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Gold Star Drink: The Best of Two Worlds

Gold Star Drink: The Best of Two Worlds

Here at Cooking Light, we're big fans of both coffee and beer. And the opportunity to combine the two? Sign us up.

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Brewed with oats, coffee, and chocolate, Founders Breakfast Stout ($9.99/4-pack) doesn't disappoint. Nearly pitch black in color, this well-balanced beer is deep, nutty, and super smooth, hiding a surprising 8.3% ABV. This brew received a unanimous thumbs up from all of our tasters — even from the coffee-averse. Several tasters also commented on its luxurious mouthfeel. We can't wait to sip on this one again.

Buy this for: Coffee lovers and anyone looking for a rich, complex brew for the winter season.

The 10 Most Expensive Cocktails in the World (Slideshow)

For £750 euros (or about $1036), you can enjoy possibly the most expensive drink on all of the Emerald Isle. The Merchant Hotel in Belfast serves up its notorious cocktail, made with the same ingredients as the first-ever Mai Tai, with the original recipe as made by Trader Vic in 1944. The drink is made with two ounces of 17-year-old J. Wray & Nephew Rum — only 24 bottles of the rum exist — shaved ice, juice of a fresh lime, half of an ounce of Holland DeKuyper orange curaçao and French Garnier orgeat syrup, and finished with a quarter-ounce of Trader Vic’s Rock Candy Syrup and a sprig of fresh mint.

The 10 Best Cocktail Shakers in 2021, According to Experts

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Shaken, or stirred? If it’s the former, you’ll need a sturdy cocktail shaker. “Essentially, there are three different styles of cocktail shakers: glass-on-tin Boston, tin-on-tin Boston or cobbler,” explains Brandon Lockman, lead bartender at Portland’s Red Star Tavern.

The Boston shakers are made of two, 12- and 28-ounce mixing tins, either with one glass shaker and one tin (glass-on-tin), or two tins (tin-on-tin). They fit inside each other, while the liquid creates a natural seal, and a quick shake will cool down the drink with ease. “I’ve been using the Koriko tin-on-tin Boston shaker for the last 10 to 12 years,” says Lockman. “It chills faster and has a better seal than glass-on-tin and doesn’t get stuck as easily as the Cobbler.”

The cobbler shaker is made up of three parts: a tin, a top with a built-in strainer, and a cap. It’s a favorite among home bartenders for its ease of use, but professional bartenders will say the top leaks and can be difficult to remove when chilled, making it inefficient for busy services. As for the Parisian shaker, Lockman says it’s “a Cobbler without the cap.”

World's Strangest Desserts

Dessert doesn&rsquot get more traditional than American pie&mdashunless you&rsquove ordered cherpumple, which stacks layers of apple, cherry, and pumpkin pies within a spice cake that&rsquos sealed in cream cheese frosting. An L.A. humorist invented it in 2009, and a year later, a Philadelphia bakery introduced the similar 1,880-calorie-per-slice Pumpple Cake.

These after-dinner sweets were no afterthought. Chefs increasingly push the boundaries of what qualifies as dessert, experimenting with savory, spicy ingredients and radical presentations. Other strange desserts draw on centuries-old, culturally specific recipes that can require days of preparation work.

The kitchen staff at Istanbul&rsquos five-star Ciragan Palace Hotel&mdashan elaborate compound that the last sultans called home&mdashneeds 72-hour notice to prepare the $1,000 Sultan&rsquos Golden Cake. The process includes the infusion of rare French Polynesian vanilla, a topping of caramelized black truffles, and a coating of 24-karat edible gold flakes.

At the other end of the price scale, you&rsquoll find ais kacang, sold in food courts across Malaysia and Singapore. Made from shaved ice mixed with red beans, lychee fruit, and green grass jelly, and topped with evaporated milk, this dessert requires an adventurous palate. David Hogan Jr., who manages the Malaysia Asia blog, is a fan: &ldquoTo me, it&rsquos awesome, but some of my foreign friends could not understand it at all,&rdquo he shares. &ldquoIt&rsquos the green jelly that would most probably scare you as it looks like green worms.&rdquo

Other strange desserts get their wow factor from chefs who take a mad-scientist approach&mdashusing liquid nitrogen, for instance&mdashor who employ theatrical flair. Chicago-based chef Grant Achatz of the restaurant Alinea has earned a reputation for dishes that defy the ordinary. Imagine a server swirling spoonfuls of red lingonberry syrup and yellow butternut directly on your tabletop, followed by drops of sweet stout reduction, before smashing bowling-size chocolate balls like piñatas.

&ldquoThe idea of plating on an entire table surface was something we thought of before Alinea opened,&rdquo he says. &ldquoWe wanted to go beyond the limitations of the plate in an effort to maximize the scale of the presentation.&rdquo

Here are more desserts that go beyond the limits of the familiar, with strange and often delectable results.


The characters in Eureka often soothe their worries or start their mornings with a cup of Vinspresso at Cafe Diem. It sounds so charming when Vincent offers it and seems like it must be so much more delightful than an ordinary espresso. But when asked in his Reddit AMA what a Vinspresso was, Colin Ferguson answered, "decaf coffee." Talk about letting the caffeine out of my cup. I'll keep telling myself the decaf is just the set use for something much more magical, sip my espresso, and dream that Vinspresso is real and Eureka wasn't actually cancelled.

Fred Morin and Dave McMillan of Joe Beef in Montreal cook a mix of birds over flames and embers, using hooks and chains to suspend and rotate them (different-size birds will cook at different speeds). “The spin, the way the fat drips down, all combines to make a wonderfully burnished bird,” says McMillan. Ambitious home cooks can hang birds using twine or wire over a backyard fire, or simply roast birds on a rack set in a roasting pan in the (indoor) oven. Get the recipe for Fire-Roasted Duck and Pheasant with Red Currant Jelly » Christina Holmes

This soup combines a whole duck, beet greens, and cabbage in a fizzy fermented tomato sauce—a wonderful alternative when fresh tomatoes aren’t in season. Get the recipe for Duck Borscht with Fermented Tomato Sauce » Justin Walker

Barrique de Ponciano Porfidio – $2,000

Part of what you’re paying for when you shell out two grand for a bottle of Barrique de Ponciano Porfidio is the bottle itself. It’s designed with genuine 21-karat gold lettering and designs on the glass. To match the $2,000 price tag, exactly 2,000 bottles of this tequila are produced each year. The rich, mellow oaky flavor comes thanks to a decade of aging in the barrel.

The 10 Best Tequila Drinks on the Planet

The Aztec&aposs originally named a drink derived from fermented agave plants octli, or pulque, prior to the arrival of Spanish conquistadors in 1521 who began brewing a similar drink after they ran out of their own brandy.

Mexican law to this day states that the drink can only be made in a handful of southwestern Mexican states. The U.S. officially recognizes spirits labeled &apostequila&apos if they have been produced in Mexico, but do allow bulk shipments to be bottled in the U.S.

There are two types of Tequilas, mixtos and 100% agave. Mixtos mix glucose and fructose sugars with no less than 51% agave to make the spirit.

The liquor is split into five different categories

  • Blanco (white): white spirit, unaged
  • Joven (gold): unaged silver tequila that may be flavored with caramel coloring
  • Reposado (rested):ਊged a minimum of two months
  • Anejo (aged or vintage):ਊged a minimum of one year
  • Extra Anejo (extra aged):ਊged a minimum of three years in oak barrels

Tequila is extremely versatile and goes well with plenty of mixers. As time has passed there have been a number of exotic variations to the drink.

I Tried 14 Kinds of Grapefruit and This Is the Best One

There are a million little decisions through which we can make our lives a smidge happier. Sometimes we may not even know we can make them. Most grapefruit just happens. There it is, showing up in the fruit cocktail. There’s some more, on the breakfast buffet. Go to the grocery store and hey, there&aposs grapefruit—one kind, or maybe two. They&aposre all usually fine to good, but especially at this time of year, grapefruit can be truly great. The many varieties may take a little effort to find, and of course regional availability will vary, but it&aposs worth it to seek out your local fruit vendor or chat with the produce manager at your grocery store to see what citrus magic can be wrought.

There are a few hybrids and pomelos (sometimes spelled pummelo) in this list, but they&aposre closely enough related that it made sense to include them. I acquired all the fruit in person at grocery and specialty produce stores, Asian markets (a reliable citrus goldmine), and a few street vendors. I didn’t mail order any, though it was tempting. Your favorite variety might be missing from the list, or you might live somewhere that the grapefruit grows so abundantly that you risk being bonked on the head by one when you go outside. Lucky you, please enjoy that. I did my best and have the aching shoulder muscles to prove it. Grapefruit is heavy. White grapefruit was unavailable. Where possible, I&aposve included the country or state, variety, producer or importer, and product lookup code (that&aposs the handy number on the sticker) so you can do a little sleuthing of your own.

(We&aposve ranked other fruit, BTW, including apples, pears, and grapes. Oranges are coming soon.)

Nineteen at The Star

For its Forty Days of Flavour from 22 March until 30 April 2021, The Star has chosen to shine a spotlight on food offerings at The Star Gold Coast and The Star Treasury Brisbane.

Offering great food, drink and entertainment to celebrate autumn, dining experiences range from value offers in the Food Quarter to The Star Grazing Tour, a four-course progressive degustation around The Star.

For us, it’s a great opportunity to interact with Nineteen at the Star’s Executive Chef Uday Huja and to experience his lunch menu, the dishes explained by the chef himself.

It’s a well-known adage that we all carry our journey with us, and for Uday Huja this saying is certainly true. The child of Northern Indian Sikh parents, Uday grew up in the quaint small town of Charlottesville, Virginia, his father the town planner and later the mayor.

“Inside my house was Indian and outside was the Southern state of Virginia,” Huja tells me, describing the two diverse worlds that made up his existence. “We were the only Indian family in town. Inside we ate tandoori chicken. Outside I ate fried chicken and cornbread with my friends.”

It’s this diversity of experience plus his persistence through racism and bigotry to not only survive but thrive that have made him the person that he is today, an internationally renowned chef who has catered for presidents and princes, identities and film stars, his pinnacle experience as a first generation American being one of the team of chefs who cooked for the first White House State Dinner for newly elected President Barack Obama.

Uday’s culinary philosophy is: ‘Great ingredients simply prepared with finesse’. To him, the best produce is the driver. And he especially loves great Australian produce.

“Each dish has one main voice, that is the natural attributes of the main ingredient. All the other ingredients are supporting players,” he says.

So it is with the signature oysters and ‘snacks’, the first course of four served with Dominique Portet Brut Rosé from the Yarra Valley. Oysters, explains Uday, carry their terroir, just as wine does, in their characteristics. Minerally and briny from an ocean estuary at Merimbula or sweet and creamy from the river in Shoalhaven, the pair of hand-picked ‘Appellation Oysters’ served for lunch are a great introduction to the ‘Oyster Journey’ on offer at Nineteen at The Star.

The duo of oysters are presented on a bed of river stones, a small piece of potato pavé topped with prawn remoulade alongside. One oyster is dressed with a vinaigrette made on Ruinart champagne, (not a specific ingredient that would have immediately come to mind. Eating it? There’s no problem at all!) The other, subtly sweet and smoky, emerges from an applewood-fired oven dressed with homemade bacon, garlic butter and barbecue sauce. Delicious!

The wood-roasted oyster is the first time Virginia has entered the menu, Uday embracing his heritage to create his own unique culinary voice.

In the entrée (a choice of four dishes), we travel a little further up the coast of the US for an accompaniment to the delicious beef tartare with yolk sauce, the potato crisps seasoned with Old Bay spices, reported to be a blend of eighteen different herbs and spices including celery salt, smoked paprika, black pepper, cayenne pepper, cinnamon and ginger, amongst others.

Main (again a choice of four) is ocean trout roasted on a red cedar plank, the cedar burned first to release essential oils, giving the trout a subtle smokiness. It’s a cooking method used by native American peoples in the north-western states of the US, such as Washington, Uday tells me. Served with two side dishes, a bowl of charred Brussel sprouts dressed with vinaigrette and fontina and a crisp mixed leaf salad, the trout is perfection. The Brussel sprouts are simply addictive (who would have thought?), the salad a refreshing palate cleanser for the other richer dishes.

We finish with a slice of Chocolate meringue pie. Not too sweet, the slightly bitter chocolate is balanced by a scoop of Pedro Ximenez sherry ice cream, a pinch of salt in the pie crumb adding a pique of interest.

Just as Nineteen at the Star’s décor takes its inspiration from the surrounding landscape, its hues of powder green from the forest, the teal blue ocean and gold glimmers of sun skimming over the water to cream sandy shores, so the menu of our lunch reflects the journey and background of Executive Chef Uday Huja.

As he visits each table during service, Uday reminds me, “Dining shouldn’t be transactional. A great restaurant is about a complete dining experience, above and beyond just the food. It has to be an experience, a relationship with the guest, a personalized touch.”

Our lunch at Nineteen at The Star takes us on a journey. Lives meet at the shared table where we are asked to be open to difference, to accept other cultures and to relish the moment. The dining table is the open door.

NOTE: Lunch at Nineteen at the Star is available on Friday and Saturday at $96 for four courses. Good Food Gold Coast dined as a guest of The Star Gold Coast.

The Star Gold Coast, Casino Drive, Broadbeach Ph: 07 5592 8719

Restaurant: Open for breakfast daily, Lunch Friday & Saturday, Dinner Wednesday to Sunday, Sunday brunch.