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French Cocktail Recipes To Celebrate Bastille Day

It’s July 14th, the day to toast to Bastille Day (“le quatorze juillet” in French). The holiday is officially called the Fête Nationale (“National Celebration”).

Here’s the history of Bastille Day, which commemorates the storming of the Bastille prison in Paris on July 14, 1789. It was a rallying point in the French Revolution.

How to celebrate?

If you’re near a French restaurant, head there. If not, here are the 25 top French foods you can cook at home.

No inclination to cook? Make a sandwich of a crispy baguette, fresh chèvre (goat cheese), sliced tomatoes, and fresh basil leaves, with a grind of fresh pepper and a glass of the French wine of your choice. (This is one of our favorite lunches year-round.)

Need some French wine pairings with fresh goat cheese?

  • White Wine: Chablis (Chardonnay grape) Sauvignon Blanc (Sancerre grape)
  • Rosé Wine: especially Provençal rosé (grapes vary by producer*)
  • Red Wine: fruity reds such as Beaujolais (Gamay grape); Chinon, Saumur and Saumur-Champigny (Cabernet Franc grape)
  • Sparkling Wine:Champagne, Cremant, or the other sparkling wines of France

  • More Ways To Serve Goat Cheese

    A glass of French bubbly is always popular. Add Angostura bitters, sugar, and a maraschino cherry garnish (updated to a lemon or orange twist) and you have a Champagne Cocktail (recipe in ‡footnote).

    But there are more with which to celebrate.

    Top French cocktails include the Sidecar, among others. Then, there’s the 1789, the date of the storming of the Bastille (the recipe is below).

    Some recipes from The Nibble archives:

  • Chambord Cocktails
  • French 75 & Kir Royale Cocktails
  • Kir & Its Many Variations

    This drink uses a popular French apéritif wine†, Bonal Quina. You can substitute a sweet red vermouth like Punt E Mes.

    Another ingredient is Lillet Blanc, a French aromatized wine†. If you don’t have any (but we highly recommend it, to drink on its own), a less-sweet substitute is white vermouth.

    Another substitute is St. Germain elderflower liqueur (another favorite of ours), though it’s sweeter than Lillet.

    The 1789 is traditionally served in a Martini glass. You can substitute a small wine glass or a Champagne flute.
    Ingredients Per Drink

  • ½ ounce Bonal Quina
  • ½ ounce Lillet Blanc
  • 1½ ounces whiskey
  • Ice
  • Garnish: orange peel

    1. CHILL a Martini glass (or substitute).

    2. COMBINE the Bonal Quina, Lillet Blanc, and whiskey In a mixing glass. Add the ice and stir to chill.

    3. STRAIN into the chilled Martini glass and garnish with the orange peel.


    French 75 Cocktail Recipe
    [1] French 75, made with gin, Champagne, lemon juice, and sugar. Here’s the recipe (photo © Tanqueray).

    Kir Royale Cocktail For Bastille Day
    [2] Kir Royale combines crème de cassis with Champagne. Here’s the recipe. A conventional Kir (recipe) is made with white wine (photo © The Mercury | Atlanta [now closed].

    1789 Cocktail Recipe For Bastille Day
    [3] The 1789 cocktail was named for France’s independence day, known as Bastille Day in the U.S. It’s traditionally served in a Martini glass, but you can use a wine glass (photo © Adam Jaime | Unsplash).


    *The main grape varieties used in Provençal rosés are Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsaut, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Tibouren, and, occasionally, Carignan.

    The difference between fortified wine and aromatized wine: Fortified wines have added alcohol, in the form of flavorless grape brandy. The result is a sweeter, richer version of regular wine. Examples include Madiera, Marsala, Port, and Sherry. Aromatized wines are wines that are flavored with fruit, spices, and florals (angelica, chamomile, chinotto, cinchona, gentian root, mistelle, nutmeg, quinine, and saffron, for example) in addition to the added flavorless grape brandy. Americano (from Italy), Barolo Chinato (Italian), Byrrh (French), Lillet (French), Quinquina (Spanish), and vermouth (originally Italian) are examples.

    Champagne cocktail ingredients: 1 sugar cube, Angostura bitters, Champagne or other sparkling wine (chilled), lemon or orange twist, for garnish. Place the sugar cube on a bar spoon and douse with bitters. Drop the cube into a chilled Champagne flute. Fill the glass with Champagne or other sparkling wine. Garnish with a lemon or orange twist. Some recipes add brandy, but this is the original.




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    Plantspired Plant-Based Steak From Nasoya Is A Winner

    Plantspired Steak Skewers With Summer Squash & Onions
    [1] Plantspired steak skewers with summer squash and onions (both photos © Nasoya).

    Plantspired Steak Sandwich With Caramelized Onions
    [2] Plantspired Steak sandwich with caramelized onions.


    Thank you, Nasoya, for sending us a sample of Plantspired Plant-Based Steak. It’s become a staple in our kitchen, going from fridge to plate in 30 seconds.

    And no one guessed it wasn’t real meat until, towards the end of enjoying a grain bowl, one taster hesitantly asked.

    But in its Korean BBQ Flavor, these tender, marinated, sliced steak-like strips, made with textured soy protein, are char-grilled over an open flame and paired with sweet and smoky bulgogi sauce that goes with everything.

    Walmart also has Plantspired Zesty Mexican Style and a Savory Tuscan Style, for $3.98 (the SRP, which you may find for the Korean BBQ flavor at other stores, $6.98).

    The 7-ounce package (14 grams of plant-based protein) is a generous portion for one and can be split into two servings.

    Plantspired Plant-Based Steak is so versatile:

  • As a main course with vegetables, noodles, rice, or other grains.
  • In a grain bowl or atop a green salad.
  • On a sandwich with caramelized onions and crusty bread).
  • With breakfast eggs (a vegetarian steak and eggs!).
    Nasoya has recipes for nachos, breakfast burritos, and more.

    The refrigerated product can be found in the produce aisle at a retail price of $6.99.

    We are not vegan or vegetarian, but strive to eat more plant-based foods.

    “Steak is one of the last categories to present a truly delicious plant-based alternative,” says Nasoya, “and we think we have cracked the code with a product that delivers in flavor, texture, nutrition, and even price.”

    We agree!





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    Rye Day The 13th: A Rye Whiskey Holiday To Celebrate Every Month

    It’s Rye Day the 13th is a food holiday started by the Maryland-based Sagamore Spirit Distillery in 2016. It was begun as a promotional opportunity for restaurants and bars.

    The organizers suggest “a coast-to-coast toast” with Rye.

    It reminds us of National Gnocchi Day, which occurs on the 29th of every month, in Argentina. All celebrants have gnocchi for lunch or dinner.

    But we digress: back to the Rye.

    Why not have Rye Day The 13th at home? Look in your closet: Do you have a bottle?

    If not, Basil Hayden, Knob Creek, Old Forester, Redemption, Sazerac, Woodford Reserve, and other brands are waiting for you!

    Rye whiskey is known for its full-bodied, spicy flavor. It has a peppery finish, and it’s much dryer than Bourbon, the spirit most related to it. The latter is sweeter, being made of at least 51% corn. Rye is made with at least 51% Rye). Here’s more about Rye vs. Bourbon.

    How about a Rye cocktail party?

    There are scores, if not hundreds, of Rye cocktails. But the two you should try first are the most popular:

  • The Manhattan, the most famous Rye whiskey cocktail. It was first created in the 1870s (in Manhattan, of course) from Rye, sweet vermouth, and bitters, and garnished with a maraschino cherry. It delivers hints of pepper and spice from the Rye, sweet tanginess from the vermouth, and herbal nuances from the bitters.
  • Here’s the recipe, and the history of the Manhattan cocktail.
  • The Sazerac, made in New Orleans in the mid-1800s, combines Rye, Cognac, absinthe, Peychaud’s bitters (a New Orleans brand), and a sugar cube, garnished with lemon peel. The name comes from the Sazerac de Forge et Fils brand of Cognac initially used to make it. This is a drink for licorice lovers: absinthe gives it a black licorice finish. Since 2008, the Sazerac has been the official cocktail of New Orleans.
  • Here’s the recipe, and the history of the Sazerac.
    If you want something simpler, try:

  • Whiskey Ginger: Rye on the rocks, topped off with ginger beer or ginger ale.
  • Rye & Soda: Rye on the rocks, topped with soda. A few shakes of bitters add more complexity.
    > Check out the different types of whiskey.


    Manhattan Cocktail Recipe For National Bourbon Day
    [1] The Manhattan, the most popular Rye cocktail (photo © The Mercury | Atlanta [now closed]).

    Sazerac Rye Cocktail
    [2] Second of the legendary Rye cocktails, The Sazerac, from New Orleans. Here’s the recipe (photo © Old Forester).






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    Loaded Bacon Cheese Fries Recipe For National French Fry Day

    Loaded Bacon & Cheddar French Fries
    [1] Loaded bacon cheese fries are easy to make (both photos © Idaho Potato Commission).

    Greek Salad Topped With French Fries
    [2] A Greek salad with Greek-seasoned fries (oregano, thyme, garlic). Here’s the recipe.

    Grown In Idaho Crinkle Cut Fries Package And Baked Fries On A Plate
    [3] Grown In Idaho frozen crinkle-cut fries (photo © Coltrane’s).


    July 13th, National French Fry Day: The very name suggests that, no matter how hard you’ve been trying to avoid fried foods, you deserve a serving of crisp fries today—like the Loaded Bacon Cheese Fries recipe below.

    The good news: This recipe is for baked French fries (photo #1). No added fat!

    They’re just as delicious, and so much easier to make. You don’t even have to peel potatoes: The recipe uses frozen Grown In Idaho crinkle-cut fries (photo #3). (and if you haven’t tried them, you’ll be pleasantly surprised).

    You might as well double the recipe for these Loaded Bacon Cheese Fries, because the first batch will be devoured in minutes!

    If it sounds familiar, this recipe is featured in the Idaho Potato Commission’s Big Idaho Potato Truck television commercial, and folks across the country have been clamoring for the recipe.

    You can even use them to top a green salad. If it sounds strange, check this out (photo #2).

    Does eating fries on a salad make them guilt-free?

    > 16 more French fry recipes.

    > The history of French fries.

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 1 package frozen Grown in Idaho® crinkle-cut French fries (or substitute)
  • 1½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked and roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup sour cream or ranch dressing
  • 2 scallions (green onions), sliced, green parts only
  • Ketchup, for serving

    1. HEAT the oven to 425°F. Grease a rimmed baking sheet or large cast-iron skillet with cooking spray.

    2. SPREAD out the crinkle-cut fries in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet.

    3. BAKE for 25 to 30 minutes, until crispy and golden brown. Then sprinkle the fries evenly with cheese. Bake for 3 to 5 minutes until the cheese is melted.

    4. REMOVE from the oven and sprinkle with the bacon. Drizzle with the sour cream or ranch dressing, then sprinkle with the sliced scallions.

    5. SERVE immediately with ketchup on the side.
    > Beyond salads: More ways to use ranch dressing.





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    Creative Hot Dog Toppings For National Hot Dog Day

    We’re getting ready for National Hot Dog Day, July 20th this year (it’s the third Wednesday in July). We’re serving some creative hot dog toppings—no mustard, ketchup, relish, and sauerkraut this year.

    You can set up a DIY hot dog bar with the toppings below, and let guests create their “signature” hot dogs.

    Mustard and sauerkraut were served on America’s first hot dog, back in 1871, when a German-born vendor with a stand in Coney Island began selling a thin, Frankfurt-style sausage in rolls. (In fact, Frankfurt, Germany claims to be the originator of the hot dog and celebrated the hot dog’s 500th birthday in 1987.)

    Sausages that didn’t require eating utensils: simple, but breakthrough! Here’s a longer history of hot dogs.

    The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council established National Hot Dog Day in 1991 to coincide with a hot dog lunch on Capitol Hill. The observance occurs every year on a Wednesday in July.

    If you can’t celebrate the hot dog on July 20tyh, all of July is National Hot Dog Month. There are also:

  • March 18: National Corn Dog Day
  • August 16: National Bratwurst Day/World Bratwurst Month
  • October: National Sausage Month

    Take some inspiration from the best hot dogs in Nashville: Daddy’s Dogs. Daddy’s is always pushing the limits of what a hot dog should be, surprising customers with new concepts in dogdom. It has been named Best Hot Dog in Nashville for several years.

    Daddy’s Dogs is not your average-size hot dog.

    Sean Porter, a.k.a. Daddy, the founder, was a road manager for musicians, finding himself in a new city every few days. He experienced the different flavors of America, and was inspired to create hot dog toppings with them.

    Consider topping your own dogs with some of Daddy’s favorities:

  • Big Daddy: bacon, cream cheese, grilled onion, jalapeño, pickle, and Daddy’s secret sauwce (their spelling).
  • Carolina: bacon, coleslaw, Daddy’s secret sauwce, and barbecue sauce.
  • Chicago: pickle, onion, tomato, and mustard.
  • Chili Dog: Daddy’s chili, cheese, onion, and sour cream.
  • Eloté: bacon, cotija cheese, grilled corn, Daddy’s secret sauwce, and a lime wedge.
  • Georgia: cream cheese, peach, jalapeño, and Daddy’s secret sauwce.
  • Lone Wolf: ketchup, mustard, and relish.
  • Mac Daddy: mac and cheese, extra Cheddar, and Daddy’s secret sauwce.
  • New York: sauerkraut and spicy mustard.
  • Seattle: cream cheese, grilled onion, and sriracha sauce.
  • Music City: bacon, Cheddar cheese, onion, and barbecue sauce.
    There’s also a corn dog: dipped in beer batter, fried, and served on a stick.

    Plus, three types of tots, regular plus:

  • Eloté Loaded Tots topped with Daddy’s chili, bacon, cotija cheese, grilled corn, jalapeño, onion, Daddy’s secret sauwce, and a lime wedge.
  • Loaded Tots: Daddy’s chili, onion, cheese, and sour cream.

    There’s lots more to enjoy at Daddy’s Dogs. Check out the website.

    By the way, according to the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council, it should take you 5 bites to finish one hot dog. For a foot-long, 7 bites.

    As for the contestants at the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island, champion Joey Chestnut manages to eat two hot dogs together in three bite (see it on YouTube, but don’t try this at home).


    Big Daddy's Carolina Hot Dog
    [1] Carolina hot dog with bacon, cream cheese, grilled onion, jalapeño, pickle, and Daddy’s secret sauwce [their spelling](all photos © Daddy’s Dogs).

    Big Daddy's Chicago Hot Dog
    [2] Chicago hot dog with pickle, onion, tomato, and mustard. Simple enough!

    Big Daddy's Chili Hot Dog
    [3] Chili hot dog with chili, cheese, onion, and sour cream.

    Big Daddy's Elote Hot Dog
    [4] Elote hot dog with bacon, cotija cheese, grilled corn, Daddy’s secret sauwce, and a lime wedge.


  • The average American eats 70 hot dogs a year.
  • Mustard is the #1 hot dog topping, with ketchup coming in a close second.
  • Franks and wieners, from the German, were the original names for hot dogs. Why wiener? Johann Georg Lahner, a 19th-century butcher, is said to have brought the Frankfurter Würstchen sausage to Vienna, Wien in German.
  • Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, Americans eat approximately 7 billion hot dogs.
  • On July 4th alone, Americans enjoy 150 million hot dogs, enough to stretch from D.C. to L.A. more than five times.
  • A hot dog is a sausage.
  • Nathan Handwerker, who was not the first but became the most famous hot dog vendor, opened Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs in Coney Island, New York in 1916.
  • The Apollo 11 moon voyage in 1969 took hot dogs to outer space, in the form of “thermostabilized frankfurters” with a “thermostabilized cheddar cheese spread.”
  • Mickey Mouse’s first on-screen words were “Hot Dog!”
  • [source]





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