Month: December 2017

Kenji’s Favorite Recipes of 2017

Kenji’s Favorite Recipes of 2017

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, unless otherwise noted] Every year is different, but this year has been extra different for me. I’ve spent a big chunk of my time working on a second book (currently slated for release sometime in 2019). The book has a much…

Ed’s Favorite Special Sauce Podcast Episodes of 2017

Ed’s Favorite Special Sauce Podcast Episodes of 2017

Asking me to pick my favorite Special Sauce episodes of the year is like asking a father to choose his favorite child. In many ways, I love every episode equally. Why? For the same reasons I love Serious Eats as a whole: I like putting…

Staff Picks: Our Favorite Posts of 2017

Staff Picks: Our Favorite Posts of 2017

2017 has been a pretty great year for Serious Eats. We’ve broken traffic records left and right, we’ve been lucky enough to hire some amazing new colleagues, and we’ve managed to crank out some top notch recipes, techniques, and features, all while juggling a host of different complicating factors—three babies were born (!), one of the head honchos got married (!!), and half the office got addicted to a silly trivia game on their iPhones (!!!). Here are some of our team’s favorite pieces of content from the year.

East, West, Then Backward: Falling for Groundnut Soup in Ghana

[Illustration: Laura Freeman]

A study abroad trip to Ghana leaves a student of color feeling profoundly othered, withdrawn from both his fellow travelers and the community he’d hoped would embrace him. The significance of food, family, and mealtimes courses through each juncture of the narrative—and lands the reader with an incredibly delicious recipe for peanutty, meaty groundnut soup.

It’s a moving and beautifully composed piece, but it’s the author’s powerful honesty and introspection that make this piece such an engaging read. Sara’o Bery is a longtime friend, which doesn’t always bode well for a joint professional undertaking, but in this case, I couldn’t be more thrilled to have played a part in giving this piece an audience. —Niki Achitoff-Gray, executive managing editor

Read the full story about Ghanaian groundnut soup »

Grilling With Vinegar

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

I have a lot of reasons to pick Michael Harlan Turkell’s summertime series on grilling with vinegar as my favorite post(s) of the year. First, selfishly, because it meant that I got to hang out with him multiple times throughout the summer as we worked our way through his recipes, using a grill we’d set up on a rooftop in Brooklyn. Standing in the sunshine and drinking cold beers with a friend while grilling up a storm is about as good as my job gets. But on top of that, I just love his recipes: He has so many creative, unexpected, and goddamned delicious ideas for how to use vinegar in grilled foods. There are the burgers spiked with Japanese black vinegar, dripping with melted cheese and slathered with a black olive mayo; there’s the tart and herbal chimichurri sauce spooned not onto the obvious steak but sweet and plump grilled squash instead; a Spanish-inspired grilled scallion and endive salad topped with a creamy, nutty, and spicy sauce; and—who can forget—grilled peaches on grilled poundcake with a perfectly sweet-sour cider-caramel sauce that should be a classic all on its own. —Daniel Gritzer, managing culinary director

Read our full series on grilling with vinegar »

Cheesy Bread Is Absurdly Good, No Matter What You Call It

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Writing a post about cheesy bread could so easily become, well, cheesy. But Sohla’s cheesy bread post was so full of easy-to-digest, cheese-filled wit and wisdom I almost forgot it was about one of my favorite snacks in the world. Her post had me at the second line: “In our wedding vows, my husband promised to have and to hold and to always keep the fridge stocked with three varieties of cheddar.” She makes baking them sound like the easiest thing in the world, and for an unconfident baker like me, that is incredibly reassuring. And when you get to the end of the post, be prepared for one of the great visual kickers in Serious Eats’ eleven-year history. Thank you, Vicky Wasik. —Ed Levine, founder

Dive into the cheesy bread experience »

The Definitive Guide to Eggs

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

When I first started at Serious Eats earlier this year, the team was deep in the throes of developing The Definitive Guide to Eggs, a.k.a. “The Egg Page.” It was a gargantuan effort of collecting techniques, creating guides to the different shapes and sizes, decoding the terms and labels you find on the carton…the list goes on. It was perhaps the best way to get to know my new team. From the videos produced by the culinary and visual teams, to the user-friendly experience designed by our dev team, to every quick-hitting blurb written and edited by the editorial team, everything came together in a smart and savvy product. I’ve come to learn that such a product is standard at Serious Eats, thanks to the talented folks I get to call coworkers. —Kristina Bornholtz, social media editor

Explore the Serious Eats Definitive Guide to Eggs »

Chaat Your Mouth: How to Make the South Asian Street Food at Home

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

I love how Sohla’s recipes often start with a story. From the first line, you’re with her in that airplane cabin hurtling its way towards Dhaka, tightly packed in with relatives and strangers alike passing the time by flinging heated opinions to and fro on what constitutes the best chaat, where to get it, and even when to consume it to mitigate the effects of certain digestive ailments. It sets the scene for how you should think about chaat: as a chaotic, beautiful mess of personal preferences synthesized and represented in a dish. It’s customizable, highly subjective, and somewhat hard to pin down, but Sohla does just that. She hands you the essential components, a roadmap to the key flavor profiles, and a dizzyingly detailed but comprehensively clear breakdown of the adjustments you can make to create a satisfying version of your own. My favorite part? How she describes kala namak, personified as a condiment with attitude that lends the dish’s foundational chaat masala spice blend “a bossy bit of savory funk.” Lyrical genius. —Marissa Chen, office manager

Read all about chaat »

Staff Picks: Our Favorite Fictional Foods

[Illustration: Katie Shelly]

Spending hours of my day geeking out with my coworkers about the most fantastic scenes of food and drink from our favorite childhood books and movies isn’t what I’d call “work.” Neither is having a serious discussion over whether the two pizza slices in the Saturday Night Fever illustration should be neatly stacked or remain slightly splayed, and whether the central figure was adequately representative of Tony Manero. Neither is eagerly, secretly reloading comments once the piece was published to see who out there might have been fascinated by some of the same things we were as kids. Writing and editing this post was delightful proof that nothing unites like youthful nerdery. —Miranda Kaplan, editor

Check out our favorite fictional foods »

How to Make a Mixed-Green Salad Like You Actually Care

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

The state of salad in this country is a sordid mess, and the problem starts with the greens. Take a stroll down the salad aisle in any supermarket and you’ll see stacks upon stacks of prewashed stuff—salad mixes and plastic clamshells filled with insipid “baby” lettuces—as if all good taste had been sacrificed to the great god of Convenience. There is a reason bottled salad dressing is so aggressive, so cloyingly sweet: Good greens don’t need much more than a little acid and good olive oil, or a light vinaigrette. Daniel offers up what might seem like remedially simple advice in this post, but it’s advice that is sorely needed. Salad shouldn’t be a chore to make, or to eat; salad should be celebrated, from the moment you purchase the greens until you finish your plate. All it takes is a little care, a little inspiration in the supermarket aisle, a tiny wee bit of patience once in a while, and you’ll be surprised at how much you look forward to the salad portion of a meal. —Sho Spaeth, features editor

Read more about how to step up your salad game »

The Best Things I Ate in Japan

[Photographs: Daniel Gritzer]

I’ve never been obsessed with the idea of seeing (or eating my way through) Japan. I love traveling, sure, and Japan is on my list, but it was never particularly high on my list until I edited Daniel’s essay on his favorite bites from a visit there. This is not a travel piece, not a series of restaurant reviews, and not a primer on Japanese foods that are uncommon in the West, but it includes elements of all three, and the result is a low-key window into the country’s cuisine that makes it seem simultaneously more approachable and more exciting to me than before. It just might convince you that blowfish sperm is a thing you want to put in your mouth. —Miranda Kaplan, editor

Join Daniel on his culinary adventure through Japan »

The Food Lab: How to Make Kickass Quesadillas

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Kenji’s “Kickass Quesadilla” post is probably the one I used the most this year. There are three recipes attached, but let’s be honest, you don’t need them. If you’re anything like me, your quesadillas are rarely pre-planned beyond gazing into your fridge and realizing you have tortillas, cheese, maybe some random leftovers/vegetables/pickles, and a strong desire not to go outside. That’s really all you need to make a good quesadilla, but if you read Kenji’s tips and apply them, you’ll almost certainly make a great one. —Paul Cline, developer

Check out our quesadilla pro-tips »

The Pho I Lost

[Photograph: Max Falkowitz]

I have the pleasure of sitting next to Sho at the office. While I sometimes jokingly refer to him as the office curmudgeon, he has come to be a good friend and I appreciate how discerning he is about pretty much everything. I think this friendship really developed after I read his story about pho, taste memory, and his mother. I admired the courage (and ability) it took to write about and share the feelings and memories he describes. And the fact that he can eat two bowls of pho in one sitting (and do that every day for two-and-a-half weeks) is just…well, that’s something to respect. —Ariel Kanter, marketing director

Read about Sho’s long-lost pho »

For the Most Flavorful Piña Colada, Freeze Everything

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

The piña colada is one of those things—like pasta —that is surprisingly hard to get a good version of when you’re eating out. Growing up, the PC was a special-occasion drink and my mom’s go-to at our family’s Italian weddings. That’s where I first had one, at around 12 years old, when she ordered a small (not virgin) one for me—God bless European parents. I love Daniel’s story because the big tip—to freeze everything—is that one little step that can make your shopping trip to buy coconut cream worth it. Trust me, I made several batches of these while testing blenders and it works. The taste is sweet, but not too sweet, with clean, creamy coconut and pineapple flavors, and just the right amount of rum. —Sal Vaglica, equipment editor

Learn how to make piña coladas like a boss »

What Is “Traditional” Soju?: A Spirited Debate

[Photograph: Emily Dryden]

I like to think I know a little bit about Korea: I’ve had Korean friends my entire life, I’ve been there more than a few times, and my father has lived in Seoul for close to a decade now. So I also thought I knew pretty much all there was to know about soju, the nation’s ubiquitous and beloved liquor. When we got the pitch for this piece, what struck me most wasn’t just my own ignorance about soju’s long history (I am never, ever surprised by the depths of my ignorance); it was how little had been written about the liquor anywhere else. This was an untold story in English, one that we were in a unique position to be able to offer a wide audience. Add to that the fact that in delving into the story of what “traditional” soju is, Josh managed to weave into the narrative much of what makes South Korea such a remarkable place—its ultra rapid industrialization and modernization, its skyrocketing cultural capital—and I can say without a doubt that it was my favorite feature of 2017. It was a privilege to publish it. —Sho Spaeth, features editor

Read more about soju »

How Oreos Got Their Name: The Rise of an American Icon/h3>

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Nothing grabs my attention more than the thrilling histories behind iconic foods. Lucky, that’s Stella’s forte, as she dives deep into the corporate intrigue and betrayal behind the beloved biscuit. Walking down the snack aisle has never felt the same after reading about the cutthroat cookie war that culminated with Oreo taking the throne. I’m eagerly awaiting the movie adaptation. —Sohla El-Waylly, assistant culinary editor

A rich and totally unexpected look at the origin of Oreos, by the one and only Stella Parks. I am lucky enough to work with Stella once a month, where I have the pleasure of witnessing her deep knowledge base and attention to detail first-hand. It’s front and center in this piece, as is her intense curiosity about all things pastry-related. Her approachable and snarky style makes it all the more enjoyable—phrases like “they might as well have told Oreos to get off their lawn” pepper the piece throughout. Humor aside, it’s a zippy and fun exploration of a history you never knew you wanted to know. —Natalie Holt, video producer

Get the full history of Oreos »

A Losers’ Thanksgiving: No One Knows Your Name (But All Are Welcome)

[Illustration: Alex Citrin]

This story had me hooked from the get-go and held me straight through til the end, a tale of frozen misery, daring hope, social ambition, and conquering life with pie. —Stella Parks, pastry wizard

Read Sohla’s heartwarming holiday tale »

Obsessed: A Man and His Mold

[Photograph: Chris Anderson]

Man, Rich Shih is smart. And he’s passionate as hell. His responses to the interview questions in this article are so in-depth and intelligent that you might think they were heavily edited, but I had the pleasure of meeting Rich (and making miso with him) in the office, and he really is that knowledgable. And that knowledge is built on a fervent curiosity. This isn’t his day job—it isn’t even related—but he is all-in on his koji project, devoting years to researching and experimenting with the stuff. I can attest to the results being delicious. The article is also accompanied by gorgeous photographs of close-up mold spores and fermented products. Kudos to Sho and his wonderful “Obsessed” series about the passionate amateur and professional foodies of this world. —Tim Aikens, front-end developer

Catch the koji bug, right this way »

For the Lightest, Crispiest Granola, Grab the Buttermilk

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

When Stella told me she was developing a granola recipe to shoot on her next trip up to NYC, I didn’t give it a second thought. I mean, granola is great and all, but why would I spend the time making it when I can easily pop into my corner grocery store and grab any of the 10 varieties they have in stock at any given time? And then I ate it. And then I ate MORE of it. And then I took the entire jar from the photoshoot home and finished it in less than a week. This is the most addictive snack I’ve ever had. And it’s granola so…it’s good for you…right? I made it a few weeks later when my craving kicked in. It’s definitely a labor of love, but well worth the effort! —Vicky Wasik, visual director

Find out what makes Stella’s granola so great »

The Best Chicken Pot Pie, With Biscuits or Pastry

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Chicken pot pie is one of those recipes I’ve always been too intimidated to tackle; all my life I’ve resorted to frozen Marie Callender’s. Don’t get me wrong, those frozen pies are still delicious, but when Stella came out with her savory pie, it gave me the confidence to give it a try. Who knew making the roux would turn out to be so easy? I also love having the freedom to add whatever fillings I want, and it’s now a crowd favorite among my friends and family. I even got my roommate to give it a try, too, which means double the pot pies at home! —Vivian Kong, designer

Dig into some chicken pot pie »

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Staff Picks: Our Favorite Videos of 2017

Staff Picks: Our Favorite Videos of 2017

2017 was a big year for video here at Serious Eats. We ramped up our production significantly, producing well over 100 (!) new videos, and our (very small!) video team has, in our humble opinion, done an excellent job of translating all the elements that…

18 Hangover-Busting Breakfast Recipes for New Year’s Day

18 Hangover-Busting Breakfast Recipes for New Year’s Day

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik, J. Kenji López-Alt] New Year’s Eve scares me a little bit—I normally try to turn in fairly early, so any time I’m partying past midnight I know I’m going to drink too much. The obviously solution is just to have a little…

What You’re Cooking: The Most Popular Posts of 2017

What You’re Cooking: The Most Popular Posts of 2017

It’s been an exciting year for us at Serious Eats. We welcomed three new editors to team—Assistant Culinary Editor Sohla El-Waylly, Equipment Editor Sal Vaglica, and Social Media Editor Kristina Bornholtz—and settled into our new digs at Industry City in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. We’ve created a record number of videos, added regular equipment reviews to our content rotation, and churned out weekly episodes of the Special Sauce podcast, all in addition to the features, techniques, and recipes you know and (hopefully) love. Here’s a look at the content you clicked on most over the course of 2017.

The Reverse Sear Is the Best Way to Cook a Steak, Period

[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Reverse searing is a stunningly simple technique that’s virtually guaranteed to change the way you cook steak. Gently heating the meat in a low oven cooks it evenly throughout, not unlike a sous vide set-up. Then we finish it over high heat on the stovetop to give it a beautiful burnished crust. The result is a meat with little to no temperature gradient, but the same browned, crisp exterior of a conventionally cooked steak. Kenji’s been promoting the method for years, and now we finally have a definitive post on the subject.

Read on for our step-by-step guide to reverse-searing steak »

How to Roast Spatchcock Chicken (Butterflied Chicken)

If you regularly read our site, you know that spatchcocking is hands-down our preferred way to prepare poultry for roasting. Removing the bird’s spine allows you to butterfly the meat, providing a more even surface that promotes faster, more even cooking. That means perfectly roasted chicken in under an hour, with moist breast meat and tender thighs. In this post, Kenji walks you through the technique from start to finish; the result is some of the juiciest, crisp-skinned roast chicken you’ll ever taste.

Learn how to spatchcock right this way »

How to Make Pressure-Cooker Chicken Stock

There are myriad excellent uses for a pressure cooker—it makes quick work of stews, soups, and even rice for the easiest risotto you’ll ever cook. Case in point? This chicken stock recipe, which takes under an hour to make but tastes just as good as a batch that’s simmered on the stovetop for half the day.

Read on for quick, foolproof chicken stock »

Introducing the Fat Flash, the Best Way to Finish Your Steak

In the world of meat nerdery, there’s a great debate over whether or not to rest meat after cooking. Some argue that a rest is necessary to retain a steak’s juices; others insist that resting results in the softening of the meat’s crisp, satisfying crust. Kenji, never one to compromise, captures the best of both worlds with the “fat flash” method, which calls for first resting the steak and then restoring its crust with a drizzle of bubbling-hot oil or butter right before serving.

Learn all about the fat flash here »

We Should All Eat More Crepes, Starting Now

Why is it that we think of pancakes as easy, casual Sunday morning fare, but treat crepes as a fancy and elaborate undertaking? After all, crepes require fewer ingredients and tools than pancakes, and relatively little technique. Best of all, they’re the perfect canvas for a wide array of sweet and savory fillings, like ham, cheese, and eggs or spinach and feta. If you needed inspiration to get started, this post is it.

Pull out your nonstick pan and get crepe-ing »

3-Ingredient, 10-Minute Macaroni and Cheese

Think upgrading your mac and cheese from the boxed stuff means buying fancy expensive cheeses or committing to a labor-intensive undertaking? Think again. The key to this ultra-quick, ultra-easy stovetop mac and cheese is evaporated milk, which keeps the sauce creamy and emulsified. If 10 minutes and three ingredients isn’t selling point enough, get this: it all happens in one pot, so there’s no extra dishes to deal with, either.

Find your way to 10-minute, three-ingredient mac and cheese »

Maryland Crab Cakes

It turns out that making truly exceptional crab cakes isn’t terribly difficult. Cut back on fillers like breadcrumbs and swap ’em out for light, airy panko; buy the right meat (that’s lump, or “backfin,” if you’re going with the canned stuff); and strike a good balance with your seasonings—we go with Dijon mustard and Tobasco for heat and tang, Worcestershire for some savory bass notes, and paprika for a hint of smoky spice. Egg and mayo help hold it all together for a brief sear. Serve the crab cakes with lemon wedges and tartar sauce for the full Maryland experience.

Learn how to make the crabbiest crab cakes in town »

28 Unitaskers That Belong in Your Kitchen

Most kitchen unitaskers belong, to be blunt, in the trash. But while we may not be proponents of spiralizers, fruit-specific slicing tools, or virtually anything from As Seen on TV, there are also some important exceptions. Our recipe development team has put together a list of nearly 30 unitaskers whose particular applications are so handy, or whose uses extend sufficiently beyond their “unitasker” designation, that we are more than happy to keep them around. Some are pretty specific—if you’re not a seafood buff, you might want to pass over the fish scaler; and if you’re gluten free, the pasta machine may not be for you—but you’ll get no raised eyebrows from us if we stumble into a garlic press, docking tool or even, GASP!, a taco-shell mold tucked into your kitchen drawers.

See all the unitaskers we’re giving a free pass to »

No-Bake Cheesecake

When we say no-bake, we mean zero baking—crust included. This cheesecake nonetheless rests on a firm Biscoff-cookie crust made of cookie crumbles, butter, and a pinch of salt. But it’s the cake itself that’s the star of the show. It’s a no-frills, utterly classic cheesecake with a gloriously silky, airy texture thanks to an extended stint in the stand mixer.

Get the recipe for one epic cheesecake »

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies

Though Kenji tackled the science of chocolate chip cookies a few years back, his resulting recipe requires at least 24 hours to prepare. So what’s a person to do if they want their cookies within the hour? These classic chocolate chip cookies, from Stella’s newly released cookbook BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts, are the answer to the eager baker’s prayers. With their hand-chopped chocolate chunks and a dash of nutmeg, they may turn you off store-bought doughs for good.

Read on for the ultimate quick and easy chocolate chip cookies »

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Stella’s Favorite Recipes of 2017

Stella’s Favorite Recipes of 2017

[Photographs: Vicky Wasik, unless otherwise noted] The best part of working at Serious Eats has to be the near-constant parade of recipes that sound so awesome I can’t help but run to the kitchen and try them for myself. That means I don’t have to…

Staff Picks: Our Favorite Images of 2017

Staff Picks: Our Favorite Images of 2017

Another year, another year’s worth of ridiculously, ridiculously good-looking images of food here at Serious Eats. We’ll keep this short, since we know you’re just here to ogle pics, not read a bunch of text (honestly, ain’t nobody got time for that). So without any…

22 Hot Cocktail Recipes for Cold Winter Nights

22 Hot Cocktail Recipes for Cold Winter Nights

[Photographs: Vicky Wasik, Elana Lepkowski]

It’s still practically shorts weather where I live in California, but the folks at Serious Eats World Headquarters in New York assure me that it is, in fact, winter. Back when I lived in places that actually got cold, winter meant hot drinks—hot cocoa and mulled cider when I was a kid, hot cider and hot cocoa with booze when I got older. There is more to the world of hot drinks than pouring a shot into whatever’s in your mug, though. If you put some thought into them, hot drinks can have all the class and sophistication of cold cocktails. To show you what I mean we’ve rounded up 22 of our favorite hot toddies, spiked ciders, cocoas, coffees, and other hot cocktails.

Hot Toddies

Spiced Averna Toddy


[Photograph: Elana Lepkowski]

Next time you’re craving a hot toddy think beyond mixing whiskey or brandy with hot water—here we change it up by using caramelly, herbal Averna instead and adding a syrup made with brown sugar, cinnamon, and black pepper. Getting rid of the hard liquor keeps the alcohol content down, so you can keep refilling your mug throughout the evening.

Get the recipe for Spiced Averna Toddy »

The Hot and Cold


[Photograph: Autumn Giles]

We make this toddy with citrusy New Amsterdam gin instead of the brown liquor you more commonly find in the drink and replace the water with mint tea for extra flavor. A sweet-tart cranberry syrup gives the cocktail a festive ruby-red color.

Get the recipe for The Hot and Cold »

Remontel Toddy


[Photograph: Nick Guy]

Moving even further from a traditional hot toddy, this smoky, Mexican-inspired drink is made with mezcal, Green Chartreuse, Angostura and mole bitters, cinnamon, and mint. A splash of ginger beer complements the spicy notes in the drink and adds a pleasant fizz.

Get the recipe for Remontel Toddy »

Riesling Hot Toddy


[Photograph: Sydney Oland]

This drink may be more mulled wine than hot toddy, but it’s a crowd-pleasing option no matter what you call it. To make it we mix together Riesling, brandy, and honey, then steep in bay leaves and toasted cardamom pods before straining and serving.

Get the recipe for Riesling Hot Toddy »

Spiked Cider

Hot Caramel-Popcorn Bourbon Apple Cider

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Anyone can pour a shot of bourbon into their hot cider—for something more interesting try infusing the liquor with sweet, toasty caramel popcorn. Once you’ve made the infused bourbon (which just takes a few minutes on the stove), all you need is the cider and a little butter to float on top of each drink.

Get the recipe for Hot Caramel-Popcorn Bourbon Apple Cider »

Salty Maple Buttered Cider


[Photograph: María del Mar Sacasa]

Not so sure about popcorn-infused bourbon? This butter-topped cider goes with dark rum instead, getting its sweetness from maple syrup rather than caramel. To contrast the rich, deep flavors of the drink we serve it in glasses rimmed with lemon juice and Maldon salt.

Get the recipe for Salty Maple Buttered Cider »

Peppery Ginger Cider


[Photograph: María del Mar Sacasa]

We don’t infuse the whiskey for this spiked cider, but we do give it an unexpected twist (or three) by stirring in sweet-and-spicy ginger liqueur, pouring it over rich Luxardo cherries, and finishing with freshly cracked black pepper.

Get the recipe for Peppery Ginger Cider »

Eve’s Addiction


[Photograph: Tara Striano]

Apple cider just not apple-y enough for you? Here we triple down on the fruit by adding Granny Smiths and applejack and mix in clementines and dried cranberries for even more fruity flavor. To balance all that fruit we turn to a slew of spices: cinnamon, cloves, allspice, coriander, and black peppercorns.

Get the recipe for Eve’s Addiction »

Boozy Hot Chocolate

Amaro Hot Chocolate


[Photograph: Elana Lepkowski]

The best boozy hot chocolate starts with the best hot chocolate, so ditch the store-bought mixes and make it from scratch with unsweetened cocoa powder, semisweet chocolate chips, and sugar. Once the basics are done you can doctor the drink up as you’d like—here we mix in a shot of amaro and top with homemade Angostura whipped cream.

Get the recipe for Amaro Hot Chocolate »

Better Than Baileys Hot Chocolate


[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

I wouldn’t say no to a cup of cocoa spiked with Baileys, but you can make a much tastier drink by separating the liqueur into its component flavors—Amaretto, espresso powder, vanilla extract, and Irish whiskey—and adding each one individually. Not only are the ingredients going to be better, but you can adjust the ratios to your liking.

Get the recipe for Better Than Baileys Hot Chocolate »

Guinness, Whiskey, and Baileys Hot Chocolate


[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

I’m sure you’re familiar with spiking Guinness with Jameson and Baileys, so why not use all three to make boozy hot chocolate? You can add the Bailey’s and whiskey straight, but in order for the flavor of the beer to come through you need to reduce it into a concentrated syrup on the stove first.

Get the recipe for Guinness, Whiskey, and Baileys Hot Chocolate »

Salted Butterscotch Hot Chocolate


[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Forget commercial butterscotch—it’s easy to make your own with sugar and cream. Despite the name butterscotch isn’t made with Scotch whiskey, but we add a shot in anyways because we like the notes of smoke and vanilla it adds. We use the butterscotch two ways—most of it is mixed in with the hot chocolate, with the last bit being drizzled on top.

Get the recipe for Salted Butterscotch Hot Chocolate »

Bacon, Bourbon, and Hazelnut Hot Chocolate


[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

The all bacon everything craze is well in the past, but the combination of bacon and chocolate is tasty enough to be more than a fad. To give this hazelnut hot chocolate as much bacon flavor as possible we emulsify rendered fat right in before garnishing with a strip of fried bacon.

Get the recipe for Bacon, Bourbon, and Hazelnut Hot Chocolate »

Tequila Mint Hot Chocolate


[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Not all boozy hot chocolate recipes have to be quite so involved—this one just requires spiking the cocoa with tequila and peppermint schnapps. Garnish each mug with mint leaves to complement the schnapps and give the cocoa a fresh, herbal aroma.

Get the recipe for Tequila Mint Hot Chocolate »

Spicy Aztec Hot Chocolate With Chili, Cinnamon, and Mezcal


[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

You could use tequila in this hot chocolate too, but if you have mezcal on hand then try that instead—its smokiness wonderfully the dried ancho chili and cinnamon that we use to give the cocoa a kick. You can also use dark rum, which will give the drink some extra richness.

Get the recipe for Spicy Aztec Hot Chocolate With Chili, Cinnamon, and Mezcal »

Spiked Coffee

Just-Do-Ya (Hazelnut-Spiked Irish Coffee With Chocolate Whipped Cream)

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

There’s more to spiked coffee than the classic Irish coffee—this Nutella-inspired variation replaces the whiskey with Frangelico and is topped with chocolate whipped cream. We also add a tablespoon of simple syrup to each mug to take a little of the edge off the coffee.

Get the recipe for Just-Do-Ya (Hazelnut-Spiked Irish Coffee With Chocolate Whipped Cream) »

Everything Nice (Spiced-Rum Coffee With Butterscotch Whipped Cream)

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

We think that the sugarcane sweetness and slight kick of spiced rum make it an even better partner than whiskey for coffee, so we use it in this Irish coffee variation topped with butterscotch whipped cream and a dusting of nutmeg. We make the whipped cream with malted milk and brown sugar to simulate the slow-cooked flavor of traditional butterscotch.

Get the recipe for Everything Nice (Spiced-Rum Coffee With Butterscotch Whipped Cream) »

Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go (Fernet-Spiked Irish Coffee With Lemon Cream)

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Full disclosure: this recipe isn’t going to appeal to everyone. We start with coffee, which is already bitter, then pour in Fernet-Branca and top with tangy lemon whipped cream. It’s certainly more assertive than our other Irish coffee recipes, but give it a chance and you might be surprised.

Get the recipe for Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go (Fernet-Spiked Irish Coffee With Lemon Cream) »

Bittersweet Amaro- and Whiskey-Spiked Coffee

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

If Fernet is a little too intense, this bittersweet spiked coffee might just be the thing for you. Adapted from a drink created by Aaron Paul of the Daniel Patterson Group in San Francisco, the cocktail gets just enough bite from caramelly Amaro Averna and herbal, citrusy Gran Classico.

Get the recipe for Bittersweet Amaro- and Whiskey-Spiked Coffee »

Architects and Kings


[Photograph: Lizz Schumer]

This recipe also goes for a more balanced, bittersweet flavor—the coffee is spiked with rye whiskey, Luxardo Amaro Abano, and Angostura bitters, and it’s mellowed out with with cream, apple brandy, and demerara sugar.

Get the recipe for the Architects and Kings »

Other Hot Cocktails

Hot Ward 8 Cocktail


[Photograph: Elana Lepkowski]

An old-school Ward 8 is made with rye, lemon and orange juice, and grenadine. The fruit juices don’t work in a drink that has to be diluted with hot water, so in this recipe we replace them with a more intensely-flavored oleo-saccharum and a couple of ounces of orange curaçao. We also replace the grenadine with pomegranate juice for a brighter flavor.

Get the recipe for the Hot Ward 8 Cocktail »

The Varnish’s Milk Punch


[Photograph: Lizz Schumer]

Clarified milk punches haven’t been in the spotlight for a couple hundred years—that just means this cocktail is super retro, right? In addition to the clarified milk, we make this version with oleo-saccharum, lemon juice, simple syrup, cognac, and rum.

Get the recipe for The Varnish’s Milk Punch »

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Daniel’s Favorite Recipes of 2017

Daniel’s Favorite Recipes of 2017

[Photographs: Vicky Wasik unless otherwise noted] It’s always fun to look back over the past year and be reminded of everything we worked on (read: pigged out on). Choosing favorites is never easy, but these are some of the ones that struck me as the…