3 Sparkling Holiday Cocktails
Premium soda water livens up these ginger, molasses, and maple syrup tipples.
December 12, 2012
FROM LEFT : Autumn Sweater, New England Highball and Non-Alcoholic Winter Berry Fizz cocktails
When ordering a vodka and soda, it’s unlikely you give much thought to the type of soda water adding the effervescent zip to your cocktail. Water has long been overlooked as a key component in the quality of a drink. Thanks to the cocktail resurgence of late, we have a newfound appreciation for ice; the bigger the cube, the slower the dilution in your Old Fashioned. But water? Not so much—until now.
A mainstay at fine dining establishments, Perrier is making a splash in the cocktail world. It makes sense, historically speaking, as some of the world’s most iconic figures have long enjoyed Perrier in their tipples: James Bond used it in his Americano (Campari, sweet vermouth, and Perrier), and Hemingway called for Perrier as the soda in his cocktails, both fictionally and in real life.
So what’s the difference between using Perrier and regular club soda? The bubbles last longer, buoyed by a high mineral content and less sodium. A white wine spritzer becomes more like a sparkling wine, and your vodka soda doesn’t go flat. And with flavors like lemon, lime, and grapefruit, you can mix and match Perrier bubbles with your favorite spirit
Try these Perrier-based cocktails (and one delicious mocktail) or go societeperrier.com for more ideas.
1 3/4 ounces aged rum
3/4 ounce apple cider
3/4 ounce Ginger Shrub Syrup*
1/4 ounce date molasses
1 dash Angostura Bitters
2 ounces Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral Water
Shake all ingredients except Perrier and strain into a highball glass. Top with Perrier and stir. Garnish with ginger candy and an apple slice.
*Ginger Shrub Syrup: Combine one cup shredded ginger and three cups apple cider vinegar in a quart container. Cover and let sit for three days at room temperature. Test for spice level—allow to sit for two more days if necessary. Strain mixture, add liquid to a pot, and bring to a simmer. Turn off heat and add four ounces date molasses. (Add more if too tart.). Cool and refrigerate.
New England Highball
1 ounce cranberry syrup*
1 ounce Applejack Brandy
1/2 ounce bourbon
1/2 ounce maple syrup
3/4 ounce lemon juice
2 ounces Perrier Lemon Sparkling Natural Mineral Water
Shake all ingredients except Perrier and strain into a highball glass. Top with Perrier and stir. Garnish with a lemon twist.
*Cranberry Syrup: Bring to a boil one cup water, six ounces frozen or fresh cranberries, and 3/4 cup sugar over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes or until cranberries begin to break down. Cool, strain, seal in an airtight container, and refrigerate
Non-Alcoholic Winter Berry Fizz
1 ounce cranberry syrup*
1 ounce lemon juice
1 ounce maple syrup
4 ounce Perrier Lemon Sparkling Natural Mineral Water
Shake all ingredients except Perrier and strain over fresh ice in a Collins glass. Top with Perrier and stir. Garnish with a lemon slice.
*See above recipe
Recipes developed by mixologist Lynnette Marrero.
Gift Idea: Vermont-Made Truffles
Square-cut truffles imbued with whiskey, espresso, and crème fraîche make a sweet present.
December 06, 2012
Give a gift that might not last long but will be well remembered this holiday season in the form of decadent truffles from Vermont’s Lake Champlain Chocolates. Founded in 1983 in Burlington, the family-owned and operated chocolate company is sweet on local ingredients like maple syrup, honey, cream, and butter. Each square-cut truffle in its new 18-piece Revel Chocolates box is produced in part with local Vermont food purveyors, such as Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery, Whistle Pig Distillery, and George Howell Coffee. The locally inspired flavors combine with Lake Champlain Chocolates’ traditional chocolate ganache to create unexpected and remarkable combinations such as truffles with Vermont crème fraiche or Whistle Pig’s rye whiskey. You can find Lake Champlain Chocolates at local Whole Foods stores or online at lakechamplainchocolates.com.
Virtual Tailoring at Alton Lane
Alton Lane brings New England’s first virtual design lab to Newbury Street.
December 03, 2012
Alton Lane’s Colin Hunter and Peyton Jenkins
Alton Lane is the first men’s store in Boston to use 360-degree body scanning for a flawless fit of its shirts, suits, blazers, and tuxedos. Hand measurements are also taken, and both sets of numbers are sent to Alton Lane tailors to ensure the best possible cut. Clients can browse fabric samples from renowned textile brands including Holland & Sherry, Thomas Mason, and Vitale Barberis Canonico, and choose their collar, cuff options, vents, lapels, pleats, and lining in Alton Lane’s 1,800-squarefoot showroom. Suits generally take four to five weeks from measurement to arrival at the customer’s home or office. The bespoke men’s clothier is the brainchild of Colin Hunter and Peyton Jenkins, who founded Alton Lane in 2009 after being frustrated by the market’s options. “I knew when we launched Alton Lane that Boston would be one of the first cities because we have so many clients based here,” says Hunter, referring to customers who were previously being fitted in the New York showroom, including professional athletes and former presidents of discerning taste. 91 Newbury St., 646-896-1212
Boozy Macarons at The Hawthorne
Sample a rainbow array of macarons inspired by top-shelf libations.
December 03, 2012
Macarons have grown into a trend to rival cupcakes, but The Hawthorne in Kenmore Square is the first bar we know to indulge its clientele’s sweet tooth with varieties inspired by cocktails. To honor the spirit of a mixology competition that sister restaurant Eastern Standard was participating in, The Hawthorne’s executive pastry chef, Lauren Kroesser, created a gin and tonic macaron. It wasn’t a hit, but that only spurred her on. She collaborated with Eastern Standard bar manager Kevin Martin, and together they came up with a gin, St-Germain, and chocolate macaron that was a winner. For the holidays Kroesser has whipped up some special macaron recipes, including hot buttered rum; wassail; and peppermint julep with red and white swirl cookies. Each evening the bar offers three flavors for customers to try. The Hawthorne, 500A Commonwealth Ave., 617-532-9150
PHOTOGRAPHY BY EKATERINA SMIRNOVA
L’Espalier's Adds Monthly Tea Tastings
Tea sommelier Cynthia Gold takes guests on an exotic journey into the world of tea.
November 16, 2012
Cynthia Gold, tea sommelier at L'Espalier
On December 16, 1773, colonists unloaded three full ships of British tea into Boston Harbor. Almost 239 years later, Bostonians are sitting down to sip the world’s rarest teas in a French restaurant as tea sommelier Cynthia Gold hosts her monthly tea tastings at L’Espalier. This month's iteration, dubbed “Champagne of Tea: Darjeeling of India,” will be held on November 18 and will feature Gold's handpicked Darjeeling teas with pairings by fromager Louis Risoli.
The only true tea sommelier in Boston, Gold used to own a tea house called Tea Tray in the Sky, and she’s overseen the English afternoon tea at the Park Plaza Hotel’s Swan’s Café. She also authored a popular tea recipe book, Culinary Tea. Her signature approach to tea follows her in her new post at L’Espalier. Here, Gold talks about the new monthly tastings, traveling for tea, and why tea and food pairings are a lot like wine and food pairings.
What influenced you to become a tea sommelier?
CYNTHIA GOLD: I was a chef opening a new restaurant around 15 years ago when I decided that I didn’t want anything mediocre in my restaurant, and that included the tea that I served. I read about and tasted as many teas as I could get my hands on in order to put together a tea program of which I was proud. In the end, once I had the teas in my restaurant, I started to be inspired to cook with them. What I didn’t realize at the time was that I was one of the first chefs in the country to be doing this. My cooking with tea came to the attention of some people in the tea industry, and soon I had received my first invitation to go to Asia and learn at the source.
How do your travels influence your tea selections?
CG: I can’t help but be influenced by the opportunity to visit and spend time on a particular farm, estate, or tea garden. Getting to know the growers and producers, and when I’m very fortunate, participate in the harvest and processing of their teas just brings more respect for the beautiful teas that they produce. Also, opportunities to visit various tea regions often lead me to taste teas that would not normally be available to us here in the US.
What current trends do you see in tea?
CG: People are more influenced by what they hear about the health benefits of tea, but while this may be what brings them to explore the world of tea, it is the tea itself that keeps them here.
What makes for a good pairing between a particular tea and food?
CG: The issues are the same as when pairing wine and food, with the exception of the element of acid. You can pair for compatibility, contrast, and/or balance.
Anne Fontaine Forest Day Fête
The designer spreads her love of couture and conservation with a cocktail-fueled shopping event.
November 15, 2012
The Anne Fontaine Forest Day tree ($750)
Elegant French fashion boutique Anne Fontaine will host a cocktail party and shopping event in honor of its second annual Forest Day on November 17 (4:30–6:30 p.m.). At the brand’s Boylston Street boutique, guests can sip cocktails, check out a handcrafted paper tree, and shop to support the preservation of the endangered Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest. Fifty percent of the evening’s proceeds will benefit reforestation work through the Anne Fontaine Foundation, and due to the recent devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy, the foundation will also donate 20 percent of proceeds to the NYC Restoration Project.
Three of Fair Trade Vodka signature cocktails, including a cucumber martini with Fair Quinoa Vodka, lemon juice, and cucumber and simple syrups, will be passed while shoppers browse Fontaine’s winter collection. And for one big spender, the beautiful tree in the storefront can be purchased for $750—every cent of which will go to Fontaine’s foundation. The tree is one of only 43 natural Kraft paper trees with interchangeable leaves made exclusively for Forest Day. The Heritage On The Garden, 318 Boylston St., 617-423-0366
Accessorize Your Holiday Manicure
BaubleBar and Essie create matching nail polish and bangle trios with holiday sparkle.
November 15, 2012
Let your hands do the talking this season with wrist-wear to match your manicure. In a unique and colorful collaboration, BaubleBar fashion director Shoshanna Fischhoff has designed a limited edition set of chic bracelets to complement the winter collection of Essie nail polishes. The sets are available exclusively on baublebar.com.
Each of the six Essie lacquers are paired with a matching bracelet, and shoppers get to add two additional bracelets of their choosing to complete the set ($50). Polish selections— with fun names like Butler Please and Where’s My Chauffeur—range from sparkly metallics to bright holiday hues.
For a fancy dress holiday party, channel old Hollywood with classic red polish and Baroque-style bangles, or amp it up with bright blue polish and a gold studded bracelet and tassel wraps. Each set arrives complete in a luxe pouch, making them perfect for gifting or tucking into a stocking.
In Pictures: Bond, James Bond
A look back at the many 007s, Bond girls, and villains of the iconic film franchise.
November 12, 2012
Red Wing Pops Up at Brooks Brothers
The two American brands pal around for a Newbury Street trunk show.
November 09, 2012
Hand-sewn shoes by Red Wing Heritage
This weekend, you can shop two of America’s most iconic brands in one place as Brooks Brothers’ Newbury Street boutique hosts a trunk show for Red Wing Heritage on November 10 and 11, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
If you’re not familiar with the Minnesota-based brand, Red Wing crafts beautiful leather shoes that are at once practical, resilient, and stylish. Its signature Oxford and boat shoe are ultra-comfortable and durable—the perfect walking shoes for a Boston man about town. Founded in 1905, Red Wing is just under a 100 years younger than its venerable trunk show host. Needless to say, the styles on the racks at Brooks Brothers play chicly with shoes by Red Wing.
Trunk show shoppers will be able to browse the entire Red Wing Heritage collection, while speaking to experts from the brand about the history of Red Wing Heritage and the craftsmanship of its fine shoes. Slip into one of their signature styles and snag an exclusive Red Wing tote bag and shoe care kit with purchase this weekend. 46 Newbury St., 617-267-2600
4 Watches to Fall Back With
The best fall watches, from sleek to chic to incognito.
November 05, 2012
Falling back for the end of daylight savings time may have thrown off your schedule, but it doesn't have to throw off your style. Why not celebrate the extra hour with a stylish new watch? These four fabulous timepieces rock fall’s hottest trends.