One Theme, A Growing Story

Each month, Tasting Table’s Monthly Editions explores a single topic from a variety of delicious angles. Our May 2012 issue, The Great Outdoors, celebrates the glorious return of warm weather.

Throughout the month we’ll be sharing freewheeling ways to enjoy the beach, the park and even your backyard by exploring a variety of al fresco topics--from innovative soda cocktails to a primer for planting a garden of any size.

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  • An icy soda is one of warm weather’s greatest pleasures. And we’re not the only ones who think so: Some of our favorite bartenders from around the country have gone back to basics, using new and old-school sodas in an array of simple spiked takes on the classics. Pack up a cooler and hit the road with these great recipes.

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    ROOT & RYE

    Recipe adapted from Lara Creasy, JCT Kitchen, Atlanta, GA

    Yield: 1 drink

    2 ounces Redemption Rye
    4 dashes Regan's Orange Bitters
    4 dashes Fee Brothers aromatic bitters
    IBC Root Beer
    Orange peel

    In a mixing glass filled with ice, combine the rye and bitters. Stir until chilled, then strain into an ice-filled Old-Fashioned glass. Top with the root beer and stir once to combine. Express the orange peel's oils by twisting it over the surface of the drink, then drop the peel into the drink and serve.

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    Recipe adapted from Péché, Austin, TX

    Yield: 1 drink

    2 ounces Galliano
    4 ounces Mexican Coca-Cola
    ½ ounce heavy cream

    In a mixing glass filled with ice, combine the Galliano, Coca-Cola and heavy cream and stir until chilled. Strain into an ice-filled Collins glass and serve with a straw.

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    Recipe adapted from David Wilson, Mezze, Los Angeles

    Yield: 1 drink

    1¼ ounces Smith & Cross rum
    ½ ounce lime juice
    ½ ounce hibiscus-sumac syrup
    3 ounces Jolt Cola
    2 mint leaves

    In a Collins glass filled with ice, combine the rum, lime juice, hibiscus-sumac syrup and cola and slowly stir until completely chilled. Garnish with the mint leaves and serve.

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    Recipe adapted from Lucy’s Fried Chicken, Austin, TX

    Yield: 1 drink

    Crushed ice
    1 ½ ounces Treaty Oak Rum
    ¼ ounce fresh lime juice
    6 ounces Big Red soda

    Fill a Collins glass with the crushed ice. Add the rum and lime juice and top with the soda. Stir until combined and serve with a straw.

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    Recipe adapted from Joseph Brooke, Mixology 101, Los Angeles

    Yield: 1 cocktail

    1 ounce London dry gin
    ½ ounce lime juice
    ½ ounce coconut purée
    ½ ounce elderflower cordial
    ¼ ounce grapefruit juice
    Mexican Squirt

    In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add the gin, lime juice, coconut purée, elderflower cordial and grapefruit juice. Shake well and strain into an ice-filled Collins glass. Top with Mexican Squirt and garnish with the cherry.

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    Recipe adapted from Jacob Kent, Viktor & Spoils, New York City

    Yield: 1 cocktail

    6 to 8 mint leaves, plus 1 for garnish
    1 cilantro stem, plus 1 for garnish
    ¾ ounce fresh lime juice
    ¾ ounce jalapeño simple syrup
    1½ ounces Tanqueray No. Ten gin
    Jarritos Toronja Mexican Grapefruit Soda

    In a mixing glass, add 6 to 8 mint leaves, 1 cilantro stem, the lime juice and the simple syrup. Muddle gently until fragrant, then add the gin. Fill the glass with ice and shake well. Strain into an ice-filled Collins glass and top with the Jarritos. Garnish with the additional mint leaf and cilantro stem and serve.

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    Recipe adapted from Stephanie Melidis, City House, Nashville, TN

    Yield: 1 drink

    1½ ounces white whiskey
    3 dashes lemon bitters
    2 ounces Dr. Enuf
    ½ ounce crème de violette

    In an Old-Fashioned glass filled with ice, combine the white whiskey, lemon bitters and Dr. Enuf. Stir and top with the crème de violette; serve.

  • SENT MAY 24, 2012


    Garden Guru

    How to grow your own produce regardless of space

    Sara Gasbarra is the woman Chicago chefs call when they want to grow their own produce. With her new company, Verdura, the edible-garden expert develops rooftop gardens, window...

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  • SENT MAY 23, 2012


    Fire Trucks

    Building an oven in your ride

    Pizza and automobiles have a long relationship, which has been overseen by generations of delivery boys and girls. What is new, however, are pizza ovens and automobiles: Now...

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  • SENT MAY 15, 2012


    Seasonal Sips

    Three beers for the backyard

    On sunny days, we tend to reach for cans rather than bottles: They're easier to tote and the metal protects the beer from light, which helps keep its quality intact. It seems that...

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  • SENT MAY 14, 2012


    C'mon Baby, Light My Fire

    This season there's only one question: restaurant or campsite?

    It used to be that campfire cooking and restaurant cooking were about as different as can be. But that is changing: Open wood fire has become the preferred cooking method at many...

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  • SENT MAY 7, 2012


    Lillet Down

    A new summer aperitif from Lillet

    The mention of wine coolers makes us think about cloying cocktails consumed while standing on tacky carpet. No, thank you. The mention of Lillet, the storied French aperitif,...

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  • SENT MAY 3, 2012


    Rhône Star State

    Washington wines turn to southeast France

    Napa does Cabernet and Oregon does Pinot Noir, but Washington State’s wine producers have been slow to claim their calling-card grapes. We do have one theory about a...

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