A Celebratory Scotch – Hip Hip Hooray!

Today is a momentous occasion. Though I’ve been a partner in Studio 2B for 15 years, I’ve just completed my purchase of the remaining shares from my friend and now former business partner, Ken. As of today, I am the sole owner of Studio 2B.

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In honor of this occasion, let’s raise a glass to Ken. Thanks for all the great years! May your days be filled with great Scotch, good health, more fun pictures, race cars, and Keuka Lake breezes!

Aberlour A’Bunadh seems appropriate for a toast. This rich amber Scotch comes straight from the sherry casks it’s aged in, at 59.6%. It boasts loads of flavors; toffee, ginger, vanilla, nuts, and dried fruit among them. Being cask strength, it does have a kick, but is creamy and smooth. Highly recommended!

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Stay tuned for big things to come! Cheers!

 

Happy Negroni week!

Did you know that this week is Negroni week? If you didn’t, you know now (and it’s the last day)! I hope you’ve had one, if not because they are awesome….at least because it’s for a good cause. I had a couple at The Revelry the other day, as you can see from my Instagram post. (I’d love to have you follow along!) And also from Shannon’s post!

I wanted to share a variation on the classic Negroni that I make on occasion. It’s fun to swap out different ingredients to see what you can come up with. In this case, tequila for gin, and Ancho Reyes for vermouth. Cheers….enjoy!

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Ancho Tequila Negroni
– 2 ounce reposado tequila
– 1 ounce Ancho Reyes Ancho Chile Liqueur
– 1 ounce Campari
– 2 dashes Fee Brothers Grapefruit Bitters
– wedge of ruby red grapefruit for garnish
– chili powder and sugar for rim
Rub the rim of your glass against a cut grapefruit and dip in a mixture of chili powder and sugar to coat rim. Add ingredients over ice and stir well. Garnish with wedge of grapefruit.

 

An elegant ending to Easter

Happy Easter! I hope the Easter bunny brought you some chocolate almonds (Piedras de Chocolate from Spain). They came all the way from Wegmans in our case. (If not, malted chocolate eggs will probably work okay, too.) Pair them with a Twisted Sidecar by the fire (as it was snowing today!) for a relaxing and elegant ending to your Easter.

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Twisted Sidecar

  • 1 1/2 ounces Pierre Ferrand Ambre cognac
  • 3/4 ounce Cointrau
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 ounce fresh orange juice
  • Demerara sugar for rim

Run a lemon wedge around the top of your glass, then dip it in a small amount of Demerara sugar to coat the rim. In a shaker over ice mix ingredients and shake well. Strain into glass and garnish with twists of lemon and orange (twisted together).

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Pierre Ferrand Ambre Cognac is an awesome value. For $40 you’ll get a blended cognac aged, on average, 10 years. It’s smooth, light, and bright with flavors of vanilla, honey, oak, and a mix of citrus and flowers. It’s very nice on its own, and excellent in cocktails.

Cheers!

A Guinness pint and a wee bit o’ Disney.

First off, happy St. Patrick’s Day! May the luck of the Irish be on your side today! Ya may be askin’ what Disney has to do with a nice, tall, shamrock-laden pint. Considering I had it in Epcot at the Rose and Crown pub…a lot!

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Along with the beer, I had a Scotch egg. Between the pint, the egg and the pub, all 3 British Isles were covered.

The rest of this post is coming from all the way back in 2013. Yes, I have been that busy. No excuses, it’s just that the studio has been busier than ever. A big thank you to all who have made that happen.

Let’s hit the parks!

On to a couple resorts and Epcot!

Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom!

Make sure to get your pint! Sláinte!

A book-inspired cocktail

My lovely bride has published another book with her brother, the third installment in the José Picada series entitled Act of Abduction. During my private reading (yes, I am privileged), I learned that this book has a pivotal scene featuring the José Picada Margarita. Heather asked if I could come up with a recipe that would be appropriate for Chef Al. I did my best. I hope you enjoy the José Picada Margarita as much as I know you’ll enjoy the book. Salud!

JosePicadaMargarita

The José Picada Margarita

  • 2 oz. Casamigos reposado tequila
  • 1 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. Ancho Reyes liqueur
  • 1/2 oz. Grand Marnier
  • 1/2 oz. agave nectar

Shake and pour over crushed ice. Garnish with jalapeño and lime.

You can find the José Picada, P.I. series on MuseItUp Publishing, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year’s Eve! I hope you all had a fabulous year and are looking forward to 2015! It was a busy end to the year here on 2eat2drink, and we are closing the year out with over 19,100 views! Wow, I’m not sure what to say other than thanks and I hope you are eagerly awaiting my next posts. I have 4 cocktails coming up soon. Here are previews of the photos…recipes to come. Be safe and cheers!

A quick version of pho, Thai style

I like pho. Do you like pho? I bet you do. You just don’t know it yet. Pho is Vietnamese noodle soup. I wanted to make the authentic version, but figured it would take too long (who has three hours to make stock?), so enter… Thai culinary stock. Some recipes use a chicken stock, but I figured the Thai stock would have a flavor profile closer to Vietnamese. Or something like that.

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I used this recipe as a rough guideline, but as usual, I changed a few things. I specifically liked the idea of pan searing some of the elements to add more flavor; thus the mini stir fry. Enjoy!

  • 1 medium onion, peeled, halved through root end
  • 2 Thai chili peppers or ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise pods
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 1” piece ginger, peeled, chopped
  • 8 cups Thai culinary stock
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 lb. of peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 2 cups baby bok choy, chopped
  • 1 cup beech mushrooms
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces Thai Kitchen straight rice noodles
  • Mung bean sprouts, fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems, thinly sliced scallions, chopped unsalted, roasted peanuts, and lime wedges (for serving)
  • Heat a dry large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Cook onion, cut side down, until lightly charred, about 5 minutes; transfer to a plate.
  • Add chiles (if using crushed red pepper flakes, add with fennel seeds), garlic, cinnamon stick, and star anise to skillet and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add fennel seeds and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 20 seconds (do not burn). Quickly transfer to a large saucepan (reserve skillet) and add onion, ginger, and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until broth is flavorful.
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in reserved skillet over medium-high heat. Season shrimp with salt and pepper, toss in the skillet with baby bok choy and beech mushrooms. Stir fry for a minute or two until shrimp is cooked through.
  • Cook noodles according to package directions. Divide among bowls and add stir fry. Strain broth and ladle into bowls. Top pho with bean sprouts, cilantro, scallions, and peanuts and serve with lime wedges.