Archive: Liquid Diet

Coffee: Friend, Foe or Fuel?

(Kim O'Donnel) Normally this happily caffeinated sipper wouldn’t ask, but the topic of brown brew as mental glue has been on my mind of late. It seems various friends and colleagues are trying to kick the coffee habit – for a day, for Lent or until withdrawal sets in. One friend announced on Twitter that he tried “to substitute green tea for coffee this morning. You know, the healthy Chinese way. Then I went to Starbucks.” Another friend and her partner went on a week-long caffeine-free cleanse and writes in an e-mail that she’s “about to eat the leather off my shoes.” And a colleague in San Francisco, who was simply caffe-curious, writes “I give: I'm back on the coffee tomorrow; this is ridiculous. I miss my brain.” On the flipside, my friend Paula, a big-time coffee drinker who used to brew up heady pots of Cafe Bustelo, thick...

 

By Kim ODonnel | March 27, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (41)

Drawing Party Lines with a Cocktail

There are pins and T-shirts, front-yard signs and bumper stickers, sippy cups and key chains -- the sundry memorabilia and tchotkes that say I Heart You Presidential Candidate Blue or Red. And now, with the presidential nomination season just five weeks to go, there's the cocktail. Brought to you by the folks at Skyy, there's a color-coded cocktail campaign coming to a lounge near you. "Barack's Rocks." (Courtesy Skyy) For Blue enthusiasts, Skyy is recommending Barack's Rocks, a drinky drink made the color of Windex, thanks to the addition of blue curacao. In non-election season, you might know this concoction as a "blue lagoon." Sips for Thought: Do you think they picked this one because of Obama's Hawaiian birth roots? Do we know if he even likes vodka? And is the window cleaner blue just a tad too girly for the senator? The recipe, below, calls for a slice of...

 

By Kim ODonnel | July 18, 2008; 06:00 AM ET | Comments (7)

Mixing Drinks (and Cooking) From Your iPod

How would you like your digital, downloadable margarita -- straight up or on the rocks? That's the gist of a cocktail recipe book now accessible on your iPod. Originally published as a 128-page hard-cover book in 2006, "101 Margaritas," by drink minx Kim Haasarud, is the latest addition to Raybooks, a line of digital, iPod-able books offered by Durham, N.C.-based Modality, Inc. A photo from the iPod version of "101 Margaritas." (Kim O'Donnel) It brings a whole new meaning to iPod mixology, n'est-ce pas? I've just downloaded Haasarud's book to get a sense of the look, feel and functionality, and I must say, the interface is impressive. It's readable, clear and easy to navigate and includes all the photos from the original book. Pricewise, a Raybook is a tad more than buying the two-year-old print version via amazon.com, where it's presently listed as $10.85, but then you've got to pay...

 

By Kim ODonnel | May 1, 2008; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Home Coffee Brewing 101

I remember the first time I walked into a Peet's Coffee store in San Francisco in the mid-1980s. It felt so exotic, and wow, you could buy bags of beans to take home! I was between my freshman and sophomore years in college, and a new coffee drinker, starting my day off with a tantalizing cup of Maxwell House brewed automatic drip-style, served with one teaspoon of Carnation Coffee-Mate and one Sweet-n-Low. I remember packing a bag of beans in my suitcase to share this way-cool California coffee with my mother. Back East, we didn't know much about coffee, except the oft-burned brews that were poured at the local diner or bakery, and Peet's would remain a fond memory years before I ever set foot in a Seattle Starbucks store in the early 1990s. (A few interesting worlds-colliding tidbits in West coast coffee history: When Starbucks opened its first store...

 

By Kim ODonnel | December 19, 2007; 09:36 AM ET | Comments (20)

Tea Geeks

"It's time for tea," Mary Lou Heiss declared to me in our phone conversation last week. And in this case, Heiss, who owns a specialty foods shop in western Massachusetts with her husband, Robert, doesn't mean that the kettle is on. Instead, she means that tea, as an artisanal product, is finally getting its due in the United States. "Earlier this year, we went to the World Tea Expo, a sort of newish trade show (it launched in 2003), and we met so many people who are about to start a tea business," says Heiss. "Within the next year, tea is going to explode." Tea experts Mary Lou Heiss and Robert Heiss. (Steve Garfield) The Heiss's, who sell about 120 kinds of loose-leaf tea at their store, Cooks Shop Here, have just published "The Story of Tea," an impressive body of work that is part travel journal, brewing manual, history...

 

By Kim ODonnel | October 22, 2007; 07:32 AM ET | Comments (16)

Real Iced Coffee

My friend Nan is from New Orleans. When I met her nearly 20 years ago in Philadelphia, she talked endlessly about the iced coffee of her hometown, that it was simply the best and that we dopey Yanks had no clue. I tried turning her on to iced Americanos at our favorite coffee shop, but it never quite did the trick for my pal. Could it be "clouds in my coffee"? (Kim O'Donnel) When Nan and her beau, Mig, got hitched a few years later at the The New Orleans Botanical Garden, I had a chance to taste what she had been talking about all this time -- creamy, chocolate-y iced coffee that held up even over ice. She was right; we dopes had been drinking lame-o brown crayon water disguised as iced coffee. Flash forward to June 2007, when I'm back in the Crescent City, volunteering as a chef...

 

By Kim ODonnel | July 9, 2007; 10:49 AM ET | Comments (55)

Got Mushed Raspberries? Make Lemonade.

When the weather turns from spring to summer, we all turn to a cold beverage, an elixir of sorts to help restore the heat-induced balance. For some, it's iced tea. For me, it's lemonade. The freshly squeezed juice of several lemons sweetened and poured over ice is a tonic unlike no other; lemonade revives me, gives me a chance to momentarily pause and I love the bio-chemical rush of all that Vitamin C. Raspberry lemonade -- what the weather doctor ordered. (Kim O'Donnel) At this time of year, I keep tabs (and give props to) restaurants that take the extra time to squeeze lemons for ade-freaks like me. Recently, I've had stellar lemonade at Rasika and 2Amys, as well as ade-standbys such as Colorado Kitchen and Pizzeria Paradiso. On Friday, I treated myself to lunch at Equinox, where I perched myself at the bar. When I made my lemonade inquiry,...

 

By Kim ODonnel | June 18, 2007; 09:45 AM ET | Comments (8)

A Hot Pot of 'Sippy-Poo'

When she drank alcohol, my Aunt Ginny was fond of her afternoon "sippy-poo." Usually, this meant a Pink Squirrel, a sickly sweet concoction of white creme de cacao mixed with creme de noyaux, an almond-flavored red liqueur that gives the drink its signature Pepto-pink hue. Spiced hot chocolate: Exactly what Santa ordered. (Kim O'Donnel) In spite of my aunt's affinity for psychedelic-colored beverages, I always like her turn of phrases, and as an adult, adopted her "sippy-poo" expression as my own. And at this time of year, when drinking and eating turn into sport, a light-hearted Aunt Ginny-ism is particularly fitting. More than any other time of year, December holidays bring out the "sippy-poo" in all of us -- whether or not we drink alcohol. For the most part, I drink wine, but over the next few weeks, I'll cave to a glass of eggnog or something spritzy and sparkly....

 

By Kim ODonnel | December 22, 2006; 08:13 AM ET | Comments (0)

Care for a Rum Cocktail?

This week marks the 10th anniversary of washingtonpost.com, which means it's probably time for a cocktail. If you're not as excited about this milestone as we are at the Web site, perhaps you can toast to the official beginning of summer (the solstice takes place at 8:26 a.m. tomorrow). But the real question is: Do we really need an excuse for a summery quencher? (Today's post is laced with alcohol, by the way. For drinks without the hard stuff, take a look at these non-alcoholic ideas. ) For me, summer cocktailing means rum. Gin and tonics are about as old hat as my 20-year-old pair of blue seersucker Bermuda shorts, but that doesn't mean I harbor ill toward the isle of Bermuda. In fact, one of my ultra-favorite sippy-poos (a term coined by my Aunt Ginny) is a Dark'n' Stormy, considered the national drink of Bermuda. Made famous by Goslings...

 

By Kim ODonnel | June 20, 2006; 10:40 AM ET | Comments (10)

Drink-Ade

When the weather is like it is today in Washington, it feels like nothing can go wrong. We should all play hookie and pack a picnic basket with enough Rosé for the whole gang. The question, though: Can we afford to be snookered on a Tuesday afternoon? Oh, all right, I'll behave. Still, we need something cool to drink when that throat gets parched, at that imaginary picnic or out on the back porch after work. Did you get a look at the details for the rosemary lemonade that was featured in last week's Food section? I love the idea of infusing herbs into lemonade, and if you've got a run on rosemary in your garden like I do, this may be the ticket. You'll need to make a simple syrup, which is a cooked sugar-water solution that needs to cool before using; it's a good idea to make a...

 

By Kim ODonnel | June 13, 2006; 11:35 AM ET | Comments (0)

 

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