Freelance Food & Drinks Writer

Tag Archives: Scotch whisky

Shrubbin’ it at Westport Cafe & Bar

Shrubs are a free-form thing. The basic formula’s pretty simple: fruit, sugar and vinegar. How much, what kinds, how they’re combined and how they’re used is then all up to the bartender.

Arturo Vera-Felicie continues pushing the shrub envelope at The Farmhouse, most recently by bottling a fizzy cocktail called Ophelia’s Lament that combines aquavit with his rhubarb/orange shrub.

Caitlin Corcoran, a barista at Parisi Artisan Coffee in Union Station, created a signature drink with a cold press honey crisp apple shrub that was good enough to qualify her for the U.S. Barista Championship competition in Portland this April.

The Blood & Glass at Westport Cafe & Bar

And then there are the guys at Westport Cafe & Bar. They had a line of shrubs aging when I dropped in a while back, including orange, red plum-red wine, and green apple. Some go into non-alcoholic sodas, most notably the sweet-and-sour orange soda served at Westport Street Fare.

I love a good savory soda and have even started making them at home, but shrubs in cocktails make me even happier. WC&B combines their orange shrub with Famous Grouse Scotch whisky and Cherry Heering to make WC&B’s Blood & Glass, a stirred riff on the classic Blood & Sand.

“It’s really velvety and smooth versus the Blood & Sand, which is almost like a broken vinaigrette,” owner Aaron Confessori told me. He and business partner Richard Wiles also use shrubs at The Boot, which they opened in February.  Continue Reading

Kansas City Star Rocks

This just in from Jill Silva, food editor of the Kansas City Star, who’s attending the Association of Food Journalists conference in Charleston: we won! Silva’s article on food deserts (“Far Away From Food”) topped the Best Newspaper Special Food Project category; the piece has also been included in Best Food Writing 2011. “35 People,… Continue Reading

Manhattan Story: a Majestic version

It was late one Saturday, and we were tired of where we were but not tired enough to go home. So we went to The Majestic Restaurant on Broadway, slipping downstairs to catch the last of the The Bram Wijnands Trio’s last set and order one drink. I’d almost forgotten how much I love the… Continue Reading

Tax Dodge

Paying taxes has always been painful, and history is rife with tales of artful tax dodges. One of my favorites is how eighteenth century Scots hid home-distilled whisky in barrels marked “sheep dip” to avoid paying tax on it. I grew up on a cattle ranch, where “dip” always meant a malodorous and toxic insecticide.… Continue Reading