I was, by chance, in the offices of the venerable publisher Little, Brown with Donna a few weeks ago during a surprise trip to NYC, and the editor I was speaking with about a potential book deal mentioned a cocktail book they’d published the previous fall. He described it. I asked, nay, demanded, to see it. He swiveled around, swiveled back, and there it was. A book that immediately pissed me off. “HEY!” I wanted to say, “THIS IS MY TURF! THIS IS RATIOS!” (If you didn’t know, I wrote a little book called Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking. We developed and built a Ratio app for iPhones and iTouches and then we—that is, my friend Will Turnage—built a Ratio app for Android devices.) Ratios simplify all of cooking. Know a ratio and you Read On »

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Today’s cocktail post was inspired by a question on Twitter asking for a good Bloody Mary recipe, and it is indeed a good topic because they are often so mediocre. And it’s not the vodka’s fault this time. It’s rather that the Bloody Mary is carelessly prepared, a fault I am guilty of, especially on a crapulous Sunday morning. So herewith a more thoughtful and refined Bloody Mary worthy of being called a cocktail. The key is fresh tomato juice. V-8 vegetable juice or canned tomato juice is heavy and thick and obscures the other ingredients (which is why many prefer Clamato juice, for a “Bloody Caesar,” a choice I encourage). Now that we have an abundance of huge overripe tomatoes, it’s the perfect time to make your own juice. You want the fiber, but Read On »

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  More than any other type of post, readers have asked for a Friday cocktail post and so, for the fall at least, starting next Friday, we will return to posting on classic or great cocktails. Let me know if there’s a specific cocktail you’d like to see covered, or photographed (I think one of my all-time fave Donna pix is of the Paloma; refreshes me just to look at it). Thanks to all for your encouragement to return to this noble and important subject! —M.R. Cocktails made thus far. Dark and Stormy Gin & TonicLa Paloma Manhattan Martini The Berkshire Martinez Mint Julep Mojito Moscow Mule Negroni Whiskey Sour

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  When it’s really muggy, and I’m fried from work, and stress, and travel, and I just want something cold and guzzlable, inexpensive hooch is the way I go. I’m too much of a cheapskate to waste the expensive stuff on a guzzle, especially one filled with an ocean of tonic and a couple good squeezes of lime. Furthermore, it’s senseless to dilute delicious Beefeater or Hendrick’s (my two favorite gins) with a lot of tonic. And there are days when I simply don’t want to bother with a shaker and egg white, have no desire for a sip of expensive reposado, and don’t have the patience to weigh the goddam bitters—just give me something cold and refreshing that will take the edge off this Friday afternoon brain sizzle, NOW. Fast. Ahh, the Gin and Tonic. Only Read On »

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I had my first Paloma in Ixtapa, Mexico, during a blog seminar I was invited to and fell in love with it. I think I had ninety-five before the week was out. By the end of the evening I couldn’t even remember the name. (Though I remember Garrett becomes very talkative after about seven or eight.) I still see the Mexican bartender carefully saying, PAH-LOW-MA to me. I would repeat as best I could, but he could see he’d be repeating himself in a half hour. Now, of course, is not the time to have ninety-five Palomas but one solid one for the cocktail hour. It is HOT, and these are REFRESHING! In fact, exactly as refreshing as the above example looks in Donna’s lovely photo. The Paloma is simply tequila, lime juice, and grapefruit soda. I’m Read On »

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