What is chai, a chai latte, and a dirty chai?

dirty-chai-latteChai is the word for tea in Hindi and many other languages, but in the western world chai usually refers to masala chai (Hindi for spiced tea), a tea heavily laden with cardamom and other spices. The specific choice of spices and method of cooking varies from place to place, but here’s a good recipe [more…]

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What recipes are there for sloe liqueurs like sloe gin?

sloe gin and patxaranSloe gin is not just the easiest way of using wild sloes, it’s probably the most popular in the UK. Other sloe-flavoured liqueurs – patxarán or pacharán from northern Spain, Italian bargnolino and Schlehenfeuer from Germany – have interestingly different flavouring, even though the basic idea is much the same. Sloe gin Pick sloes after [more…]

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What is the origin of the “Tom and Jerry”?

tom-and-jerry-life-in-londonFor those who don’t know, a Tom and Jerry is a mixed drink, a variety of eggnog made with rum and a little brandy, usually served warm, popular at Christmas time. So why is it called a Tom and Jerry? It is a long story and has a long history. The drink was invented by [more…]


I say pop, you say soda, what does everyone else say?

Geographic distribution of terms for carbonated soft drinks.Growing up in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, I always referred to carbonated soft drinks as “pop,” or maybe “soda pop.” So I became confused sometime later when I moved briefly to California and was surprised to hear cans or bottles of pop referred to as “sodas” — to me, a soda is [more…]

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