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Craftsman & Wolves Smoked Butter Caramels

Recently, Brown’s travels took him to San Francisco. His first stop was Craftsman & Wolves in the Mission District, where he hoped to get his hands on one of their signature dishes, The Rebel Within. This savory cheese, meat muffin with a soft-boiled egg couldn’t be missed but, unfortunately, he showed up at 3:30 on a Friday afternoon and they were unsurprisingly out. Brown had to “settle” for a savory cake with sesame butter, shitakes, bok choy, kimchi, and togorashi peanuts (highly recommended).


But enough about what didn’t make it home. In addition to great coffee, pastries, breads, desserts, and savory items, CAW also has a mini-store with take-home essentials like the smoked butter caramels Brown brought back to Brooklyn. These soft, chewy little morsels have a rich, sweet brown butter taste with just a wisp of smokiness at the end. We can’t wait to try their other candies like yuzu almond caramels and smoked almond brittle. All of them are available online, but you should probably just find an excuse to go pick some up in person. –Red and Brown

Craftsman and Wolves

746 Valencia Street
San Francisco, California 94110

Midsommar Night’s Dream



No, that’s not a spelling error, it’s Midsommar, one of Sweden’s most revered holidays. Held every June, this nationwide party celebrates the longest day of the year with picnics, games, BBQs, singing, dancing, and plenty of drinking. To capture the jovial spirit and fresh flavors of the season I mixed the Scandinavian standby, aquavit, with notes of celery, elderflower, rhubarb, and artichoke,  yielding a refreshing cooler for a sunny afternoon. Mix a couple up, grab some gravlax and go celebrate in a sunny field. –Brown

Midsommar Night’s Dream

Makes 1 drink

1 1/2 ounces aquavit
1/2 ounce Cynar
1/2 ounce St. Germain
8 dashes rhubarb bitters
4 ounces Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray Soda
1 cucumber disk
1 sprig thyme

In a highball glass, pour in all of the ingredients except the bitters and soda. Give them a good stir, add some ice and top with Cel-Ray soda. Add in the bitters.

Before garnishing, slap the thyme sprig in between your palms to help release some of the herb’s oils. Add it to the glass with a fresh cucumber disc and get to dancing. Skål!

Hot Doug’s

We were saddened to hear recently that Chicago institution, Hot Doug’s, is going on permanent vacation this October. Although we’re not likely to return before then, we’re fortunate to have gotten to stop there last October. The place had a rotating daily menu of sausages made from exotic meats, more standard combinations named after the celebrities they embodied, as well as one of the best versions of a classic Chicago dog around. Here’s to one of the world’s greatest encased meat emporiums. 



A solid take on the classic Chicago dog and a not-so-classic but delicious duck sausage with truffle aioli, foie gras mousse & Fleur de Sel.


Hot Doug’s (get there before October)
3324 N California Ave
Chicago, IL 60618

The Rise ‘n Shine


Let’s face it, sometimes you need a little kick to get your day started. If you’re going to be drinking early, you may as well make a decent cocktail and leave the Irish Coffees for the frat boys. Dave’s Coffee Syrup and whole milk serve as the base in this one while orange liqueur gives it a touch of breakfast class. A perfect sipper for brunch, a hot Sunday afternoon, or whenever you just need a little sweet buzz.

Rise ‘n Shine
Makes 1 drink

1 ounce bourbon
1/2 ounce Gran Marnier or other orange liqueur
1 ounce Dave’s Coffee Syrup
2 ounces whole milk

Pour all the all of the ingredients except for the milk into a rocks glass and stir them together well. Add a couple ice cubes if desired and pour the milk over everything. Give it another stir and smile; the rest of your day just got infinitely better.

The Pink Negroni



If you’ve been following the last few posts you know that A) we love rhubarb and B) putting rhubarb shrubs in almost everything we drink is now a thing for us. A recent trip to Attaboy by Red also has us hooked on white negronis. Put all of those factors together and you’ve got the latest cocktail to come from the Red & Brown bar: the pink negroni. A wonderfully refreshing seasonal drink, this little number is versatile enough to pair with a nice seasonal salad or some grilled chicken, or sip on its own on your stoop, porch, backyard, park, wherever. Mix a few up for your Memorial Day weekend festivities and toast to the unofficial start to summer. –Brown

Pink Negroni
Makes 1 drink

1 ounce London dry gin
1 ounce Cocchi Americano Aperitif
1 ounce Vermouth Blanc
2 Tablespoons rhubarb shrub
1 grapefruit peel segment for garnish

In a mixing glass or pint glass add some ice and your liquid ingredients. Stir well, strain into a rocks glass with ice and garnish with a grapefruit twist.

Rhubarb Pop-in


Pop-ins are the 17th century predecessor to the boilermaker, where drinkers would add flavors to their alcohol to mask impurities and other forms of nastiness. As with most historic cocktails, no one does them better than The Dead Rabbit in New York; that is, until I made my own version for Red and I. We swapped the gose, a tart and sour ale, with Freigeist Abraxxxas, a smoked Lichtenhainer Weisse (yes, I had to Google it too). The results were refreshingly delicious and a simple but welcome upgrade for spring and summer drinking. If you can’t find Freigeist Abraxxxas (it’s only around us from time to time) go with a gose or wheat beer, just stay away from darker, hoppier styles. –Brown

Rhubarb Pop-in
Makes 1 drink

8 ounces sour beer (the Dead Rabbit uses Leipziger Gose, but I now prefer the unique smokiness of the Abraxxxas)

2 Tablespoons Red & Brown’s rhubarb shrub


In a tulip glass or pint glass pour in the beer and gently stir in the shrub. Quaff. Be Quenched. Repeat.

Rhubarb Shrub


The cocktail revolution has made everything old new again and that includes a Colonial era restorative, the drinking vinegar, aka shrubs. An American tradition, shrubs were originally made to stretch the shelf life of fresh fruits and as a quaffer to combat hot weather. We first encountered shrubs at the cocktail mecca, The Dead Rabbit in Manhattan, then again while trying to cool our palates at Pok Pok (where they’re just called drinking vinegars) and knew we were going to have to start experimenting with our own. We figured we’d celebrate spring with a rhubarb version (well, spring and the fact that Brown is a huge fan of rhubarb). Try a couple of tablespoons with some soda water over ice for a mid-day refresher, or try it out as an add-in to cocktails (we’ve found that they tend to work better with clear liquors). –Red & Brown


Rhubarb Shrub
Makes about 4 cups

5    Cups rhubarb, (about 1/4 – 1/3 pound of whole stalks)
1    Cup sugar
1    Cup apple cider vinegar
2    teaspoons fresh ginger, minced (optional, but awesome)


Wash the rhubarb stalks and slice into 1/4 inch chunks. In a medium saucepan add your sugar and water and whisk them together to dilute as much of the sugar as possible. Throw in the rhubarb, place the mixture over medium heat and bring it to a boil.

Once things start to boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Line a funnel, sieve, or mesh strainer with cheesecloth and  place it over a mason jar, or container with an airtight lid. Pour the mixture in to the strainer to separate the solids from the liquids. Let it drain for about 10 minutes then give the pulp a gentle squeeze through the cheesecloth to remove any remaining liquids. Strain the liquid again if necessary. Pop on the cover and store it in the fridge for up to a month.



Evil Twin Imperial Doughnut Break


As long as I still need to wear a sweater to work I’m going to relish drinking darker heavy hitters like this one. I’m a sucker for “imperial” anything, and God knows I can’t say no to a doughnut. Evil Twin goes characteristically over the top in their ability to bring out strong flavors that are almost too good to be true. Coming in at a strong 11.5% ABV, this porter is brewed with coffee and “natural flavors” which, in this case, must mean about a dozen glazed old-fashioned doughnuts per bottle. The beer pours a pitch black with moderate mocha head, and has a strong coffee, chocolate, and toffee nose to it. One sip and you can almost imagine yourself sitting in a diner dunking your doughnut into your coffee, except this coffee is spiked with an exceptionally rich but drinkable porter. It has surprisingly balanced flavors of hazelnut, cake doughnuts, brown sugar, dark chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts, with a long finish. I normally recommend sharing larger beers like this because of their high alcohol content, but you should be selfish with this one if you can find it near you. Just sip it slowly and enjoy “Spring.” –Brown

Evil Twin Brewing Imperial Doughnut Break

22 oz

11.5% ABV

Check out Evil Twin’s website here.

Ramp Fest 2014

We traveled up to Hudson, NY this last weekend to experience the ramp-tastic dishes at the fourth annual Ramp Fest, held at the Basilica. 15 chefs from New York City and the Hudson Valley participated, each serving delicious small bites that highlighted the allium of honor. While there wasn’t a bad one in the bunch we were partial to the offerings of Hudson’s own Helsinki, and Swoon Kitchen Bar. See below for a full list of the dishes. Now if you’ll excuse us, we’ve got some ramp grits to make. –Red and Brown


Another Fork in the Road: Chef Jamie Parry – ramp blini with ramp cured smoked trout and ramp kimchi

Bonfiglio & Bread: Chef Gaby Gulielmetti – ramp butter puff pastry pigs in a blanket with ramp relish

Ca’Mea: Chef Timothy Storrs – grilled ramp polenta with a goat cheese and ramp pesto tapanade with Hudson Valley Foie Gras smoked duck

The Farm on Adderley: Chef Tom Kearney – country terrine with pickled ramps on a buckwheat crisp

Fresh Company: Chef Shelley Boris – bluefish with creme fraiche, beets, ramp, and crispy duck skin


Gallow Green: Chef R.L. King – ramp and goat cheese custard, Carolina rice, and ramp-walnut pesto

Gigi Hudson Valley: Chefs Wilson Costa & Lauren Pensiero – savory tart with ramp pesto, pickled ramps and Parmigiano

Helsinki Hudson: Chef Hugh Horner – grilled ramps folded with Anson Mills grits with Rawson Brook Farm goat cheese topped with smoked tomato aioli

Lucas Confectionary: Chef Mike Rock – fava bean and ramp hummus with rhubarb/ramp confiture

Market Street: Chef Gianni Scappin – salmon tartar with ramp pesto and crostini


Mary’s Fish Camp: Chef Mary Redding – Island Creek Oysters with a charred ramp and blush wine mignonette

Route 7 Grill: Chef Christophe Jalbert – baby quiche with ramps, local eggs, and Von Trapp oma cheese

Speedy Romeo: Chef Justin Bazdarich – fresh mozzarella, grilled ramp salsa verde, grilled asparagus, and portabella, lavender, lemon preserve


Swoon Kitchen Bar: Chef Ryan McLaughlin – house-cured bacon, tomato confit, ramp mayo, and sauteed ramps on a challa roll


Whole Foods – Adirondack Ice Cream on a ramp biscuit (we weren’t sure about the syrup, but think it was a rhubarb/strawberry)

The Infield

Getting our hands on some Cheerwine was one of the best thing to happen to us recently (we know, lame, but we’re easy to please). This North Carolina nectar is enjoyed all over the south and, thankfully, is carried by Court Street Grocers. It’s cherry flavor evokes memories of ordering a Shirley Temple as a kid, which can now be enjoyed with more adult additions. With the Derby coming this weekend you’ve probably had your fill of mint julep variations, so we decided to make a simple, straightforward cocktail for the drinking class. Dubbed ‘The Infield’ (because we all know that’s where the real party is) this simple two ingredient tippler has quickly become a staple at Red and Brown HQ.


The Infield
Serves 1

1 1/2 ounces bourbon
6 ounces Cheerwine

In whatever glass you fancy add some ice (we prefer larger cubes so the drink doesn’t dilute as quickly), the bourbon, and the Cheerwine. Stir gently, sip, and cross your fingers for a trifecta.