Category Archives: Cocktails

i8tonite with The Cocktail Guide to the Galaxy Author Andy Heidel & Star Killer Chicken Recipe

i8tonite with The Cocktail Guide to the Galaxy Author Andy Heidel & Star Killer Chicken RecipePerhaps you’ve found your way through time and space to The Way Station, the celebrated Doctor Who Bar in Brooklyn. Or, perhaps you’ve been tinkering with cocktails for years to find that perfect match for your fandom celebrations. Or maybe you’re just looking for a great guide to creative, intriguing cocktails. You’re in the right place, with The Cocktail Guide to the Galaxy.

i8tonite with The Cocktail Guide to the Galaxy Author Andy Heidel & Star Killer Chicken Recipe

Andy Heidel is the owner of The Way Station, a bar and music venue in Brooklyn, NY. As R. Andrew Heidel, he is the author of the short story collection “Desperate Moon” which features an introduction by Harlan Ellison and praise from Ray Bradbury. As a book publicist, he launched the Eos imprint and helped make Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, and Neal Stephenson bestselling authors while with Avon Books and HarperCollins. He turned to bar ownership when he was downsized, and hasn’t looked back since.

I love when people deeply include things they love into their lives. Such is the case with Heidel, in his work and book! The Cocktail Guide to the Galaxy is a cookbook and mixing guide that is genius (here’s another interview I did with him). The recipes (over 100) for cocktails are clever – and hilarious. Whether your fandom is Game of Thrones or Doctor Who, Star Wars or Star Trek, Ghostbusters or Lord of the Rings, this universe of cocktail recipes will enliven your life – and parties. I suggest trying them while watching your favorite shows and movies, to add an extra dimension to your viewing.

i8tonite with The Cocktail Guide to the Galaxy Author Andy Heidel & Star Killer Chicken Recipe

Food People Questionnaire (with a nod to Proust):

What is your favorite food to cook at home?
A nice dry aged, bone in porterhouse, purchased from www.fleishers.com down the street from me and cooked in my cast iron skillet.

What do you always have in your fridge at home?
Cheese, hot sauce, box wine, spoiled leftovers.

What marked characteristic do you love in a person with whom you are sharing a meal?
Someone who sees cooking as a creative act and a devotional prayer.

What marked characteristic do you find unappealing in a person with whom you are sharing a meal?
Someone who is lactose and gluten intolerant, has nut allergies, doesn’t like spice, insists on eating vegan, then orders a habanero chocolate chip nut milkshake with a side of bacon… and then gets sick.

Beer, wine, or cocktail?
All, please.

Your favorite cookbook author?
Mollie Katzen. I still have my Moosewood Cookbook from 25 years ago. I think I last referred to it 15 years ago. I’m much happier making mashups of recipes and cooking on the fly.

i8tonite with The Cocktail Guide to the Galaxy Author Andy Heidel & Star Killer Chicken RecipeYour favorite kitchen tool?
My cast iron skillet, which I call “Star Killer.” (Hint: it inspired the name of this dish.) Once a star begins to fuse its elements into iron, it explodes across the cosmos. The cast iron skillet I use came from the heart of a dying star and that’s kind of awesome. Neil deGrasse Tyson, I challenge you to a Star Killer Cookoff judged by Baron Ambrosia and commentated by Eugene Mirman. Maybe at the next Astronomy on Tap at The Way Station?

Favorite types of cuisine to cook?
Southern Americana, Italian and let’s play: “what’s in my cupboard?”

Beef, chicken, pork, or tofu?
Anything but tofu, please.

Favorite vegetable?
My baby’s got Baby Bok, Baby Bok, Baby Bok Choy.

Chef you most admire?
Anthony Bourdain. Man, I want to drink tequila and eat bbq with that dude.

i8tonite with The Cocktail Guide to the Galaxy Author Andy Heidel & Star Killer Chicken Recipe

Food you like the most to eat?
Cheese. Especially stinky soft melty brine washed cheese from Crown Finish Caves in Prospect Heights.

Food you dislike the most?
Tofu and collard greens. Also, sand.

What is your favorite non-food thing to do?
Write with my partner and drink. Sleep. Dream of electric sheep’s milk cheese.

Who do you most admire in food?
The farm to table movement—chefs caring about where the food they are serving is coming from.

Where is your favorite place to eat?
On the couch with my partner.

What is your favorite restaurant?
I’m not telling, then everyone would go there! Secret. Shhhhh.

Do you have any tattoos? And if so, how many are of food, fandoms, or cocktails?
No tattoos, but I bartended an event at a tattoo parlor once, if that counts.

Recipe: Star Killer Chicken

First, make yourself a drink. I made The Divinian (my 5th Element Cocktail) before documenting this, one of my go-to recipes, then turned to a nice sauvignon blanc out of a box because I was too busy cooking to make myself another cocktail.

i8tonite with The Cocktail Guide to the Galaxy Author Andy Heidel & Star Killer Chicken Recipe

YOU WILL NEED:

One large cast Iron Skillet, one large bowl, a wooden spoon, a cutting board, a sharp knife, moral fortitude, and the following ingredients:

1LB boneless Chicken Breast (two thick breasts).
3 scallions

1 head garlic

1 shallot

1 small yellow onion

8oz fingerling, purple or baby red potatoes

8oz wax beans or green beans

One bunch broccoli

2 sprigs rosemary

salt to taste
pepper to taste

Olive oil

A sense of humor

A warning about the photos: I took them with my iPhone. I was making not only dinner, but also enough leftovers so my partner has lunch to bring to work for the rest of the week.

1) Preheat oven to 425. Get an oven thermometer. I have to set my old gas oven to 560 in order to reach 425.

2) Place the cast iron skillet on stove on low and add enough olive oil to cover bottom of skillet.

3) Thinly slice shallot and coarsely chop garlic. Add to skillet. Add a little salt and pepper.

i8tonite with The Cocktail Guide to the Galaxy Author Andy Heidel & Star Killer Chicken Recipe

 

4) As shallots and garlic caramelize, roughly chop broccoli, onions, potatoes, and put in bowl. Add beans and dress with olive oil, salt and pepper.

i8tonite with The Cocktail Guide to the Galaxy Author Andy Heidel & Star Killer Chicken Recipe

5) When shallots and garlic are nice and brown, place in bowl with the veg and stir till everything is nicely coated in the oil, add more salt and pepper.

i8tonite with The Cocktail Guide to the Galaxy Author Andy Heidel & Star Killer Chicken Recipe

6) Turn up the heat to high under skillet.

7) After a minute, add the chicken and salt and pepper on the top side.

8) After 3 minutes, turn the chicken over. It should be a nice golden brown.

i8tonite with The Cocktail Guide to the Galaxy Author Andy Heidel & Star Killer Chicken Recipe

9) Add all the veg from the bowl. Place scallions over the top.

i8tonite with The Cocktail Guide to the Galaxy Author Andy Heidel & Star Killer Chicken Recipe

10) After 3 minutes put the whole kit and caboodle into the oven.

11) After 20 minutes, give the veg a stir.

12) After another 20 minutes, check the temperature on your chicken with a thermometer. It should be about 145 degrees. Once it is, pull it out and put on a cutting board to rest and leave everything else in the skillet to cook. If the chicken is not at temperature, bake another 5 minutes and check again.

13) Check your potatoes with a fork. If the fork goes through easily, they’re done. If not, put back in for another 10 minutes.

14) Plate and eat and drink.

i8tonite with The Cocktail Guide to the Galaxy Author Andy Heidel & Star Killer Chicken Recipe

– The End. Go Eat. –

i8tonite with Humito Tequila’s Juan Domingo Beckmann & Cocktail Recipe for Guava Smolder

i8tonite with Humito Tequila's Juan Domingo Beckmann & Cocktail Recipe for Guava Smolder
Jaime Camil, Juan Domingo Beckmann, and Nick Fouquet. Photo courtesy Getty Images for Proximo Spirits

Juan Domingo Beckmann is not just any man of wealth. Senor Beckmann has the distinction of being the sixth generation company leader of Jose Cuervo, and a direct descendant of Don Jose Antonio de Cuervo, founder of the world’s leading tequila. In other words, his family is responsible for most of world’s population growth (drunken sex = producing babies). Currently, he’s promoting his new product, Maestro Dobel Humitos – meaning “little smoke” – the world’s first smoked tequila. The innovative libation is all Beckmann’s making, and harkens back to his forefathers’ original crafting of the Mexican liquor. Artisanal in nature, the spirit is hewed using 17th-century methods of blue agave and mesquite wood. Even in the bottle, a swirling hint of smokiness is displayed through the clear glass.

i8tonite with Humito Tequila's Juan Domingo Beckmann & Cocktail Recipe for Guava Smolder

Raised in Monterrey and Mexico City, Senor Beckmann is quiet and soft spoken but loves talking about his homeland. Indeed, he even says, “I grew up with Mexican food and love it. I’m addicted to it. Near my home in New York City and I’m visiting, I go to Toloache almost every day. ”

He also admits to not cooking himself, nor do his wife and children – that’s left to the cooks. However, he mentions that he loves skiing and goes to Vail, Colorado regularly. His additional places to relax include going to Ixtapa, located on the Pacific Ocean, or Rio Bravo, centered in the north, with his family in tow. In his answers, there is a certain humbleness of spirit. Generally speaking, most people of extreme wealth talk about Monte Carlo or Costa Smeralda, yet he is never far from his birthplace.

i8tonite with Humito Tequila's Juan Domingo Beckmann & Cocktail Recipe for Guava SmolderInterestingly, he is trying to turn Tequila, a small town located in the state of Jalisco, about an hour outside of Guadalajara, into a Latin American version of Napa Valley, complete with a museum, a train, and pairings of the namesake drink in restaurants. “It’s my father’s dream,” he says, “to turn the area into a destination with hotels. We want to grow it into something bigger.”

When speaking to the Bill Gates of tequila, one had to ask the important question how he felt about presumptive GOP nominee, Donald Trump. He chuckled a little and said, “I don’t like him. What else can I say?”

Food People Questionnaire (with a nod to Proust):

What is your favorite food to cook at home?
Any type of Mexican food. Spicy food goes well with Humito, well actually any food, if you make a nice cocktail out of Humito.

i8tonite with Humito Tequila's Juan Domingo Beckmann & Cocktail Recipe for Guava Smolder

What do you always have in your fridge at home?
Tequila, ice, shaker, and fresh fruit.

What marked characteristic do you love in a person with whom you are sharing a meal?
People that enjoy a good drink drink and have a good sense of humor.

i8tonite with Humito Tequila's Juan Domingo Beckmann & Cocktail Recipe for Guava Smolder

What marked characteristic do you find unappealing in a person with whom you are sharing a meal?
A person who is always criticizing.

Beer, wine, or cocktail?
Cocktail. Smoky Negroni: Negroni with Humito and a grapefruit twist. I do like Mexican (tequila), Italian (wine), and tequila añejo at the end. Japanese beer and tequila añejo on the rocks at the end are always good too.

Your favorite cookbook author?
I like the owner of el Bajio, Cardenal and Jorge Vallejo of Quintonil. (All of them in Mexico City)

Your favorite kitchen tool?
Cocktail shaker

i8tonite with Humito Tequila's Juan Domingo Beckmann & Cocktail Recipe for Guava Smolder

Favorite types of cuisine to cook?
I like all food, but I prefer Mexican.

Beef, chicken, pork, or tofu?
All of the above, except tofu.

Favorite vegetable?
I love asparagus!

Chef you most admire?
Jorge Vallejo from Quintonil

i8tonite with Humito Tequila's Juan Domingo Beckmann & Cocktail Recipe for Guava SmolderFood you like the most to eat?
Every type of food that pairs with tequila. With Humito, I like grilled food or bbq.

Food you dislike the most?
Boiled chicken

What is your favorite non-food thing to do?
I love to ski in the winter and go to the movies.

Who do you most admire in food?
The creativity of the chefs – it’s inspiring. I enjoy sharing any good food experience with great people, and tequila always adds to that experience.

Where is your favorite place to eat?
Mexico and NYC. There is a new trend of great Mexican chefs now in Mexico. I’m sure Mexico in 10 years will have at least 3 of the best chefs in the world.

What is your favorite restaurant?
I have three. I love el Bajio, el Cardenal, and Contramar in Mexico City.

Do you have any tattoos? And if so, how many are of food?
No tattoos

Cocktail Recipe: Guava Smolder

i8tonite with Humito Tequila's Juan Domingo Beckmann & Cocktail Recipe for Guava Smolder
Mixologist Gustavo Ortega-Oyarzun

2 oz Maestro Dobel Humito
1 oz Guava Puree
½ oz Canton Ginger Liquor
½ oz Lemon Juice
¼ oz Giffard Pamplemousse Rose
3 dash Peychaud Bitters
Tajin Salt Rim
Mix all the ingredients in a shaker glass and shake vigorously. Serve in a rocks glass with Tajin and garnish with a Lemon wedge.

 

I8tonite: with Tucson’s Casino del Sol Mixologist, Aaron de Feo, and a Tom Turner Overdrive

I8tonite: with Tucson's Casino del Sol Mixologist, Aaron de Feo, and a Tom Turner Overdrive Right out of college, Casino del Sol’s renowned mixologist Aaron de Feo was turned down for a journalism job in his hometown of Tucson, Arizona. As the saying goes, “When someone hands you lemons, you make margaritas.” And, that’s exactly what de Feo did. He has become the one of the country’s prominent mixologists while working at the 215 room property owned by the Pascua Yaqui Indian tribe, a native area nation of the forty-eighth.

Before he landed at Arizona’s only Forbes Four Star and AAA Four Diamond casino resort, de Feo also worked at the landmark Hotel Congress, the city’s only other exciting property, perfecting his craft of blending liquors. Since he’s landed at Casino del Sol, however, his creative drinks have been showcased, turning de Feo into one of the I8tonite: with Tucson's Casino del Sol Mixologist, Aaron de Feo, and a Tom Turner Overdrivecountry’s leading libations makers. His business card names him Beverage Director, but he has been called by GQ as “Top 10 Most Inspired” and “Celebrated Doctor of Mixology” by Nightclub & Bar Magazine. He even has a nickname, “Doc,” used by his Old Pueblo liquor networks and friends, turning him into a cocktail cowboy of sorts – although de Feo’s more likely to pull out six shots of his favorite gin, rather than a six bullet shooter.

Importantly, one of the first things he accomplished when opening the four-diamond property was to invigorate Arizona’s growing swizzle stick scene on his turf.  He ensured that all staff learned how to master scratch beverages using simple syrups, freshly squeezed juices, and macerated herbs. De Feo’s distinguishing mark is to insure that any customer had a thirst-quencher made from wholesome ingredients, nothing made with food coloring or preservatives.

I8tonite: with Tucson's Casino del Sol Mixologist, Aaron de Feo, and a Tom Turner Overdrive“People are more adventurous now,” says De Feo. “We were being out-gunned by Los Angeles and smaller cities like Nashville. Because we have a good, local music and cultural scene, many of the bar owners didn’t care about changing. They now do. There is a difference which is because of the hotel.”

According to Visit Tucson, the area’s bureau on tourism, there has been an uptick of yearly visitors from 3.4 nights in 2011 to 4 full nights in 2015. It can be attributed to many factors. Since the progressions occurred during de Feo’s term at Casino del Sol, the safe conclusion about the growth is the word is out about his crafty liquor potables. Resort and area guests want a drink from “Doc,” knowing that what he concocts will surely cure what ails them.

Food People Questionnaire (with a nod to Proust):

I8tonite: with Tucson's Casino del Sol Mixologist, Aaron de Feo, and a Tom Turner Overdrive
Tom Bergeron

What is your favorite food to cook at home? I tend to cook rather simple meals, mostly lean, grass-fed meat, vegetables, and legume pasta. However I’m very partial to making sauces, which I think comes from how often I am working with flavoring agents in cocktails.

What do you always have in your fridge at home? A galaxy of various syrups and house-made ingredients for cocktails, which is funny because I don’t drink cocktails at home that often.  Mostly they are experiments that I have elected to save for posterity.

What marked characteristic do you love in a person with whom you are sharing a meal?  Honesty.

What marked characteristic do you find unappealing in a person with whom you are sharing a meal?  Anyone who tries to decide for me what “we” are having at a restaurant.

Beer, wine, or cocktail? A Gin Rickey.

I8tonite: with Tucson's Casino del Sol Mixologist, Aaron de Feo, and a Tom Turner Overdrive
Casino Del Sol Resort 2011

Your favorite cookbook author? Maybe not a cookbook, but certainly Harold McGee’s work on the science of food is fascinating.

Your favorite kitchen tool? A really great Y peeler.  So many of them are garbage.

Favorite types of cuisine to cook? Italian, without question.  Focus on the ingredients and their harmony more than intricacy.

Beef, chicken, pork or tofu? Beef.  Chicken gets re-heated so often in fast casual places.

Favorite vegetable? I’m a huge fan of green peas with truffle salt & olive oil, and brussel sprouts, of course.  Baked cauliflower is about the greatest thing ever.

Chef you most admire? I don’t go in for celebrity chefs much.  I certainly admire many of the chefs I’ve worked with, especially the ones whose cuisine has inspired me behind the bar.  I admire Phoenix-area chef Cullen Campbell (Crudo, OKRA) quite a bit because he has managed to do extraordinary things with styles of food that I’m not entirely comfortable with, and still has me coming back for more.  His take on Southern cuisine is simply incredible.

Food you like the most to eat? Really great pasta with really great sauce.  Nothing better.

I8tonite: with Tucson's Casino del Sol Mixologist, Aaron de Feo, and a Tom Turner Overdrive
Casino Del Sol Resort 2011

Food you dislike the most? I guess I just don’t get the phenomenon of tartare and paté.  Texture and aroma mean a lot to me, and the mushy, raw consistency of those things triggers a flight mechanism in my mind.  I guess that makes me the foodie equivalent of a hillbilly, but I don’t care.

What is your favorite non-food thing to do? I suppose that excludes going to cocktail bars.  I spend a lot of time working out late at night, by myself.  There’s something extraordinarily calming about it, almost like hitting a sweaty reset button on my day.

Who do you most admire in food? Dave Arnold, for making that leap from food to beverages and showing us all how it’s done.

Where is your favorite place to eat? Sonoran Mexican restaurants, no doubt.

What is your favorite restaurant? Mercantile Dining & Provision in Denver is not only one of the coolest spaces I’ve dined in, but the food and service were mind-blowing.

Do you have any tattoos? And if so, how many are of food? I think I’m one of the last people in the industry with no tattoos, and honestly it’s getting to the point where that’s almost a disadvantage… like I’m not in the cool club.

Drink Recipe

Tom Turner Overdrive. Created by Aaron DeFeo, Casino Del Sol Resort Mixologist.

I8tonite: with Tucson's Casino del Sol Mixologist, Aaron de Feo, and a Tom Turner Overdrive

  • George Dickel Select Barrel Tennessee Whiskey (1.5 oz)
  • Creme de Mure (1 oz)
  • Fresh lemon (.5 oz)
  • Mint (4-6 leaves)
  • Shaken and double-strained over crushed ice with four dashes of house aromatic bitters. Garnish with mint and blackberries (if available)

NOTE: Thomas Turner is the Master of Whiskey for the Diageo whiskey portfolio.

The end. Go drink.