Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Winnow Episode #4: BevCon and Tiffanie Barriere

The latest episode of the Winnow is out! This time around, Tiffanie Barriere took a few minutes out of BevCon to join Hanna and me to discuss all thing booze, including, service, ice, and even jello shots.

Here's how to listen:

iPhone: open the Podcasts app (it's a purple icon) and search for “The Winnow.” You can subscribe to the podcast and automatically receive new episodes as soon as they're released.

Android devices: Go to the Google Play store.

The Winnow can also be accessed via various third-party podcasting apps and through the Soundcloud app or online at the Soundcloud website. And, we have an RSS Feed, for folks who know what to do with those things.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Winnow - Episode 3: Beer Talk

This summer, I teamed up with Hanna Raskin, the food editor and chief critic for The Post and Courier, to launch The Winnow, a podcast devoted to what's happening in the Southern food world. Each week, Hanna and I delve into topics ranging from restaurant trends to boiled peanut season, and we invite a guest to join us each week.

This week's episode just posted, and our guest is beer guru Brandon Plyler of the Charleston Beer Exchange and Edmund's Oast.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Tale of Two Derbies (Brown Ones)

A Brown Derby made with either bourbon
or rum. Can you guess which?
When people write about the Brown Derby cocktail, they tend to invoke the glitz and glamour of showbiz, presenting it as “a taste of the Golden Age of Hollywood.” After all, according to the widely accepted history of the drink, it was created in Hollywood during the 1930s, the era of Greta Garbo and Douglas Fairbanks and Busby Berkeley extravaganzas. The Brown Derby looks the part, too—a blend of bourbon, grapefruit and honey with a decidedly golden hue.

There are actually two competing origin stories. The first is that it was the eponymous signature cocktail at The Brown Derby, a three-restaurant chain in Los Angeles. The original location was shaped like an actual derby hat, and its Vine Street outpost was a popular hangout for Hollywood movers and shakers. The other version claims that the cocktail was actually created nearby at the Vendome Club on the Sunset Strip and named, for some reason, in honor of the Brown Derby restaurant.

There's a slight problem with both stories, though: the Brown Derby cocktail doesn’t appear to have come within 3,000 miles of Hollywood at any time during the 20th century.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

A Little Signature Sandwich Theory

This week, the Charleston City Paper ran my Summer Dish essay pondering the thorny question of why the city of Charleston doesn't seem to have a signature sandwich. I talk about the cheesesteak in Philadelphia and the poor boy in New Orleans, of course, but also note that Columbia's signature sandwich may well be the pimento burger.

After I submitted the original copy,  then-editor Chris Haire (who has since decamped for his native Greenville to edit a half dozen or so publications up there) and I exchanged a few emails on sandwich theory.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

A Mint Julep-Fueled Escape

Nicholas Cresswell: An Englishman Who Knew
When to Apply a Little Julep
In my new book Southern Spirits: 400 Years of Drinking in the American South, I tell the story of mint juleps and how they evolved from being a morning dram that tippling men knocked back as an “antifogmatic” into the most trendy drink of the sporting set in New York City. One of the stories I had to leave out involved the early form of juleps—basically, a glass of rum cut with sugar and a little water—and how Virginians’ practice of starting the day off with them helped one Englishman get out of a rather serious jam.

Friday, August 05, 2016

A Visit to Buxton Hall

My family spent our summer vacation up in the North Carolina mountains, which gave me a chance to finally check out Buxton Hall Barbecue. And I wrote about it for Southern Living's Daily South.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

August & September Events

After laying low during most of June and July, I've got a busy August and September lined up with a serious of really great food events & book festivals. See the latest schedule here.

Monday, August 01, 2016

Benjamin Franklin: Early Rye Whiskey Advocate

In my latest book Southern Spirits, I discuss the dominance of imported rum as the spirit of choice in the Colonial South until it was eclipsed by domestically-distilled whiskey in the early 19th century. One of the first proponents of making domestic whiskey was none other than that most practical of practical men, Benjamin Franklin.

In 1765 Franklin published in his Poor Richard’s Almanac a tract entitled “How to manage the Distilling of a Spirit from Rye, or other Grain, that shall be preferable to common Rum”.

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