Archive | Beverages


From: Green Walnuts: an elegantly bitter harvest

Recipe and photo by Kristen Rasmussen

Nocino-Glass-2Anyone can magically transform incredibly tannic walnuts and clear, sugary alcohol into this “black gold” Italian liqueur. I like to keep my nocino pure so I can taste the walnut-y goodness but have successfully experimented with adding vanilla bean and cinnamon. Try pouring nocino over vanilla ice cream, using it in a Manhattan cocktail in place of vermouth, or drinking it on its own as a digestif.

This recipe makes about 2 liters, but you can multiply it as necessary according to the amount of walnuts that you have on hand.

4¼ cups granulated sugar
1.75 liters Everclear (Vodka can also be used, but I strongly prefer the strong stuff, as it leads to a more robust flavor.)
50 green walnuts, cut in quarters
Optional flavorings: citrus peel, cinnamon sticks, black pepper, vanilla bean, etc.
4 half-gallon jars with lids, washed well with hot soapy water, rinsed, and air dried
Smaller bottles with lids

Divide the quartered walnuts, Everclear, and sugar evenly into the cleaned jars, then screw on the lids tightly and shake the jars vigorously. Over time the nocino liquid will darken. It happens quite fast and it’s pretty impressive!… Read More

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Saul’s Deli Toasted Celery Soda

Illustration by Margo River-Weiss

Illustration by Margo River-Weiss

From What Do You Pair with a Reuben?
Recipe courtesy of Saul’s Deli

Serves 1

4 ounces celery syrup (recipe below)
Seltzer water
Lemon slice

Add 4 ounces celery syrup to a pint glass. Fill with seltzer water and ice. Stir and then garnish with lemon slice. Serve with a straw.

To make celery syrup for approximately 12 sodas:

2 teaspoons celery seed
2 cups vodka

Simple syrup (1:1 sugar to water)

Place celery seed and vodka in a saucepan and warm over low heat. The idea is to ignite and burn off the alcohol, which will easily happen over a gas burner if you swirl the pan as it heats. Over electric heat, you may need to apply a flame. The flame will die out when the alcohol is gone, which usually takes about 3 to 6 minutes. Set aside until completely cool and then strain out the seeds with a fine strainer, pressing out any remaining moisture with a spoon. Mix this extract 1:3 with simple syrup.

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Agricole Daiquiri

from The Three Tier Roadblock to Barroom Creativity

Recipe courtesy of Beretta

2 ounces St. George Spirits Agricole Rum
.75 ounce fresh lime juice
.5 ounce Martinique cane syrup

To make the Martinique cane syrup, boil ½ cup water and add 1 cup Martinique sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Cool before using.

Combine rum, lime juice, and cane syrup.* Shake, strain, and serve up.

*The proportions can be changed if less syrup is desired, but stick to the 2:1 sugar:water ratio when making the syrup.

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Elderberry Kefir

Elderberry Kefir
from Seven Stars of Summer by Jessica Prentice

Photo by Jessica Prentice

Photo by Jessica Prentice

This nourishing and delightful beverage can be made with either fresh or dried elderberries. The recipe involves three stages: making a basic water kefir, making elderberry syrup, then blending the two parts. You’ll want to save the water kefir grains for your next batch. Some people assert that metal harms kefir grains, so store it in glass or plastic.

Basic Water Kefir

Water kefir can be flavored with almost any juice or whole fresh fruit, such as summer’s blueberries, peaches, plums, raspberries, or apricots.

¼ cup water kefir grains
½ cup sweetener (sucanat or rapadura sugar)
7½ cups filtered water

Place the sweetener in a pot with 2 cups of the water and bring to a simmer. Whisk in the sweetener to dissolve it and then add the remaining water and allow to cool until just warm to the touch.
Place the water kefir grains in a 2-quart Mason jar, then add the sweetened, cooled liquid. Screw on a regular or airlock lid. I use an airlock, which my partner Jake makes by drilling a ⅝-inch hole in the middle of a plastic Mason jar lid (available at hardware stores), fitting it with the smallest-size airlock plug (which we buy at Oak Barrel on San Pablo) and an airlock, which gets halfway filled with water.… Read More

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Savory Lemonade


Photo courtesy of Roshni Kavate

By Roshni Kavate

1 cup lemon juice
2 cups water
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon panch phoron
6 mint leaves

Combine all ingredients in a blender, saving a few small sprigs of mint as garnish. Serve chilled.

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Anthony Keels’ Yellow Doll Cocktail

  • ¾ ounce Yellow Doll Watermelon Syrup (made with 2 parts Yellow Doll watermelon juice and 3 parts simple syrup)
  • 1¼ ounce CapRock gin
  • ½ ounce St-Germain elderflower liqueur
  • ¼ ounce lemon juice
  • ¼ ounce lime juice
  • Sparkling wine (your driest) 

Place all ingredients except the sparkling wine in a shaker with ice. Shake and then double-strain into a martini glass. Top with a floater of sparkling wine.

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Weedy Green Lemonade

If you have a juicer, try making this mineral-packed tonic. You can make use of mature or bolting weeds, which have more enzymes and nutrients than young ones have, and the larger stalks will give you plenty of juice. If you pull the roots, you can juice those too. Drink on an empty stomach for best results.

1 bunch celery
1 cucumber, and/or 1 head of romaine lettuce (optional)
3 apples
1 or 2 lemons (with skins)
Several bunches of any type weedy greens
1 or 2 bunches of parsley or cilantro (optional)
1 to 5 inches fresh gingerroot (optional—start with small amount and work up to more if it suits your system)

Juice the celery (and cucumber or romaine, if using), alternating it with the apples and lemon, and pour into a 1-quart mason jar. Juice the greens and herbs.

Add to the celery mix, to taste. (The more weed/herb juice you add to the celery mixture, the greener your juice will be. Make it as dark green as tastes good to you. Over time you will crave it greener.) Finally, juice the ginger and add as much as tastes good.

Drink your juice right away. If you have any Weedy Green Lemonade left over, freeze it in ice cube trays.… Read More

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Tea made of nettles promotes radiant skin and hair, as well as prostate health. I always make extra nettle tea to use as a superfood additive for smoothies or for botanical preparations.

You can freeze the extra tea in icecube trays to keep it available for other uses. Heat up a pot of filtered water to just under boiling. (It is important not to boil if you want to maintain the active enzymes in the nettles.) Turn off the heat and add several stalks of nettles. Cover. Steep for 5 minutes or longer. Strain and serve. If the tea is too strong, add hot water to dilute. The first few times you drink nettle tea, it’s best to keep it weak and observe how it affects your body.

• Nettle Ginger or Ginger-Mint Tea: Add several sprigs of mint and/or a few slices of ginger along with the nettles to steep.

• Sweet Nettle Water: If you add honey or stevia to tea before cooling and freezing, you have the beginnings of a healthful and refreshing cold summer drink. To a tall glass of filtered water, add ice cubes made from nettle (or nettle/mint/ginger) tea and serve.

• Nettle Skin Toner or Spritzer: After washing face, apply cooled and strained nettle tea with cotton balls as a toner, or splash on face.… Read More

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