Entries Tagged as 'Food and Drink'

LFK Coffee Guide for Beginners: Alchemy Coffeehouse & Decade

11.09.2016

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By Elias Medici

Coffee is indeed a drug. Could you go to rehab for it? I believe you should. College students suffer the addiction, cringing for more while the night owl stays up late staring aimlessly on blackboard to decipher whether to finally start studying or keep wasting more money on Amazon. However, coffee does have its positive perks, one in particular being a social remedy practiced in the vast jungle of Lawrence’s exquisite coffee spots.

Let’s play the name game. When I provide a word, allow your brain to trigger its first response immediately to it. Okay? Okay. The first word is “mosquito.” You most likely thought of the word “bite,” or, “Malaria/Zika virus” to show-off your political relevance. Now, let me provide the word relating to this article’s purpose, “coffee shop.” What did you think? It was most likely “hipster,” and, yes, that is an accurate connection. Typically, this is a pre-cautionary signal to most people. But, these unique coffee spots are not just for the hipster breed; they are actually fun and cool!

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Alongside my sidekick photographer Maggie, our first spot was Alchemy Coffee & Bake House on 19th and Massachusetts St. The little shop is located in a petite plaza with a narrow driveway and a huge parking lot that fits up to three cars. We were forced to park, illegally, at a residential lot not far from it. However, there is available parking across the street; we were just lazy.

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The aroma walking in reminded me of a hookah lounge that had a baby with a nursery that lacked any plants. The space is tight with a small corridor in the back for food, a center with tables, and a main counter for coffee on the final side. All these intricate instruments were displayed and, to my surprise, there was no menu. I know what you’re thinking at this point, “Wow, that oozes hipster,” but bear with me. The man read my mind and translated my visible feelings into a dynamic concoction that he called “mocha.” It was wonderful and cheaper than Starbucks. We proceeded to sit down at an empty table and enjoyed the atmosphere. People were friendly and completed homework assignments politely in their own manner. For some reason, five of the 16 people in the shop were wearing Christmas sweaters. Don’t say the H-word; it was probably just an accident. We both rated this quaint, unique shop a strong A grade.

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The next and final shop of our short tour was Decade, a coffee shop in the eastern section of Lawrence’s emerging art district. Thankfully, there was legal parking. The exterior had this architecture similar to a San Franciscan home with a tight landscape more than one story high. Walking in, we were greeted with a wooden staircase and a coat rack that immediately made me think of an Urban Outfitters entrance. Don’t say the word please. At the top, there were tables lined up and organized and people were smiling, completing their study. There were families with children, to my surprise, eating a light meal and enjoying coffee. On the walls were local art displayed and shelves full of ceramic and wooden works. The main counter was similar to Alchemy’s and had the diverse instruments that I could probably not pronounce a single one of their proper names correctly.

dsc_0148We ordered food this time, a $12 grilled cheese accompanied with tomato bisque topped with goat cheese. I ordered my second “mocha” and we sat down at the counter due to it being packed in the seating area. They also had a porch with a huge group of friends laughing and enjoying each other’s company. Definitely the outside area is a great place to hangout and chill, if it’s open. When we sat down, we were greeted with flash cards that had open-ended and extremely personal questions. We didn’t play it. By the time we were done munching, it was 30 minutes later. Upon leaving, I took the “In what ways are you a difficult person to have a relationship with?” flash card as a memory of our beautiful time at Decade. We rated it as well a strong A with a great emphasis on its social ability.dsc_0157

It’s highly recommended to unwind with some of your best pals at these shops whether it’s on the weekend or after class. Everyone needs a balance to his or her busy schedule, and this is a perfect way to counteract stress resulting from being productive. Can you get addicted to coffee? Yes, absolutely. Will there be a hipster at your planned visit to one of the two coffee shops mentioned? 100 percent there will. Will you have a wonderful time and enjoy yourself? I am positive of it. Take my word and go explore!

Photography by Maggie Russell

Smooth(ie) Sailing: A Guide for Surviving Finals

5.06.2016

By Sabrina Sheck

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Finals week is coming up super fast (aka next week). We know how hard it is to stay motivated this time of year, especially when stress and lack of sleep are threatening your health. Don’t let finals be the death of you—grab a quick and flavorful smoothie before hitting the library and you’ll be feeling healthier and (hopefully) acing those tests/projects.

Juice Stop is the perfect place to get your smoothie fix, and they have great nutrient blends to keep your mind and body under control. No one wants to forget everything they studied as soon as they start the test, and you definitely don’t want to get sick right before finals! When you head into Juice Stop you might be a little overwhelmed with what to order, but have no fear, you just need to know which fruits are going to be your best friends to survive finals week.

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We headed into Juice Stop and ordered a Half Nelson with the Wellness blend. Not only does this smoothie already have oranges in it, which are high in Vitamin C to help knock out any viruses, but adding the Wellness blend will make sure your immune system is in tip top shape.

Another great fruit to have in a smoothie are blueberries. The Volley smoothie contains blueberries, which are known for being rich in antioxidants and helping your memory stay strong. Add in the Green blend to give your brain an extra boost to make sure you won’t lose any important information during your finals.

Finally, try a smoothie with banana in it, such as the Off The Lip. Not only are bananas going to give you a full day’s worth of energy, but adding in the Energy blend will keep you going until the wee hours of the morning when you are studying late for your last final.

 

If you can’t make it to Juice Stop before your study sesh, pick up a smoothie from The Pulse in the Underground or the Union on campus. You can find immune health, energy, and protein add-ins to carry you through these last few weeks. Good luck studying!

Photography by Sabrina Sheck

You Can’t Live on Cookies: The Vegan Challenge

5.04.2016

By Rebecca Dowd

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Abigail Fulk saw the sign for the vegan station in a cafeteria at The University of Central Missouri and rushed over to it. But when she took a closer look, her heart sank. The vegan stir fry had been cooked in beef bouillon (just because it’s bouillon doesn’t mean it has no meat in it) and the sign for the pasta at the station said the pasta “only” had bacon bits in it.

This wasn’t enough to make Fulk give up her vegan lifestyle, but maintaining a vegan diet isn’t easy for college students. Beyonce and Jay Z tried to make it easier with their “22 Day Vegan Challenge”—sign up for $119.99, you’ll get protein bars, plant based protein powders, and recipes delivered right to your door—but you still have to eat and that’s the challenge for many college vegans.

To be vegan means to eat a totally plant-based diet— no meat, eggs, or dairy. Bye-bye cheese; hello beans, rice, veggies, nuts and fruits. Also sugar. You can be vegan and eat only Oreos, says Anne Henry, a nutritionist in Denver, Colorado, but a diet of cookies isn’t sustainable.

Lilly Bakker, a senior majoring in social welfare at The University of Kansas was hesitant talking about her vegan diet because she didn’t make it past the two week mark. “I stood no chance,” she says. She wanted to be able to sit on the couch with her roommates and eat junk food. Allie Roseman, a senior majoring in business at Miami of Ohio University made it two and a half years, and enjoyed eating fruits, veggies, oatmeal, and beans, but the challenge of finding vegan food on her campus did her in.

Roseman stuck to three options: baked potato, steamed broccoli, and brown rice. Eventually, she found herself 20 pounds lighter and couldn’t maintain a healthy body weight.  “I couldn’t handle it anymore, so I just quit,” Roseman says.

It’s frustrating to Fulk that to be committed to your vegan diet in college means losing a ton of weight. Eating on the University of Central Missouri campus was torture, she says. KU students are much more satisfied with their vegan options on campus. KU Dining recieved a B on the 2015 Vegan Report Card, according to Peta College Rankings, with 89 percent satisfaction ratings.

For the 2015-2016 school year, KU introduced “Nature’s Finest,” which is 100 percent plant-based at every dining location every day, says Christine Ebert, a registered dietitian for KU Dining Services. These Nature’s Finest stations aren’t the only places with vegan options, but they help curtail student requests for more and easier options. If students have the will, there are options for them on campus, Ebert says.

KU has more vegan options available than ever before. “In fact, 39 percent of our recipes are vegan. That is up from around 28 percent last year,” Ebert says. Kathryn Everett a junior majoring in engineering says being a vegan at KU actually isn’t that difficult because she can find meals and snacks quick and easy. And with the milk substitutes offered, she can still enjoy coffee between classes.

As a busy college student, it is easy to neglect our bodies, Everett says. Even though she has lost a few pounds, but nothing too significant, she thinks being vegan is the best option for her body, the environment and promoting fair treatment of animals.

Everett is not alone. Bon Appétit Management Co., a company that manages more than 4,000 college and university dining services saw twice as many vegan college students in just four years (from 2005-2006 to 2009-2010).

With more options at KU, Everett can stay healthy, but she still has the hardest time saying no to cookies…

“Cookies are my achilles heel,” she says.

Photography by Emma Creighton

3 Traditional Irish Drinks to Try for St. Patrick’s Day

3.17.2016

By Emma Creighton

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! We know you’re probably celebrating with a few pitchers of green beer somewhere, but if you’re looking for something different to drink today, look no further than these three traditional Irish drinks!

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Irish Coffee – For the Cultured Irish  

Invented by Joe Sheridan one winter night in 1942. Joe was a cook in the city of Foynes in West Ireland. Foynes was an airbase near Limerick and hosted many travelers. That cold night in 1942 Joe Sheridan came up with the drink to warm up some weary travelers. It had such a positive response it became a regular item on his menu and is now recognized internationally.

Here is Joe’s original recipe:

Cream, Rich as an Irish Brogue

Coffee, Strong as a Friendly Hand

Sugar, Sweet as the tongue of a Rogue

Whiskey, Smooth as the Wit of the Land.

Brew a cup of coffee dark and strong then stir in a spoon of sugar (I prefer brown sugar). Then add a shot of your favorite whiskey, I recommend Jameson Irish whiskey for full authenticity. Top off your drink with a big scoop of heavy cream or whipped cream to make it extra thick!

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Guinness – For the Traditional Irish

Guinness is easily the most famous Irish alcoholic beverage and for good reason too! It has been around longer than the United States have been a country. It was first brewed by a man named Arthur Guinness in 1759 in Dublin, Ireland. At first it started as a Dublin Ale, but eventually diversified into a porter. This was revolutionary as it was one of the first porters and was characterized by its dark color.

Guinness is just as much of a symbol of Ireland as the shamrock is. Pouring it is considered a special skill. A “perfect pour” should take 119.5 seconds while being poured at a degree of 45 degrees. Any Irishman would be horrified to see it poured any other way.

If you’re ever in Ireland, simply walk into any bar and ask for the good stuff and you’ll be handed a pint of Guinness.

The Irish Car Bomb – For the Competitive Irish

The Irish Car Bomb is a pretty simple shot. And yes it is a shot, even though it includes drinking a pint of Guinness! However, the name of the drink is not so simple, and is in fact quite controversial. The name Irish Car Bomb is in reference to the extreme tactics used by the Provisional Republic Irish Army (a.k.a the IRA). The IRA was a series of movements in Ireland during the 20th and 21st centuries dedicated to Irish republicanism. For centuries Ireland suffered until British rule. Today, the majority of Ireland is independent, except for Northern Ireland which is still apart of Britain. Tensions still exist especially between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland.

But basically the Irish Car Bomb encompasses every key Irish drink and liquor you should be consuming on St. Patrick’s Day.  Remember to drink fast.. it is a shot after all.  Here’s your recipe:

Ingredients:

Guinness Stout

Jameson Irish Whiskey

Baileys Irish Cream

* Kahlua (Part of the original recipe, but is often left out)

Instructions:


  1. Fill your pint glass 3/4 the way with Guinness
  2. Fill the shot glass halfway with Jameson
  3. Fill the rest of the shot glass with Baileys (and/or Kahlua)
  4. Quickly drop the shot glass into the pint glass
  5. Chug! Chug! Chug!

And finally, St. Patrick’s Day wouldn’t be complete without a quick Irish saying. Cheers!

Here’s to a long life and a merry one. A quick death and an easy one. A pretty girl and an honest one. A cold pint and another one! 

Photography by Maggie Russell

Home Cooked and Handmade: Become a Better Cook in College

3.04.2016

By Kate Miller

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Maitri Patel comes home from a typical day exhausted. As a pre-med student at the University of Kansas, she spends her classes cranking numbers, memorizing anatomical parts and attending meetings with the pre-med club.

Coming into her apartment, Patel drops her backpack and puts away her things. Instead of collapsing on the bed for a nap, however, she makes her way to the kitchen, where she pulls out vegetables and starts her rice cooker.

As she chops celery and brussel sprouts, her mind goes into autopilot and she lets her hands do the thinking. The constant motion of the knife, combined with the savory aroma of the cooking rice, soothes her brain and the tension dissipates from her shoulders. At the end of the half-hour of preparation, she feeds her relaxed body with a healthy, home cooked meal – invigorating her to tackle tonight’s round of homework assignments.

Patel’s kitchen, though, isn’t the norm for college students. The stereotype that all we eat is ramen noodles and Chinese takeout? Well, it’s true.

A 2014 survey by GrubHub Inc and Spoon University found that, when it comes to ordering food, 10 percent of all college orders include pizza and of the top 10 foods ordered for take-out by students, five of them are Chinese dishes.

It’s easy to see why cheap, easy ordering is so popular among college students: for many of them, college is the first time they’re solely responsible for feeding themselves. Once they’ve moved into someplace with their own kitchen and no chef at their whim, many are clueless.

Paige Vandegrift, a private chef located in Kansas City, says the reason for this is simple – college students today haven’t grown up learning to cook at their mother or grandmother’s elbow and they’re not going to magically develop those skills in college, she says. “[To learn how to cook,] you either have to be a person of great discipline or thrown into a position where you’re forced into it,” she said. “You have to make the commitment; you’re not going to get it right the first time.”

Patel knows that feeling. While she grew up learning to cook by watching her mother, she had never cooked before moving into an apartment – and her first foray into food making was a disaster. She remembers making Tollhouse cookies from a package, burning them, and having to toss out the whole batch. “Cooking is difficult for everyone,” she says. “My mom didn’t let me cook at home because she’d make four entrees rather than just the one I could, so when I got [to my apartment], I had to work at it.”

Commitment is just the first step in learning how to cook. The next step? Finding easy, healthy, quick recipes that fit your cooking experience — no matter what it may be. Kelsey Fortin, a health educator at the University of Kansas who teaches free monthly cooking classes, recommends looking for those recipes online and in cookbooks specifically designed for the broke college student.

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Vandegrift says cooking classes are a good option, but the best option comes from learning from someone you know and being exposed to do-it-yourself cooking as often as possible.

For Sash Alm, another University of Kansas student, do-it-yourself cooking is the only kind she knows. As a Kuwaiti who came to the United States for college, her passion for cooking is cultural. She cooked for her parents at home, and as a college student, constantly experiments with new recipes. She attended one of Fortin’s cooking classes to find healthier recipes.

“I really started looking for healthier ways to cook since I came here to America,” she says. “I used to just eat fast foods, but all of a sudden, I realized it’s not really that tasty. Yes, it’s yummy; yes, it’s satisfying, but it’s not tasty. So I started trying to cook things that are filled with vegetables and eat more fruits and get to taste the natural taste of foods.”

Some of the best foods you can eat to get that natural taste are the versatile staple items: brown rice, black beans, leafy vegetables. Fortin advises, for the sake of cost, that meals include items in season to get the most out of your budget and the most nutritional value. Frozen and canned foods aren’t a bad choice, as long as they’re free of the preservative liquid full of salt and other unhealthy chemicals.

But cooking for yourself isn’t just an issue of health. For many, including Alm, cooking provides a therapeutic way to wind down at the end of the day, a way to express your creativity, and an opportunity to communicate and bond with who you’re cooking for.

Fortin says cooking provides a break from the stress of classes and academics. “When you cook, you’re using your body instead of your mind for a little while, letting your mind academically take a break, and letting your hands and body do the work,” she says.

Vandegrift, who worked for an insurance company before she attended the Cordon Bleu in (London), says cooking gives her tangible, short-term rewards for her work – being able to see the “fruit of her labors,” so to say. “To me, the value of sitting down with freshly-prepared food, I think that’s very valuable,” she says. “It’s easy to buy prepared food, but in the long run, the ability to prepare a meal for yourself is worth the time and energy and commitment it takes up front to figure out how to cook.”

Photography by Ikeadi Ndukwu


 

cooking class-8Looking for an easy recipe to begin cooking? Try this Greek Quinoa and Spinach Salad that Fortin teaches at Watkin’s Health Center’s free cooking classes.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup dry quinoa, rinsed and drained

1 cup water

2 roma tomatoes, finely chopped

1/3 cup (15 oz.) can black beans no salt added, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup shredded fresh spinach

1/3 cup green onions, finely chopped

2 small ripe avocados or one large, chopped

1/6 cup feta cheese, crumbled

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Combine cooked quinoa and water in a small pot. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 15 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.
  2. Transfer quinoa to a medium bowl. Add tomato, spinach, green onions, avocado, and feta cheese; stir to combine.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk lemon juice, oil, and salt. Add to quinoa mixture and toss to combine.

Serve right away or chill in the refrigerator and serve cold.

$20 Challenge: Downtown Dining

1.22.2016

By Cassidy Ritter

After eating home cooked meals over break, it’s tough to face microwave ramen or the dining hall menu again. But as a college student, you have the ultimate superpower: thriftiness. Time to dust off that budget sheet and see how far you can make your dollar stretch. This weekend, we’ve got a brand new $20 challenge to keep you from going hungry or going broke.

On average, KU students say they spend $10 to $30 eating out on the weekend. College students’ time is spread thin and their wallets are even thinner. With an average meal costing $12.75 according to The Simple Dollar, it is often a challenge for college students to eat out. So, I left my credit card at home and hit the streets of Lawrence with only $20 in hand. My goal was to eat out all weekend, a total of six meals, on a $20 budget.

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I spent $3 at Einstein Bros Bagels on a plain bagel with cream cheese for breakfast. For lunch I enjoyed two chicken tacos at Fuzzy’s Taco Shop totaling $4.34­­– my most expensive meal of the day. Spending only $9.84 on Saturday, day one, I felt I was off to a good start.

For Saturday’s dinner, my roommates and I went to McAlister’s Deli. We used our student football tickets to get $5 off our meals. With the coupon, the Stud Max, a baked potato, cost $2.50. This meal was a large portion of two loaded potatoes that could easily count for two meals.

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Student Money Management Services employee Deanna Ambrose, a junior from Frankfort, Kansas, says if students are going to eat out they are better off paying more money for a filling meal that can result in leftovers for a second meal.

On Sunday I knew I needed to be picky about where I ate if I was going to make it through the weekend with $10.16 left in my pocket. My roommates suggested I indulge in fast food restaurants. Andrea Fogarty, a junior from Chicago, and Abbey Leis, a senior from Leawood, Kansas, say they eat at Wendy’s or Taco Bell when they need to save money. I steered clear of fast food restaurants because in my eyes, they were a cop-out.

Choosing not to eat breakfast at a fast food restaurant, I spent $1.72 on a strawberry knot and glazed doughnut at Munchers Bakery Sunday morning. For lunch I enjoyed two slices of pepperoni pizza and free honey at Pyramid Pizza. The pizza cost $6.01. For dinner, I ordered a single burger at BurgerFi where add-ons like cheese, onions, lettuce and tomato are free. I paid $5.95 for the burger, borrowing $3.52 from my friend to cover what was left to pay when my $20 bill ran out.

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Over the course of the weekend I spent $23.52 on meals in Lawrence. After looking at receipts from the weekend, I talked to students at Student Money Management Services who had a few suggestions to other students eating out on a budget. Alex Alexander, a sophomore from Shawnee, Kansas, says if students can wait to eat dinner after 9 p.m. they should go to Chili’s for half price appetizers.

   Tips to Save $$$
Ask for a Student Discount: Though not many restaurants in Lawrence offer them, it never hurts to ask.
Drink water: Most places charge $2 to $2.50 for a soda, so always ask for a water cup.
Choose Carry-Out: Get meals to go to avoid adding a tip to your bill.
Use coupons: Whenever you can! Look for coupons in the student coupon book or planner, with football tickets, and through apps like Eat Street.

Ambrose recommends students to use the app Eat Street. “The more you use it to order food, the more coupons you get,” says Ambrose.

While it is nearly possible to eat out in Lawrence on just $20, it’s not the healthiest option. After six meals of doughnuts, pizza and any other bready delight Lawrence had to offer, I was ready to eat a homemade meal. My body and mind were sluggish and in desperate need of a detox. I ate bad meals because they were the cheaper option. I probably would not have made it through six healthy meals at restaurants on a $20 budget.

 

 

 

The Breakdown:

Saturday:

1)   Einstein Bros Bagels: Bagel with smear, water cup = $3
2)   Fuzzy’s Taco Shop: Two chicken tacos, water cup = $4.34
3)   McAlister’s Deli: baked potato (Spud Max), water cup = $2.50 (w/ $5 coupon from football ticket), could have counted as two meals

Sunday:

1)   Muncher’s Bakery: strawberry knot (.90), glazed doughnut (.60) = $1.72
2)   Pyramid Pizza: Two slices of pepperoni pizza (walk in), water cup, free honey = $6.01
3)   BurgerFi: single cheeseburger with onions, lettuce, tomato (all free add-ons) = $5.95

Total weekend costs = $23.52

LFK’s Best Kept Secret? Pie.

10.15.2015

Pie display

By Cassidy Ritter

Ladybird Diner, at 721 Mass. St., is known for its specialty pies. We went behind the scenes with Ladybird bakers to see how the magic happens.

Walking into Ladybird Diner, I am welcomed by smiling faces, upbeat music and loud chattering throughout the room. To my left is a white bar with red, circular stools. Waitresses gracefully slide from the bar to tables throughout the room. I’ve walked into a 70s diner with a modern day twist.

Homemade pie is one of the life’s simple delicacies many people take for granted. That is, until you are a college student who no longer gets the luxury of homemade meals much less homemade pie. Luckily, this is what Ladybird is known for.

Ladybird was closed for almost five months after a fire ripped through the diner on March 3, 2015. Megan Heirford, owner of Ladybird, says the thought of staying closed never entered her mind. The diner reopened on August 13, 2015 bringing customers new and old through the door. “This time around I’m blown away by how people must have really missed it because we are selling more pies than ever.”

Once introduced to the staff, I am led downstairs to an unfinished hallway with a bright white room at the end. This is where the pie magic begins. Heirford introduces me to two bakers. They will show me the ins and outs of crafting the perfect homemade pie.   

On the weekends Ladybird serves about 600-700 customers and goes through about 250 pies a week. “We just fly through pies,” says Heirford. “There are some days we’re throwing them in the oven as quickly as we’re selling them. We run out of a flavor or two a day.”

Due to the high demand for pie, Ladybird bakes 45 pies at a time. “We start with frozen butter and keep everything as cold as we can,” says Heirford. The frozen butter is mixed into the dough and individually wrapped into 11-ounce portions, says Chris Shaw, baker at Ladybird. The dough then freezes for two to 12 hours while the filling is made.

Cherry filling

“You can’t just whip out a pie really,” says Heirford. “When you’re talking about dough if what you want is a result that’s going to be flaky but still have good structure then it needs to not be overworked and not rushed so things need to stay cold. So we start with really cold ingredients.”

Megan Lees, baker at Ladybird, mixes frozen fruit, cornstarch and about 14 cups of sugar over a conduction burner. When this mix begins to bubble the smell of sweet strawberries, rhubarb or cherry fills the air. Lees says this is about a 45-minute process.

Once the filling is cooled, the frozen dough is rolled out and placed in a pie tray. The filling is then added and crust is delicately placed on top of the colorful filling. The pie is then placed in the freezer overnight. The next morning the pie is placed in a 400-degree oven for 40 minutes ready to be served by 8 a.m.

Adding pie topping

Ladybird offers six to eight pies at a time, but has 50 pie variations. “One day it’s cherry rhubarb, and the next it’s blueberry rhubarb, and then it’s strawberry rhubarb,” says Heirford. “So it all kind of circles around this core group of fruits and custard bases that we work from but we combine them different ways so that it stays lively.”

Eric Pahls, senior from Beloit, Kan., visited Ladybird with his mother for a Sunday brunch that promised huge portions, a home cooked meal and a pie with a twist. Pahls ordered a slice of the Brown Butter Whisky pie topped with fluffy whip cream.

“I actually got a couple pieces and still have one in my refrigerator and I’m just waiting for a time where it’s socially acceptable to eat it,” he says.

The pie was “euphoric,” he says. The texture is similar to that of a pumpkin pie, but not as thick, and the sweet caramel taste is balanced well with the bitter whisky. Pahls says he’s had classic homemade pies before, like cherry and apple, but never anything like this.  

Ladybird Diner

Aside from their famous pies, Ladybird offers an assortment of food ranging from breakfasts, burgers, and home cooked meals like pea-less chicken pot pie, doughnuts and hand-dipped milkshakes.

A piece of advice around town: “Get there early, they run out of pie.”

Photos by Cassidy Ritter

It’s Called Impromptu for a Reason

6.09.2015

By Alec Weaver

Impromptu Cafe

It comes as a welcome shock that I’ve found myself enjoying a crispy pork belly gyro with a cup of tomato bisque in the Kansas Union. Like many students, my experience with food on campus has pretty much been limited to grabbing a chicken-cheddar wrap or a mass–produced plastic box of sushi between classes, but here at the Impromptu café in the Kansas Union, the hustle of campus seems miles away.

The Impromptu Café is a bizarre culinary entity at KU. It is staffed by the university’s catering service and students, and yet retains its identity as a genuine restaurant. After spending some time with the staff, who are more a family than co-workers, I am ashamed to admit that this is the first time I’ve actually stepped foot into the place and eaten the food prepared as ordered by the Impromptu’s head cook Chris Clark.

Clark, like others who make the impromptu tick, comes from a restaurant background. The line cook, who looks a lot like comedian Jon Lajoie, learned his trade from growing up in the restaurants his parents started. “I’ve been doing restaurant stuff for about eight to 10 years now,” he tells me while stocking his prep station with ice to keep all of the cooler ingredients as fresh as possible until plating. The Wichita native took a brief hiatus from the culinary world when he accepted a job doing tech support for the university, but in July of 2014 found himself right back in food service and accepted a position with KU’s Dining Services. “I guess I just can’t leave it. It’s in my blood,” he tells me.

Clark is just about the most easy-going guy you’ll meet. It seems nothing gets to him, even when Kim Nixon, manager for the Impromptu comes to him in the middle of the lunch rush to tell him that they have a customer with 32 food allergies. Nixon and Clark manage to hammer out a special order in a little under a minute, plain grilled chicken breast and wilted greens. As Chris gets the order started, Nixon returns to the dining room, what’s commonly referred to in the restaurant industry as the “front of the house.”  She tells me that in addition to two groups of six from the university, she also saw a lot of visiting “nametags” walking around on campus. “We shouldn’t be too busy today,” she told me, “but then again, you can’t ever be certain of anything in a restaurant,” Nixon says “It’s called Impromptu for a reason.”

                    Impromptu Cafe
Hours: 11 am-2 pm Monday-Friday, when classes are in session + Stop Day and Finals Week
Location: Level 3 of Kansas Union
Price: $10 or less! View the full menu here.

Nixon is simultaneously mother hen and Don Corleone of the Impromptu, and like Clark, she too has a long history in the foodservice industry. “As you can see, I never really had a chance,” she says, her blue eyes beaming from behind her multi-colored glasses as she holds a picture of her father sitting in the kitchen with her as an infant. “I was literally raised in the kitchen.” For the first few years of her life, her crib was in the kitchen of her family’s small apartment. It is apparent that her father, a cook in the National Guard and later for BSNF railroad, was a great influence on her. She takes down a hardback, railroad recipe book from the bookshelf behind the cash register and flips to a bookmarked recipe, a published recipe of her father’s.

Since her childhood in the kitchen, Nixon has spent 31 years in the restaurant industry, mainly sticking to front-of-house positions, and it is her veteran mettle that has made her an integral part of the Impromptu since it opened in February 2008. Her day starts at 8 am Two hours before anyone else arrives to work the restaurant. Between 8 and 9 a.m. Nixon has already checked the dates on the prepped food in the refrigerator, made notes on what she needs made fresh and what she needs to order for the next big shipment of food. Once she’s taken stock of what’s in Impromptu’s kitchen, she’s off to what Nixon describes as the “Mother Ship” next door.

Across the hall, in the belly of KU dining services’ massive kitchen hub, a buzzing hive of cooks, bakers and dishwashers are all hard at work performing the various tasks needed to feed the university. Kim must snake her way back to the walk-in cooler where she must once again note what’s available before writes her final food order on the whiteboard next to the heavy metal door. She works her way to the back of the kitchen, where the chef de cuisine describes the day’s specials to her. There will be a roasted tomato and bell pepper bisque today as well as a shrimp nacho plate with chipotle black beans  and what Nixon jokes are “the usual suspects,” i.e. salsa and cilantro.

Once we finish up in the “Mother Ship,” its back over to the dining room of the Impromptu where Kim makes the necessary preparations for her serving crew who will be arriving shortly. She stock’s their bill folders with plenty of tickets and draws up their zones on a laminated chart of the 16-table brasserie. Later I will come to find out that these dry-erase borders don’t mean much, as the close-knit crew operates with maximum efficiency. Each of the three servers help wherever they are needed, while Kim floats from table to table taking care of guests’ needs in between visits from their respective waiter or waitress. “It really is like a family here,” says Paige Kime, one of the seniors on the Impromptu’s wait staff. While I ate with them at the end of the work shift, her co-workers echoed her sentiment, especially Ben Honeycutt, a junior who applied to serve at the Impromptu for two years before finally being hired in February. “I just really wanted to work here,” he says, “I was just blown away by the work environment.”

The Impromptu is not the first restaurant to inhabit the Kansas Union. Before it opened its doors seven years ago, the union has been home to five other restaurants, three of which have occupied the space that Impromptu currently calls home, and with its student-budget friendly menu ($10.00 and under) the Impromptu isn’t going anywhere soon. Despite only being open for lunch between 11 a.m. to 2  p.m, Nixon is there for a full eight hours, making preparations so that the day can run smoothly without a hitch.

Aside from the food itself, the environment of the Impromptu is truly remarkable. The warm palate of decor complements the warmth of the staff; it is an oasis for students, faculty and visitors alike. A place to just have a little time for yourself away from the mad rush of the campus that can at times feel like a micro-city. I know that as I sat, eating off of an actual plate, using actual silverware, I wasn’t thinking of graduation or finals or careers, in that moment I was merely thinking of how good that pork belly gyro tasted.

Photo courtesy of Impromptu Cafe.

The Tart Trend of Sour Beers

3.04.2015

By Alec Weaver

On a hot day last June my friend Corbin and I were spending some time at our favorite watering-hole. Trying to decide what to drink, the young woman behind the counter recommended we try the new “sour beer.” At first I was skeptical but after taking my first sip of the refreshing, lemony beverage I was sold. There is definitely something in the spectrum for everyone. From fruity Lambics to tart, crisp Berliner Weisses, Food and Wine has called the budding sour beer trend “the most exciting brewing trend right now.”

At first the phrase “sour beer ” might raise a few eyebrows, but the term is just a catch-all for five distinct styles of brew namely; Gose, Berliner Weisse, American Wild Ale, Lambic and Flanders Red Ale.

“Each style is going to have varying degrees of tartness and funkiness depending on the different strains of bacteria and yeast that are used” says Chris Cordero, who works for Cork & Barrel at 9th and Massachusetts.

Sour beers are by no means new, but there is a gathering interest in this style of beer. At Kansas Crown Discount Liquor, employee Kyle Wolfe says that he has seen this growing interest first hand. “I’ve definitely had more people asking about sour beers over the past year, it seems that more and more people want to try them.” Kansas Crown currently offers four different styles of sour beer; a Gose from Anderson Valley Brewing, a Berliner Weisse from Eviltwin, an American Wild ale from Boulevard and several Lambics.

Cork & Barrel offers the same beers in addition to a second Berliner Weisse from Eviltwin and several Flanders Reds and Cordero says that while there hasn’t been a sour beer boom in Lawrence, they have been getting more variety over the past year, with their popularity peaking last spring.

“We sold more sour beers during the warmer weather because they are really refreshing and work well as more of a session beer,” says Cordero.

So what gives sour beer that distinct taste? The secret lies in the bacteria. Geoff Deman, head of downtown brewing at Free State Brewing Co. says that sour beers get their distinct taste from two types of volatile bacteria which produce high amounts of acid during the brewing process. These yeasts can be added deliberately or can be cultivated from “wild” bacteria that occur when the beer is exposed to the open-air during the fermentation process. According to Deman these bacteria can be finicky and can even “infect” other beers, turning them sour.

“For this reason, breweries producing Sour Beers will dedicate specific fermenters, hosing, parts, and even entire packaging lines to the production of Sour Beers,” says Deman.

So are sour beers merely a fad among foodies or should you expect to see more cropping up?

“I think that sour beers are here to stay, but like all things food and beverage will likely see peaks and valleys with regards to popularity,” says Deman. “Classic beer styles that were popular over a decade ago, like Brown Ale, or Stouts, are less so now, with beer styles that push the envelope becoming more and more popular.”

 

If you’re curious about sour beers, you might want to give one of these brews a try, all of which are available locally.

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Name: Lovechild No.4
Brewery: Boulevard Brewing Company
Style: American Wild
Sourness rating: 8
Purchase at: Kansas Crown Discount Liquor, $17.99, 750ml
Description: Man oh man, this beer is funkier than James Brown in a paisley cape. Aged in both whiskey and wine barrels, Lovechild No.4 is without a doubt the most complex beverage that will ever pass your lips. The aroma of this beer is reminiscent of a good white wine, similar in astringency to chardonnay. The taste opens with a pleasant tartness before giving way to a more pungent flavor, similar to Roquefort cheese. This quickly fades to a subtle fruity sweetness that begs you to take another sip.


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Name: Justin Blåbær
Brewery: Evil Twin Brewing
Style: Berliner Weisse
Sourness rating: 5
Purchase at: Cork & Barrel, $9.99, 22 FlOz
Description:
This offering from Evil Twin Brewing is exactly what you’d expect a sour beer to taste like. Pronounced tartness at first sip gives way to the familiar maltiness of a macro lager. The Label claims that this beer is brewed with blueberries, but that flavor didn’t really come through.

 

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Name: Blood Orange Gose
Brewery: Anderson Valley
Style: Gose
Sourness rating: 6
Purchase at: Kansas Crown Discount Liquor, $8.99, 6 cans
Description:
A very refreshing session beer for the impending heat of summer. This offering from Anderson valley has a very bright and crisp orange flavor throughout.

 

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Name: Duchesse De Bourgogne
Brewery: Verhaeghe
Style: Flanders Red
Sourness rating: 10
Purchase at: Cork & Barrel, $4.89, 11.2 Fl Oz
Description:
This is a very intense sour beer. The initial sip is a huge fruity affair with a grape and red berries being the most prominent flavors. This then fades into a very tart punch, much like expensive balsamic vinegar.

 

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Name: Kriek Lambic
Brewery: Lindemans
Style: Lambic
Sourness rating: 1
Where to buy: Alvin’s Wines & Spirits, $9.71, 750 ml
Description:
Kriek is Flemish for cherry, and this traditional Lambic doesn’t lack for cherry flavor. Think of an Italian soda with a splash of alcohol and you’ll have the just of what this beer tastes like. There are several other flavors of Lambics (Peach, Raspberry, Grape) and the Lindemans Lambics are fairly easy to find around town.

 

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Name: Nomader Weisse
Brewery: Eviltwin
Style: Berliner Weisse
Sourness rating: 8
Where to buy: Mass Liqour, $18.00, 6 cans
Description:
Eviltwin’s Nomader Weisse is a little too tart to be a true session beer, but nevertheless it has a very crisp, clean flavor. Don’t let the exorbitant price tag fool you, there was very little complexity to the flavor and absolutely zero maltiness. In other words buy something cheaper and more drinkable or spend your money on one of the better brews listed above.

 

Photos by Jordan Thompson

Edited by Katie Gilbaugh

The U.S. Bourbon Boom: How a Man’s Drink Became Everyone’s Drink

4.23.2014

By Duncan McHenry

Reserve Bourbon

As a bartender working in her hometown of Wichita, University of Kansas junior Rachael Dowding fell in love with her favorite drink — American bourbon whiskey — from the bottom up.

She started by sampling her bar’s bottom-shelf whiskeys, from “the well” in bar terminology, and soon moved up to premium, top-shelf whiskeys. Maker’s Mark quickly became her favorite, and, since then, she has even traveled to the company’s Kentucky distillery and dipped her own bottle in their signature dripping red wax.

For her, the rich flavor of a good bourbon whiskey like Maker’s Mark is the draw. She started off drinking bourbon with Dr. Pepper, but now prefers it with water.

The Wide World of Bourbon Whiskey: A Price and Style Comparison

“Whiskey” and “whisky” are both correct spellings. “Whiskey” typically is applied to variants distilled in the U.S. and Ireland, whereas “whisky” is usually used for whiskies distilled in Scotland, Wales, Canada, Japan and other countries. This is not a hard-and-fast rule, however, as some distilleries, such as “Marker’s Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky,” choose to spell it differently on their bottles.

Popular American Bourbon Whiskeys:

Wild Turkey 80 Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Price: $29.99
ABV: 40%

Maker’s Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky
Price: $36.99
ABV: 45%

Dark Horse Distillery Reserve Bourbon
Price: $54.99
ABV: 44.5%

Evan Williams Black Label Kentucky Bourbon
Price: $24.99
ABV: 43%

Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Price: $46.99
ABV: 43.2%

Sources: Broken Secrets, LoveScotch, DrinkUpNY

“Maker’s Mark is a small-batch distillery,” Dowding said. “They told us on our tour that the creator of their recipe baked bread to figure out what kind of grains he wanted to use to make it, and whatever made the best-tasting bread is what he used to make his bourbon. If it’s something you can drink with water, you really can appreciate it.”

Dowding is not alone in her love for the dark, amber-colored, flavorful drink distilled from a mixture of corn and other grains such as barley, malt and rye. According to Euromonitor International, whiskey sales in the U.S. have climbed by 40 percent in the last five years alone. And, based on February numbers from the Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S., people also love bourbon overseas as American distillers exported $1 billion in whiskey in 2013 compared to $376 million in 2002.

Along with this so-called “bourbon boom,” as it has been labeled in the media, has come an influx of smaller, craft distilleries — much like what happened in the craft beer industry over the last couple of decades.

Dark Horse Distillery is one such small-time company that was founded in Lenexa in 2010 by siblings Damian, Eric, Mary and Patrick Garcia. The four divide the labor needed to run the business evenly among themselves, with Damian serving as director of sales and marketing, Patrick as master distiller, Mary as head of their event space and Eric handling distribution and legalities. Another major player in Dark Horse’s operation is its copper still, which is affectionately named “Chester Copperpot.”

As Damian discussed Dark Horse’s signature Reserve Bourbon — made with a unique mash of 80 percent corn and 20 percent rye, when U.S. law only mandates a mix of at least 51 percent corn to warrant classification as bourbon — he said several things likely play into the drink’s booming sales. People’s overall affinity for more locally made products and more transparency in production, he said, also helps explain the success of small-batch distilleries like Dark Horse.

“The craft movement is within beer, wine, cocktails and it’s within food, of course,” he said. “You see a lot of people that are starting to gravitate toward that small-batch, handcrafted product. We do some different things that some of the big guys aren’t doing. A lot of consumers are looking for stuff that’s local.”

And as bourbon — and all types of whiskey — has traditionally been thought of as more of a put-some-hair-on-your-chest type of “man’s” drink, it seems logical that its growing popularity has brought a wider range of buyers. Damian said he would attribute this, in part, to a resurgence of creative cocktails in the bar and restaurant scene.

“The traditional cocktails of your Manhattans to the whiskey sours have really been making a comeback for years now,” he said. “[The cocktail movement] is now starting to gain traction even more. People are starting to do what they want with cocktails. They want to have something that’s delicious, and, in a good whiskey cocktail, the whiskey shines through especially nicely.”

Dark Horse Still

Dowding said she has noticed some of her more adventurous girl friends trying bourbon instead of their usual mixed drinks made with clear alcohols like vodka and gin. She attributed many women’s usual affinity for clear drinks to the mentality of “not wanting to look like an old man” more so than from a desire to cut back on calories or from flavor preferences. In fact, according to drinksmixer.com, Maker’s Mark and plain Smirnoff Vodka have the same number of calories and carbohydrates per one-ounce serving — 69 and zero grams.

While Damian added that it has been an “uphill battle” for Dark Horse in the competitive craft beverage industry, he’s confident moving forward with the company. Dark Horse has recently won numerous awards, including a bronze medal for its Reserve Bourbon at the prestigious 2014 World Whiskies Awards in Europe.

Relaxing on her porch swing with a book on a sunny March afternoon after a day of classes, Dowding mixed her favorite Maker’s and water. Although bourbon can be a bit pricey for a college student, she said, it’s her go-to when she’s in the mood for “something distinguished.”

“I drink Maker’s and water,” she said. “It’s just what I like.”

 

Edited by Hannah Swank

Photos courtesy of Dark Horse Distillery

Pinky Up: The Best Teas in Lawrence

3.31.2014

by Sylas May

Gaiwan

A mushroom-like lump of bacteria floats in a jar on the counter of Mana Bar, the newest tea shop in Lawrence, Kan. I’ve drunk the vinegary liquid it floats in, which tastes something like balsamic vinaigrette dressing, only sweeter.

It’s called kombucha, and it’s a popular kind of tea in parts of China, Russia and Japan. Produced by leaving a culture of probiotic bacteria in black tea to ferment, kombucha is dubbed a health food by many of its supporters, who claim it’s capable of improving digestive health.

Kombucha is one of many unconventional types of tea that Mana Bar stocks. You certainly won’t find bags of English Breakfast here.

“A lot of Americans, when they think of tea, they think of grocery-store tea and tea bags, and that’s just the lowest on the totem pole as far as tea quality goes,” said Derek Poskin, Mana Bar’s chief procurement officer. “A lot of our job is just re-educating people on what tea is.”

Apparently, it’s herbs, roots, leaves, and mushrooms. It’s hot, in multiple senses of the word — the Tea Association of America says the demand for specialty and exotic teas rises 10 to 15 percent each year.

I’ve been a tea drinker since childhood, but I’m still no expert, so I decided to find out what the best teas in town are from the people who sell them and drink them.

Mana Bar: Toasty Ti Guan Yin

At Mana Bar, the owner, Matthew Rader, says something familiar, like jasmine tea, might be the best place to start exploring high-end tea.

“Jasmine tea is probably something everyone has come across at some point,” Rader said. “But ours is just so above-the-bar that people just smell it and are like, ‘Okay, if it even tastes half as good as that, I want that.’”

For the more adventurous, Mana Bar carries teas that would baffle most tea novices, including teas that taste like coffee.

“We have a dark roast Ti Guan Yin that, when brewed properly, almost tastes as strong as coffee,” Poskin said. “But it’s a very mellow energy, as well.”

The Taiwanese Ti Guan Yin tea I took home to brew, while not as dark as coffee, had a similar aroma and went down smoothly. I didn’t really suffer the crash like that of coffee, either; the tea kept me going for a few hours without ever feeling lethargic or nauseous. Plus, watching the tightly rolled leaves unfold in the water was a great way to relax.

Brits: Smoky lapsang souchong

Many other places in Lawrence stock loose tea leaves to swirl around in the pot. One such store is British import shop Brits, where you can find common teas like Earl Grey alongside stranger varieties like Ntingwe Kwazulu. Owner Sally Helm says most of the teas sold in the shop are basic, but more people have started buying green teas, like the popular rose tea, instead of the more traditional black varieties.

Some of the teas Helm sells are well outside most people’s comfort zones — and a few are even too outlandish for her palate. One such tea is a Chinese black tea called lapsang souchong, which is smoked as it dries.

“The lapsang souchong, to me, it tastes like the bottom of an ashtray,” Helm said. “But it’s all a matter of taste.”

When I tried brewing it, the room smelled like a bonfire for about an hour after the tea had steeped. The tea itself was very strong and spicy, and it definitely woke me up. If you like your tea strong, lapsang souchong is a great way to get into exotic teas.

House of Cha: Iron Buddha

At the cozy House of Cha, employee Isaac Jambor recommends something called Iron Buddha. “It’s really caffeinated and really strong, especially if you let it steep for a long time,” he said.

As I swish it around my mouth, I can’t place its flavor; one minute, it’s fruity, the next, earthy. It’s always rich and smooth, though, and it doesn’t taste that strong to me at all.

He also suggests a powdered tea from Japan, called matcha, for tea-lovers on a budget. “It costs $8.00 per ounce, so it’s not as expensive as our other teas,” he said. “Plus, it has rice puffs in it.”

People don’t drink tea just for the taste; the health benefits are reason enough to drink it. Tea is rich in antioxidants and can reduce regular drinkers’ risk of heart disease and stroke, according to the Tea Association of America.

Mana Bar’s Rader and Poskin can vouch for the beverage’s benefits, too, as they have seen regular customers visit the shop when they feel a cold coming on. The bestseller for these customers: naturally, the probiotic-rich kombucha.

“It is kind of the high road to dealing with sickness,” Poskin said. “Instead of antibiotics, you do probiotics.”

 

Want to broaden your horizons with some weird teas? Here’s the roundup of recommendations, along with where to find them and how much it’ll cost you.

Ti Guan Yin

Mana Bar, 1111 Massachusetts St.
Price: $5 per ounce

Lapsang souchong

Brits, 929 Massachusetts St.
Price: $7 for 4.5-ounce box

Iron Buddha

House of Cha, 21 W. Ninth St.
Price: $15 per ounce

 

Edited by Hannah Swank

Photo by Ryan Ott

From Concrete to Cold Coffee

11.17.2013

When walking into Alchemy Coffee on the corner of 19th and Massachusetts Street, there is the immediate smell of rich, exotic coffee in the small, intimate space. Along one wall there are two large, medieval looking devices that slowly cold brew coffee, and along the other is a counter where the magic happens.

Behind the counter is Ben Farmer, owner and self-proclaimed coffee aficionado, with a taste for specialty coffees that can’t be found anywhere else in Lawrence.

Alchemy9

“Basically I saw a niche that wasn’t being filled here in town,” Farmer said when asked why he opened the shop. “There was no one doing the kind of coffee we are doing. I thought the pour-overs we are doing is something that is very special and unique to Lawrence.”

Farmer, who grew up in the small town of Spring Hill, Kan., took a long and laborious path to finding a way to mix his passion of coffee and community with his livelihood.

Previously, he had spent years working concrete, tree-trimming and contracting jobs. Along with working, he dabbled in five different majors at both KU and Central Missouri State University.

“In the meantime, I started getting really into home brewing, doing my own pour-overs at home,” Farmer said. “It was a hobby at first.”

After spending time in Spain with his brother, he had a changed perspective on what he wanted to do and how he wanted to live. When he returned to the United States, he was searching for a European atmosphere, and Lawrence was the closet he could find to that in the Midwest.

When the opportunity to open a coffee shop presented itself, Farmer seized it with all the gusto and confidence he had gotten through his previous entrepreneur experiences.

Alchemy7

Alchemy3

“I had always gone places and checked out coffee shops,” Farmer said. “It’s what I’ve always done. I’d think, oh God, if I had a coffee shop that’s what I’d do. And then finally, I came across the brew method.”

As Farmer makes a cup of coffee behind the counter, it looks like he is the midst of a science experiment mixed with an artistic flair. This isn’t your ordinary cup of Joe. This is a labor of love that is poured out in each and every individual cup.

“We pay grave attention to details,” he said.

This process of brewing is precise. Each time a customer orders a cup, the beans have been pre-measured in a streamlined process.

The customer’s chosen blend is then ground, placed in a fancy cup with a hole in the bottom and brewed slowly by hand. There is no baffled baristas here, only scientific precision and deft hands.

This brewing method happens to be the inspiration behind the name, Alchemy Coffee.

“I decided that I wanted to capture it all,” Farmer said. “There are a lot of numbers, all the temperatures, you know there is that science to it. But at the end of the day if you don’t have the touch, and aren’t paying attention, you’re going to mess it up. There is definitely that melding of art and science.”

Farmer’s most recent adventure leaves behind the hot steam usually associated with coffee, and instead infuses the rich beans with a slow drip of ice water. His new cold brew apparatuses are once again pushing Alchemy Coffee beyond the normal expectations for a corner coffee shop.

Served cold straight from a nitrogen-pressured keg, the coffee comes out smooth and creamy; with much more of caffeine kick than the average serving.

Next, Farmer plans to bottle the cold brew and sell it at other local businesses. Currently it is available at The Merch, and in the next few weeks it will be unveiled at The Burger Stand.

As far as the possibilities seem to go, however, Farmer is mostly concerned with keeping the business local and creating a community with everyone that wanders in.

“We aren’t here trying to be trendy or cool,” Farmer said. “We are trying to make the best product out there and also having fun doing it.”

Alchemy8– Erica Staab

Edited by Erika Reals

Photography by Emma Johnson

Apple Pie Moonshine

10.09.2013

Autumn has always been my favorite time of year. The leaves change, there’s a crispness in the air, basics in line at Starbucks waiting for their pumpkin spice lattes; yes, fall truly is a magical time. What better way to celebrate these chilly equinoctial evenings than with some harvest-time hooch? May I humbly present to you apple pie moonshine – the Everclear-laced libation that will keep you warm as well as inebriated.

Don’t be scared by the Everclear aspect of this recipe. All of the sugars help make this beverage drinkable. Make sure you also allow the “apple pie” mix to cool to at least room temperature before adding the Everclear, this way you get the maximum buzz for your buck.

IMG_3158

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 gallon apple juice
  • 1/2 gallon apple cider
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 liter of Everclear

1.  Boil the apple juice, apple cider, sugar and cinnamon sticks in a large pot.

2.  Allow mixture to cool to room temperature.

3.  Add 1/2 liter of Everclear to pot. Mix well.

4.  Serve warm or chilled.

 

-Recipe by Alec Weaver