sweetened by grenadine and brightened by lemons and limes. This drink may not be for the faint of heart, but it's worth a try.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Brazil: Street Food Bite and Booze of the World Cup






After that horrible loss to Germany, Brazil is competing for third place against the Netherlands at 3pm today. Their people may be hungry for the trophy, but from the looks of their cuisine, they aren't hungry for much else. Today along the street food guide to the FIFA World Cup 2014, we're taking a look at Pão de Queijo and the Caipirinha!











Photo Credit: thekitchn.com
Photo Credit: thekitchn.com




Pão de Queijo is Brazilian cheese bread. They're tiny, buttery bread balls with a hint of cheese inside. If that doesn't sound like game time snack food, I don't know what does! This recipe makes two dozen, which may not be enough once you've realized their greatness. The best part is you can find most of these ingredients already in your pantry except for the special flower. I recommend La Morenita on Florida Boulevard for all of your hard to find Latin-American ingredients. These little bread bites are super easy to make and quick to disappear.











Photo Credit: Food Network
Photo Credit: Food Network




If you've never had a proper Caipirinha, shame on you. They're very simple to make, a fun alternative to the typical mojito, and crazy delicious. Go to Calandro's Supermarket and grab a heap of limes and a couple of bottles of Leblon Cachaça (a sugar cane spirit) and go to town! Simply slice half of a lime up and muddle it with two teaspoons of sugar in the bottom of your glass, throw in some rocks, and fill your glass with cachaça. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Netherlands: Street Food Bite and Booze of the World Cup






While the Netherlands get ready to square off against Brazil at 3pm tomorrow for third place, we're going to take another trip along the street food guide to the FIFA World Cup 2014! There's an abundance of street foods in the Netherlands and most of them are fried balls of something or french fries with a peanut sauce, mayonnaise, and diced onions. Don't worry...we're headed straight for the Stroopwafels and a delightful cocktail named The Sherry-Netherland.








Photo Credit: awesomeamsterdam.com
Photo Credit: awesomeamsterdam.com



Stroopwafels (syrup waffles) are super thin treats perfect for a grab-and-go bite. The Dutch have been munching on these since the 18th century. If you've ever wondered what a Dutch double doozy cookie would be like, this is it. Two very thin waffles are held together by a decent layer of syrup. It is literally a syrup and waffle sandwich...awesome. 








Photo Credit: liquor.com
Photo Credit: liquor.com




The Sherry-Netherland is concocted with the Dutch spirit Bols Genever, which is where the idea for gin came from. The Genever has definite aspects of gin, but it's more smooth and less in your face. Other ingredients include sherry, raisins, orange bitters, and curaçao (orange in flavor). The curaçao, blue in color, combined with the other ingredients make for a mysteriously black-colored cocktail. Try it out and let me know what you think!

Dolce Vita: Bite and Booze Radio Show presented by Calandro's Supermarket

Chef Bogdan and I in front of his Nepalese oven made with the clay of Mt. Vesuvius!
Chef Bogdan and I in front of his Nepalese oven made with the clay of Mt. Vesuvius!

Taking the Bite and Booze Radio Show on the road to New Orleans meant a visit to my old buddy Chef Bogdan at Dolce Vita Wood Fired Pizza. You may know him better as the fiery Romanian that had a Baton Rouge food truck with a wood fired brick oven inside his trailer. When he was in Baton Rouge, Chef Bogdan played on our curiosity to lure us in and then earned his way into our souls with his charming personality and ridiculously delicious pizza. Unfortunately for us, his trailer got mixed up in two separate accidents, neither of which were his fault, and while he and his team continue the search for the perfect brick and mortar location in Baton Rouge, Dolce Vita is currently open on St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans. We were there recently to record an episode of the Bite and Booze Radio Show presented by Calandro's Supermarket with Blair Loup, Charles Pierce, Jeff Herman, and of course, the always quotable Chef Bogdan:


Bianca: Mozzarella, Gorganzola, Reggiano, Fresh Mozzarellam, Capicola, and Proscuitto
Bianca: Mozzarella, Gorganzola, Reggiano, Fresh Mozzarellam, Capicola, and Proscuitto

Margherita: Fresh Basil and Cheese
Margherita: Fresh Basil and Cheese

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Iran: Street Food Bite and Booze of the World Cup





I hope you've all been enjoying the street food guide to the FIFA World Cup 2014 as much as I have! For this segment of the street food guide, we're headed to Iran for some classic street food. A lot of these blue collar worker, pedestrian commuter type countries are big on street food. It's a convenient way to grab a bite on the road without waiting in a long line or breaking the bank. For Iran, we're taking a look at shish kebabs and the Persian Rose.









Photo Credit: dubaiinternetmarketing.com
Photo Credit: dubaiinternetmarketing.com



Shish kebabs, or kebabs as they may be more commonly known in America are pretty simple. Shish kebabs are typically composed of your marinated meat of choice (lamb in this case), tomatoes, onions, and any other veggies you want to add. Marinating the meat in olive oil, garlic, spices, and citrus tenderizes the meat and adds a lot to the natural flavor of the lamb. You don't have to follow any sort of recipe...It's a great activity for a get together with friends or the family!






Photo Credit: mmlafleur.com
Photo Credit: mmlafleur.com





The Persian Rose cocktail is a sweet, but tasty drink. The natural juniper flavor of gin pairs well with the floral rose water. While the agave nectar isn't overly sweet, it toes a line with the cherry liqueur. The concoction may have been too sweet if it weren't for the balance brought in by the citrus, but overall it's a cool drink. Try it out and let me know what you think!  

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Whiskey Cane and Flight School: Whisk(e)y Wednesday presented by Lock & Key

Whiskeycane at Lock & Key
Whiskeycane at Lock & Key
Sometimes I need a delicious cocktail to get me through the day. While Whisk(e)y Wednesday usually features various worldly whiskies by themselves, we sometimes can't resist featuring a whiskey based cocktail that'll make your mouth water. Take, for example, the Whiskeycane at Lock & Key. A play on the famous New Orleans Hurricane, the Whiskeycane uses bourbon and rye in addition to rum with organic passion-pear juice, muddled orange, lime, and cherries, and Luxardo cherry juice. The refreshing cocktail is not overly sweet. The natural fruit sugars shine but it is cut by the bourbon and citrus acidity for present a pleasant beverage. Seriously, try one.

Also of note, tonight at Lock & Key is their first ever Flight School. The idea of Flight School is to do a monthly class featuring different flights of whiskey in an educational and intoxicating session. Three whiskies, a rye, a bourbon, and a Scotch will be poured tonight for only $22. The event goes from 6:30 to 8 PM.
Lock & Key's Whiskeycane

Japan: Street Food Bite and Booze of the World Cup






South America had a rough day yesterday, so we're going to take today's street food guide to the FIFA World Cup 2014 far, far away from Brazil. Japan is a country full of people on the go. There are probably a million different street food options to choose from, but today we're going to take a look at their Ikayaki and Japanese Hitachino Nest Beer.










Photo Credit: colourbox.com
Photo Credit: colourbox.com


Ikayaki is grilled squid and it is delicious. If you've never had squid, it's super tender and has the a similar consistency to scallops. On the streets of Japan you can find ikayaki skewered and hanging like cotton candy on carts at a fair. This recipe is for ginger marinated ikayaki and would be a perfect way to kick up your grilling game! The subtle sweetness of the meat pairs well with the kick of the ginger and soy sauce. If you decide to try it out let me know how it goes!







Photo Credit: behance.net
Photo Credit: behance.net









Hitachino White Ale is quite possibly one of the best beers on the planet. It has a complex flavor with notes of coriander, orange, and a dash of nutmeg. Although it's from Japan, you can find it here in Baton Rouge at Calandro's! It's a great refreshing, drinkable summer brew. Let me know if you like it!
 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Colombia: Street Food Bite and Booze of the World Cup





The end of the FIFA World Cup 2014 is nigh! In celebration of the great matches we've seen thus far, I'm going to be posting a couple of two-a-days because I just can't get enough of the World Cup! Next up today is Colombia where we're talking about Colombian Empanadas and the Aguardiente Sour.











Photo Credit: acozykitchen.com
Photo Credit: acozykitchen.com







The main difference between Colombian empanadas and the rest is the way they're cooked. Colombian empanadas are typically fried and others are baked. This recipe takes ground sirloin, russet potatoes, and a plethora of spices that make a flakey, hand-held bite of bold deliciousness. You can find these savory treats all over the streets. Relatively easy to make, empanadas are great to incorporate tons of recipes sweet or savory. Try them out and let me know what you think!













Photo Credit: thelatinkitchen.com
Photo Credit: thelatinkitchen.com


Aguardiente Sours are made with aguardiente (fire water) which is a strong South American spirit made from sugar cane. This cocktail extinguishes a little bit of the fire with fresh orange and lime juice that adds a tart sweetness. The fluffiness of the whipped egg white balances all of the flavors for a refreshing, but strong sip!

Honduras: Street Food Bite and Booze of the World Cup





It's time to put on some elastic waistband pants and sit down to another segment of the street food guide to the FIFA World Cup 2014! Honduras is home to lots of cheap street eats and bottled beers. Today we're going to take a look at baleadas, an extremely popular street snack and Salva Vida, a popular Honduran brew.












Photo Credit: blogs.houstonpress.com
Photo Credit: blogs.houstonpress.com


Baleadas have no definite origin. It's rumored that they were invented by an old lady no one knows who used to sell them in a poor neighborhood, but today they're a street food favorite all over Honduras. Baleada recipes are most often composed of a flour tortilla filled with refried kidney beans, scrambled eggs, a hard crumbled cheese, sour cream, and sliced avocado. The saltiness of the cheese and sour cream combines well with the texture of the beans and scrambled eggs. It's a great late night food or on-the-go breakfast recipe.






Photo Credit: anthroblogs.org
Photo Credit: anthroblogs.org






Salva Vida is a pretty straightforward American adjunct lager. There's definitely nothing fancy or complex about the smell or taste of this brew, but in a country where most live in poverty sometimes all you need is a cold beer after a hard day's work.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Ecuador: Street Food Bite and Booze of the World Cup





It's time for another dish and drink along the street food guide to the FIFA World Cup 2014! Ecuador, located in Northwestern South America is a coastal country. Being located in a coastal state, we know that means there is plenty of seafood to go around! Today we're going to take a look at the art of ceviche and the fruity Chicha de Piña.











Photo Credit: Laylita.com
Photo Credit: Laylita.com



Ceviche is the method of "cooking" seafood (fish, shellfish, crustaceans, or mussels) in the natural acid of fresh limes. There are many South American coastal countries that do this and each method has it similarities and differences. Ecuadorian ceviche tends to be a little soupier than others because the juices of the limes and oils are served with the ceviche. You can find a fresh cup of ceviche all along the docks! This particular recipe calls for langostino which is Spanish for squat lobster. The squat lobster is not quite a lobster or a prawn. If you can't find any of these feel free to use shrimp, lobster, scallops or whatever fresh seafood you can get your hands on! The tender meat of the seafood married with the acidity of fresh limes is sweetened by olive oil and red onions. The added zest comes from fresh cilantro and garlic with a healthy kick of spicy peppers to make for a great, chilled summer bite! Try it out and let me know what you think.







Photo Credit: Laylita.com
Photo Credit: Laylita.com

Chicha is an ancient form of beer commonly found in African and South American countries indigenous to their ancestors. As off-putting as it may sound, people chew a specific variety of corn and spit it into a strainer where the liquid is boiled and brewed into a beer. This is a method still used today and has even been recreated by a few hardcore brewers. The founder of Dogfish Head Brewery actually had his entire staff chew pound and pounds of corn just to make an experimental batch to serve in their taproom. Due to jaw fatigue, the staff didn't try this feat for a second time, but it was a fun experiment. Chicha de Piña is not made by chewing anything and spiting it out. It's the simmering  of the skins and core of pineapple with hard brown sugar and spices. This makes for a savory/sweet cocktail not containing saliva.