A Seat at the Bar Four experts tell us what to sip, stir and shake
dark chocolate-caramel-sea salt popcorn
When a bag of Chef’s Shoppe dark chocolate-caramelsea salt popcorn recently got into our hands, even the most disciplined eaters among us could not refrain. The caramelflavored popcorn is seasoned perfectly with the salt, while the amount of dark chocolate drizzled atop the freshly popped kernels isn’t so much that it coats them to a sickening sweetness. In a summer of subpar sequels and mindless action flicks, this movie snack is our blockbuster – and diet-buster – of the season. — Ligaya Figueras
ted and jamie kilgore USBG, B.A.R. Ready, BarSmart and coowners/bartenders at Planter’s House (opening soon)
$3.50 and up. Chef’s Shoppe, 2320 Troy Road, Edwardsville, Ill., 618.659.9840, chefsshoppe.com
COOK'S TIP how to cut corn off the cob without making a mess
popcorn photo by michelle volansky; illustrations by vidhya nagarajan
Fresh corn always beats out the canned stuff, but cutting those tiny little kernels from the cob tends to make a mess in the kitchen. This summer, make the most of the freshly shucked ears you grabbed at the farmers market with this easy trick. Place a large bowl on a work surface. Place a small bowl with a wide, flat bottom upside down inside the larger bowl. Then, place an ear of corn (cut-sidedown) atop the small bowl so that it sits flat on the bowl’s base (aka your new cutting board). Now, get cutting. As the sweet kernels are sliced from the cob, they fall neatly into the large bowl beneath, making it a cinch to stir them into salads, saute them into street corn or – quite honestly – pop ‘em in your mouth for a cool, refreshing snack. — Stacy Schultz July 2013
cory king Certified Cicerone, head brewer at Perennial Artisan Ales and founder of Side Project Brewing
glenn bardgett Member of the Missouri Wine and Grape Board and wine director at Annie Gunn’s
July 19 is National Daiquiri Day. Celebrate with us by shaking together 2 oz. rum, ¾ oz. fresh lime juice and ¾ oz. simple syrup. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and enjoy the slightly tart, sweet perfection of this classic drink. You’ll be surprised to find that the balanced simplicity of a hand-shaken daiquiri is nothing like a frozen slushie. It’s traditionally made with white rum (like Flor de Caña Dry), but try using an aged rum (like Plantation Grande Reserve) to give it a fuller flavor. And for even more variety, experiment with muddling in fresh, seasonal fruits before shaking.
One of my favorite styles of beer is the Berliner Weisse. Until recently, finding a Berliner Weisse was almost impossible; yet, today, there are more breweries in the United States producing this very light, tart, German wheat ale than there are in Berlin, where the style originated. Berliner Weisses are usually a vibrant, cloudy yellow with a big, rocky head and aromas of raw wheat and earthy must. They’re extremely refreshing, landing at around 3 percent ABV. Among German imports, look for 1809 by Professor Fritz Briem. For a locally made variety, try Prussia from 4 Hands Brewing Co. or Peach Berliner Weisse from Perennial Artisan Ales.
Stone Hill Winery winemaker Dave Johnson and I hold the distinction of being the only two people to attend all 25 years of the winery’s 10-year vertical Norton tasting. Every April, 10 Riedel glasses specifically designed for our Norton grape are placed in front of the 100-plus guests, who see, swirl and sniff a decade of wines. The 2012 tank sample was exotically fruity, but since it’s going to be a couple of years before it’s released, I’ll bide my time sipping on another favorite, the amazing 2005 Stone Hill Winery Norton, which has the perfect balance of fruit concentration and tannin that arrives with a bit of bottle age.
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