A couple of weekends ago, for FabSugar's technicolor luau, I made a batch of Pineapple Pimm's Cup. Created by Duggan McDonnell of Cantina, this punch recipe consisted of pineapple vodka, Pimm's No. 1, ginger beer, ginger syrup, and fresh-squeezed lemon and lime juice.
The refreshing and unexpected cocktail was a major hit and everyone was inquiring about the ingredients. While I was able to tell them what was in the drink, I wasn't able to answer when they asked, "What's Pimm's?" My lame reply, "Oh it's a liquor popular in England." But really, I had no clue what it was!
Until now. Pimm's, an aperitif, is a brand of alcoholic beverages that was created in London in 1840, with the most popular being Pimm's No. 1 Cup. Each number of Pimm's has a different base spirit; No. 1 is a gin-based, No. 2 is scotch-based, and No. 3 is brandy-based (only No.1 still exists). Other elements (spices, citrus, etc.) are added to the base spirit to achieve a characteristic floral flavor and rich tea color. Pimm's is often mixed with soft drinks or as in the classic Pimm's Cup, with lemonade, cucumber, and fresh fruit. Do you enjoy Pimm's?
Fried pickles accompanied by a side of ranch dressing are a staple on many a pub's menus, so recently, I decided to give them a try at one of my favorite spots, Barclays. With their salty goodness (think salt and vinegar chips), they complemented my pint of Guinness. However, I wouldn't dare to eat an entire plate of them, it's too much sodium for my taste. Would you give this crunchy and salt-laden pub delicacy a shot?
While selecting in-season strawberries at Whole Foods the other day, an unfamiliar brewski, Samuel Smith Strawberry Ale, caught my eye. Since I was surrounded by the delicate aroma of ripe berries, I couldn't resist picking up a bottle.
I was curious about the unfamiliar label, and couldn't wait to give Samuel Smith's signature strawberry beer a taste. Brewed in Stamford, England, this certified organic ale, which is made with fresh strawberry juice, only became available stateside this year. The ale has a floral, jammy bouquet that brought me right back to sniffing strawberries at the market and notes of caramel and malt to finish. It was so refreshing that I drained the hefty-sized bottle, then proceeded to trek out and pick up a fresh one.
At $5.99 for 550 ml, this seasonal sip has become my favorite nightcap so far this Summer. Have you ever tried strawberry beer?
Yesterday, UK clothing chain Topshop opened its first stateside outpost in New York City, kicking things off with a new Spring/Summer '09 collection designed by Kate Moss. Of course, the racks are filled with fashionable gear, but the store itself is also furnished to the max in quirky Brit style. I'm loving the modern rock 'n roll edge of this dressing room corner, so I thought I'd try to re-create the look. To see my finds, read more
To celebrate St. Patrick's Day tonight, serve your family a classic pub favorite. Although fish and chips is a traditionally British dish, this recipe pairs perfectly with an Irish pint.
Large chunks of fresh fish fillets are dipped in buttermilk and coated in cornmeal. The chips are baked in the oven, resulting in potatoes that are crisp, but not overly oily. For the uncomplicated recipe, read more
Looks like Oscar nominee Kate Winslet isn't the only award winner in her family. The British actress's mother, Sally Winslet, affectionately known as the "Queen of Shallots," is an award-winning pickler. Yesterday Sally won the annual onion pickling contest at her local East Reading pub, the Retreat. This is the third year in a row that Sally's pickled onions won the competition. Upon accepting her title, Winslet explained what made her onions so special:
There are a lot of good onions here. I just boil up the spices with sugar and when the balsamic vinegar is cold I pour it over the onions.
Over the past six months, pickling has become incredibly popular, and Anna Winslet, Kate's sister and Sally's daughter, who was on hand at the competition, couldn't have put it better when she said, "Everyone should be a pickler." No word on Kate's pickling skills, although she is known to be an enthusiastic, yet accident-prone cook.
Are you surprised to learn that Winslet's mother is an award-winning onion pickler? Do you pickle?
With origins in Devonshire, England, this thick topping for scones is made by heating rich, unpasteurized milk. The milk is warmed until a thick layer of cream rises to the surface. Once cooled the cream is removed and served atop bread, fruit, and desserts. It should be kept covered in the refrigerator.
Recently at Waterbar, here in San Francisco, I ordered the fish & chips. I was blown away when the waiter brought out an entire rock cod — eyes, fins and all! The fish was battered and deep-fried whole for my eating pleasure. I immediately began to dig in, but some of my friends sharing the gigantic entrée were a little more hesitant. How about you? Could you stomach this unique version of fish and chips?
With the arrival of British Burger King's bling burger, the world just got a little more ridiculous. At £95 (about $200), this burger puts New York's $175 burger to shame. The burger will enter the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's most expensive hamburger.
Japanese wagyu beef, white truffles, pata negra ham, onion rings made from Cristal batter, pink Himalayan rock salt, and an organic white-wine-infused mayonnaise are the ingredients that make this burger incredibly pricey. While it's obviously excessive, all the proceeds will be donated to charity so what do you think of the bling burger?