Internet, I am packing for Chicago, getting your camp post ready for tomorrow, and kind of having a cold. So I thought I'd share my favorite recipe for feeling better in winter weather: the hot toddy. This is your standard recipe, with the addition of Chinese loose tea, always in abundant supply here at Chao Camp, and red pepper flakes -- an inspired addition from Grub Report's Dr. Mathra -- which is probably the most important ingredient here. The tea supplies much-needed caffeine; the pepper flakes provide the toddy with a major kick, and also encourage endorphin release. As a wise Mellencamp once noted, "Hurts so good."

The first few camp dates and locations will be announced very very soon, so stay tuned for exciting camp-related developments. In the meantime, go hot toddy yourself to death.

AuthorAB Chao
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The first time I had a Dark & Stormy was at a magical place called Bar Tonique in New Orleans, which seems fitting, what with Isaac getting all in our grill and whatnot.

Bar Tonique classifies the Dark & Stormy as a "cooler," and its recipe boasts a list of fancy things like "black strap navy rum, house-made ginger syrup, house-made demerara syrup," and "charged water." I do not know what several of those things are. Will I let that stop me? NO.

*This bottle opener is from Vince's parents' restaurant, now closed, and is one of two surviving copies. China Doll!

Since I live in a decidedly non-NOLA city, we are going to use fewer ingredients, and also store-bought ones. I know you don't think I'm about to make my own ginger syrup when there is a storm on the way.


Dark rum

Ginger beer

How to make it:

1. Pack a glass with ice. (We used a 59-cent bag of ice from Sonic, which I highly recommend if you are Sonic-adjacent. It is truly the best.)

2. Pour in two jiggers of rum (you should probably use Kraken Black Spiced Rum, since it is delicious, readily available, and has a good label). You can use the 1 oz. side of the jigger, or the 2 oz. side. I'll let you guess which side we used.

3. To that, add two jiggers of ginger beer...

4. ...and a quarter of a lime, squeezed. 

Mix all up. Enjoy in front of your Louisiana map.

Have another. Get all excited about photography and bust out your ancient Polaroid Land Camera. Take terrible pictures.

Have another. Wait for the rain.

Have another.

All photos: Ben Corda

AuthorAB Chao
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A friend of mine here recently finished her dissertation, and we are going out tonight to celebrate. And by "celebrate," I mean "make her drink a lot of cocktails." So in her honor, I made y'all a little drink. It's the Old-Fashioned, which I find quite PhD-ified. Enjoy it with a pipe and a fabulous tweed jacket. And have a super old-fashioned weekend.

AuthorAB Chao
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It's Super Bowl weekend, and since a) I love the Saints, and b) Eli Manning hails from the great city of New Orleans, we are making a quintessentially NOLA cocktail: the Sazerac. Now, there are many ways to make a Sazzy -- the always reliable Gumbo Pages details several -- but I prefer the confusing and overly-complicated traditional method you see above. (This recipe heavily based on the recipe from GP.)

Come on, when is the next time you get to use two glasses to make one drink? Your six-pack of Miller Lite can't provide that kind of entertainment, people. So, go ahead: get your Rotel dip and chicken wings ready, then class that noise up with a deliciously complex New Orleans cocktail. DEWIT.

Happy Super Bowl! May your favorite team win, and may your Rotel be extra spicy.

PS. Thanks to the brilliant Mrs. Lilien for the Mr./Mrs. glasses, and for the design inspiration!

AuthorAB Chao
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