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Listen to Episode 67: Sake with Timothy Sullivan”

This week’s guest on the Bit by a Fox Podcast, is Tim Sullivan, an unlikely expert and educator of the Japanese rice wine, sake. After devoting the last decade to this versatile beverage and learning the hands on craft of sake brewing in Japan, Tim is now one of the top sake experts in the US, a national sake educator, and a Global Brand Ambassador of Hakkaisan Sake Brewery based in Niigata, Japan.

In this episode, Tim breaks down the fundamentals of Sake, explains why sake rice is so special, what makes it the most versatile food pairing beverage in the world, and how the process behind making it is most similar to brewing beer.

Over the course of the interview at Downtown LA’s Exchange Restaurant in the Freehand Hotel, I tried two exciting bottles from Hakkaisan Brewery that everyone should know about – Hakkaisan Clear Sparkling “AWA” – made using a secondary in-bottle fermentation…

…and a sake that has been aged for three years buried deep in the snow. The Junmai Ginjo Genshu Sake is matured and chilled by tons of actual snow stored in an insulated room, called a “Yukimuro”.


The post BBaF Podcast Episode 67: Sake with Timothy Sullivan appeared first on Bit By a Fox.

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Bit By a Fox by Prairie Rose - 3w ago

We may have had a bit of an unusually late start here in Los Angeles, but there’s no mistaking it now – we are in the serious throes of Summer. You know what that means…it’s officially MARGARITA SEASON.

I mean, it’s always margarita season in America where this universally beloved drink remains the most popular cocktail for like 20 years in a row. There’s actually been studies done that reveal people will rationalize spending more money on a margarita than other drinks. She’s popular AND worth it!

How do you make this beauty queen of cocktails even better?! By deepening the flavor profile and increasing the antioxidant intake by like 1000 percent with the addition of Argentine Yerba Mate tea. This margarita got an Argentinian upgrade and her new name is Mate-rita!

As a resident recipe creator for Argentine Yerba Mate, y’all know by now my obsession with using Argentine Yerba Mate as a cocktail ingredient. I especially love it with tequila and it seems to work really well in sour drinks. The tea-like flavors really benefit from the citrus and agave. And that’s before mentioning any of the many health benefits Argentine Yerba Mate has more antioxidants than green tea, it’s packed with vitamins, reduces inflammation, and even helps to protect your heart. Oh! And it has a slight caffeine boost that gives this Mate-rita that extra energizing zing!

Mate-rita – 8 servings
2 cups Blanco Tequila
1/2 cup Orange Liqueur
1 cup lime juice
1 cup pre-sweetened Argentine Yerba Mate tea*

Add all ingredients to a pitcher and fill with ice. Serve in margarita glasses rimmed with salt. Garnish with a thin lime wheel.

Steep one cup of Argentine Yerba Mate and strain. Add preferred sweetener ( I like agave nectar with this drink) to steeped Yerba Mate liquid, and set aside to cool.

You can find Argentine Yerba Mate brands in specialty tea stores and in select Whole Foods Markets across the U.S. You can also purchase on Amazon.com.

This post was sponsored by National Institute for Argentine Yerba Mate

The post Mate-rita, Anyone? appeared first on Bit By a Fox.

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Listen to Episode 66: Sonoma Wine Country with Beth Costa”

Last month, I had the great pleasure of visiting Sonoma wine country along with about a dozen other media types. And I think I can speak for everyone on that trip, we fell deeply in love with the region and its people.

We had the opportunity to dine in the middle of vineyards, hang with winemakers and taste some of the best wines being made in this country.

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Listen to Episode 65: English Sparkling Wine with Chapel Down’s Josh Donaghay-Spire”

English sparkling wine is suddenly all the rage with wine experts and enthusiasts alike. But it’s been bubbling up for the last 30-40 years, spearheaded by the leading English sparkler (and apparently the royal family’s fave), Chapel Down.

I recently sat down with head wine maker Josh Donaghay-Spire while he was in town, and we chatted about the exciting category of English sparkling wine. 

This week’s cocktail recipe is an English winemaker’s twist on the classic French 75…

English 75
1.5 oz of London Dry Gin
.5 oz lemon juice
.5 oz simple syrup
Chapel Down Brut

Shake the gin, lemon juice and simple syrup over ice. Strain into a chilled flute or coupe glass, and top with Chapel Down Brut.

The post BBaF Podcast Episode 65: English Sparkling Wine with Chapel Down’s Josh Donaghay-Spire appeared first on Bit By a Fox.

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A few summers back – an especially scorching one from what I remember – a pink frothy frozen libation swept the country and, seemingly overnight, every restaurant and bar had their own version of blush colored concoctions to please the masses.

With the rising temps, the feverish interest in all things rosé, and the perfect portmanteau of frozen + rosé, the stars aligned and Frosé was born.

Three years later, the trend seems to have slightly chilled (sorry!). The interest has dipped partly because people were finding out that many of these frozen versions of wine cocktails contained far more sugar than expected. As many of us know, massive amounts of sugar combined with wine and hard alcohol results in a super slushie sized hangover the next day. Talk about brain freeze!

The beautiful thing about this adult slurpee, however, is it doesn’t even need all that sugar. I mean, it has blended fresh fruit and juice in it, so you can practically treat it like a smoothie…with wine!

I really took that idea to heart and even added a powerful boost of Argentine Yerba Mate tea for my version of Yerba Mate FroséWelcome to your summer future, guys.

As a resident recipe creator for Argentine Yerba Mate, I’ve mentioned my love of using Argentine Yerba Mate before as a cocktail ingredient, not only because of its tea-like flavor profile, but also because of its many health benefits – vitamin C, zinc, potassium, and a bunch of powerful antioxidants – even more than green tea. 

For this recipe, I created a simple yerba mate tea syrup for that bit of sweetness and earthy depth of flavor.

We’re on the other side of Memorial Day weekend, June 8 is National Rosé Day, and there is no better time than the present to ready those blenders, chill TF out of your favorite dry rosé, and commit this recipe to memory for all of your al fresco fetes! 

Yerba Mate Frosé
1 Bottle Full-bodied Dry Rosé Wine
1/4 cup Argentine Yerba Mate Simple Syrup*
2 cups Frozen Strawberries
2 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1 cup Ice

Pour bottle of Rosé Wine into ice cube trays and freeze 6-12 hours. Once frozen, combine rosé cubes in a blender with the simple syrup, strawberries, lemon juice, and about a cup of ice. Blend until it is a smooth, slushie like consistency. Serve with fresh, edible flowers. 

Steep one cup of Argentine Yerba Mate and strain. Add steeped Yerba Mate liquid to a small saucepan with one cup sugar. At medium-high heat, whisk until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 2 months. (good for about two batches of Yerba Mate Frosé)

You can find Argentine Yerba Mate brands in specialty tea stores and in select Whole Foods Markets across the U.S. You can also purchase Argentine Yerba Mate on Amazon.com.

This post was sponsored by National Institute for Argentine Yerba Mate

The post The Future of Frozen Rosé: Yerba Mate Frosé appeared first on Bit By a Fox.

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Listen to The Master Blend – A Bartender Series: Christine Wiseman”

The Bit by a Fox Podcast is now on its fourth episode in the Bartender Interview Series – The Master Blend. In collaboration with BERTOUX Brandy, the Bit by a Fox Podcast is hosting a series of interviews with some of America’s most acclaimed and innovative bartenders.

This week’s interview is with Christine Wiseman, Bar Director of LA’s most fabulous rooftop cocktail bar, The Broken Shaker at the Freehand Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. We discussed her 20 year journey through the industry, from managing the busiest Outback Steakhouse in the country to creating scratch and sniff cocktail menus, and spearheading the LA cocktail scene with a heavy dose of her signature sparkle along the way.

Christine Wiseman’s BERTOUX Brandy cocktail: Crème de Ciel 

Crème de Ciel 
2 oz BERTOUX Brandy
.50 oz Gentian Infused Chinola*
.75 oz Lemon Juice
.75 Blue Curacoa
1/8 oz Simple Syrup 

Combine all ingredients in tin and shake, double strain into a coupe. Garnish with a marigold.  

*Gentian Infused Chinola
750 ml Chinola
3 oz Gentian
Infuse for 1 hr and strain

The post The Master Blend – A Bartender Series: Christine Wiseman appeared first on Bit By a Fox.

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Listen to Episode 63: Suck it Up with Dan Magro

If you caught this week’s #BoozeMailMondays live tasting on Instagram, then you already know how fun the most recent Bit by a Fox Podcast guest is! I’m currently OBSESSED…

Hobbiest mixologist, viral video personality, and cocktail book author of Suck It Up: Extraordinary Cocktails for Everyday People, Dan Magro has a real-talk and hilarious approach to mixing drinks. We gabbed and laughed about the proliferation of multi-hyphenates in LA, his deep love of brunch…as a LIFESTYLE, and his ultimate, if unexpected, drinking buddy to get bit by a fox with!

This week’s cocktail recipe is a brunch favorite from Dan’s book, Suck it Up, Lavender Mimosas.

Lavender Mimosa – served in a champagne flute
Brut Champagne or Sparkling Wine
Lavender Honey Infusion*
a lemon, quartered
Garnish: fresh lavender  

Rub the lemon slice around the rim of the flute, squeeze the juice into the glass, and the drop the wedge in. Fill the glass with 3/4 of bubbly, top off the remainder of the  glass with the lavender honey syrup. Garnish with lavender.  

*Lavender Honey Infusion
Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Once boiling, add 1/3 cup of honey and stir for 3 minutes, then reduce heat to medium. Add 1/4 cup of dried lavender, and stir for 1 minute making sure all lavender is immersed in water. Turn off the heat, cover and let sit overnight. Strain the cooled liquid, discarding the solids. Store in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. 

The post BBaF Podcast Episode 63: Suck it Up with Dan Magro appeared first on Bit By a Fox.

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Listen to The Master Blend – A Bartender Series: Devon Tarby”

The Bit by a Fox Podcast is now on the third episode in the Bartender Interview Series – The Master Blend. In collaboration with BERTOUX Brandy, the Bit by a Fox Podcast is hosting a series of interviews with some of America’s most acclaimed and innovative bartenders.

This week’s interview is with Devon Tarby who discusses her bartending beginnings at famed cocktail bar The Varnish where she met her future partners in the highly successful hospitality firm, Proprietors LLC. We talk about her music background and how she incorporate that into her cocktail creations, how she stays sane with such a busy scheduled, and what it’s like to be nominated for a James Beard Award

Devon Tarby’s BERTOUX Brandy cocktail:

Perfect Timing
1.5 oz BERTOUX Brandy
.75 oz Fusion Verjus Blanc
.75 oz Ramazzotti Aperitivo
.25 oz Giffard Creme de Peche
1 tsp. Simple Syrup
2 dashes acid Phosphate
2 drops of salt solution

Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into chilled cocktail coupe. Garnish with edible flower.

The post The Master Blend – A Bartender Series: Devon Tarby appeared first on Bit By a Fox.

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Listen to Episode 61: Avuá Cachaça with Peter Nevenglosky”

This week on the Bit by a Fox Podcast marks our first foray into the world of Cachaça, the Brazilian spirit made from sugarcane, that many may only be familiar with because of the Caipirinha – Brazil’s national  cocktail. 

The Cabana Crush

Avuá Cachaça, which officially launched in the United States in 2013, is a Cachaça brand that is a very good place to start. Peter Nevenglosky, co-founder of Avuá Cachaça was in town briefly for a tiki competition and took the time to sit down with me to discuss the category of Cachaça and it’s rich history, how he got involved in this Brazilian spirit, and how a little known cocktail legend named Sasha Petraske of Milk & Honey was the first to give this little brand a leg up. 

This week’s cocktail recipe is the Pan Am cocktail created by Cervantes Ramirez from Milk & Honey in New York City.

Pan Am by Cervantes Ramirez
1oz Avuá Amburana
1 oz Dry Vermouth
1 oz Dry Curaçao
orange twist

Add ingredients and ice to a mixing glass, stir until well chilled, strain into a rocks glass over ice. Swipe rim of glass with orange peel, squeeze, and drop into the glass.

The post BBaF Podcast Episode 61: Avuá Cachaça with Peter Nevenglosky appeared first on Bit By a Fox.

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Listen to The Master Blend – A Bartender Series: Yael Vengroff”

This week on the Bit by a Fox Podcast, the second installment goes up on the Bartender Series collaboration with BERTOUX Brandy – The Master Blend.

In collaboration with BERTOUX Brandy, the Bit by a Fox Podcast will host a series of interviews with some of America’s most acclaimed and innovative bartenders.

This second interview is with Yael Vengroff, one of the most decorated young bartenders out there.  While she runs the award winning cocktail program at The Spare Room in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, she has her hands in a number of other LA bars, and still makes time to feed her love of dancing and movement.

We discussed the importance of body mechanics in her personal and professional life, and how creating a strict sense of structure actually helps to free up her wild child creativity. 

Yael Vengroff’s BERTOUX Brandy cocktail, East Broadway Sour, is currently being served at LA institution, Genghis Cohen.

East Broadway Sour
2 oz BERTOUX Brandy
.74 oz Lemon Juice
.75 oz Chinese
5 Spice Syrup
2 dashes Toasted Pecan Bitters
1 oz Red Wine Float 

Shake all ingredients, except the wine, over ice. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Float 1 oz of a full bodied red wine. Garnish with orange wheel & grated nutmeg.


The post The Master Blend – A Bartender Series: Yael Vengroff appeared first on Bit By a Fox.

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