When Sarah, Vicky, and I started Whisk, one of the projects we were most excited about was connecting our member blogs with Wisconsin-based artisan producers – providing opportunities for our members to expand their work and challenge themselves with new projects, and providing opportunities for local companies to showcase their products and grow their businesses. We’ve loved watching this part of our organization grow, and we each personally have loved getting to know local businesses and working with their products.
I am incredibly excited to be working with Top Note Tonics, out of Milwaukee. I generally hesitate to share recipes here that require specific products, but Top Note’s concept – boldly-flavored, non-alcoholic tonic concentrates made from whole botanicals and cane sugar – was a hard one to pass up, especially given how much I miss the pre-Aldo fun we used to have with testing and tweaking new cocktail recipes. I was excited about the potential for use in classic gin and tonics or other similar drinks, but I was also interested to see if they could be used in place of bitter liqueurs like Campari or Aperol, and for their potential as non-alcoholic apertifs that don’t just rely on sweetness, like most non-alcoholic mixed drinks tend to do. They sent samples of all five concentrates – four with a tonic-like bitter profile (Bitter Lemon, Bitter Orange, Gentian Lime, and Indian Tonic) and one Ginger Beer concentrate. I tasted each on their own and got to work putting together a recipe testing plan (which I’ve learned is very important when it comes to cocktail testing, unless you’re willing to let things get away from you a bit.)
We’ve camped a lot this year. A lot a lot. We realized, in fact, that we have probably spent more nights in our tent over this past year than in any other place. It’s been fantastic, in part because we’ve camped in some amazing, jaw-dropping places (like the Canadian Rockies, the Boundary Waters, and Yosemite), but also because we spent most of our years in Southern California wishing we had more time to head into the wilderness, pitch a tent, and spend days doing not much of anything but hiking.
So these days I have pretty good footing on matters of camp cooking. I get a lot of questions both on this site and from friends and family about how to plan for camp meals, and this page from last year has been by far my most popular this summer, so soon I’ll put together a new site feature all about planning camp meals and menus.
But first, I want to talk about trail cooking, an entirely different beast. Read more
Ready for summer? Here's a list of all the Bowen Appétit cocktail posts perfect for warm afternoons and evenings. Get mixing!
If you’ve been patiently reading all those posts about travel and what I’ve eaten, you may have noticed that back in September I mentioned a drink that I was close to saying was the best cocktail I’ve ever had. And I even promised a recipe, once I was able to recreate it well enough at home.
Well, here you go.
Our first vagabond week took place in Eugene at Brett’s parents house, enjoying steamy hot Oregon summer days and cloudy, chilly, misty Oregon summer days (oh, Oregon). We rode our bikes along the river and ran on actual trails and had lunch with friends, and breakfast with friends, and (cheap, amazing) beers with friends. We drank Oregon pinot. We went to the Fair. We moved and unpacked and organized all of our earthly belongings, sorting them into “see you next year” and “mobile lifestyle” (aka living out of a car for three months) piles. Then we made that second pile smaller, and smaller, and smaller. We promptly reopened almost every box looking for the camera tripod, which eventually turned up in the backseat of the car. It’s going to be a long year of searching for and moving around our belongings.
And we ate cherries. Cherries, and cherries, and cherries.