How to Become Your Local Bar’s Favorite Regular
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So you’ve finally found it, that special watering hole you’d like to call your very own. Maybe you haven’t felt this way about a bar since your first in college, when you stumbled nightly across campus to slam back penny pitchers with your buddies and fondle the Golden Tee machine. Maybe you’ve just moved to a new town and had to leave behind your favorite dive and the only bartender you’ve ever loved.
How to Become Your Local Bar’s Favorite Regular (Slideshow)
Whatever the case, once you find a bar you jive with, the best thing to do is stick with it. Don’t roam the streets looking for cheap substitutes when you’ve found “The One.”
Why would you want to be a regular at a bar? Isn’t that for sad mailmen in ‘80s sitcoms?
Absolutely not. There are a plethora of advantages to hanging out at a spot “where everybody knows your name.” The first is that, as a regular, you know when the specials are. Monday night $3 margaritas, happy hour two-for-ones, the world is yours when you’ve been hanging at a bar long enough to become familiar with the deals.
You’ll also be in the loop when it comes to things like trivia nights, movie viewing parties, and local bands, so you never have to deal with crippling FOMO (fear of missing out). And finally, it’s pretty cool to have a bar to chill at without an entourage. Sometimes you need a drink and all your friends pass.
When you’re a regular, the bar’s always full of friends: bartenders you’re on a first name basis with, other regulars, and cool new people you’re not scared to talk to because this is “your” bar.
If you’ve got a spot you love, but you’re not sure how to break through to “regular” status, read on for our Dos and Don’ts. You’ll be the life of the party in no time!
Tip consistently. Look, you don’t have to throw handfuls of golden doubloons at your barkeep à la Scrooge McDuck on a bender, but a dollar for a beer and two dollars for a cocktail is only fair for the person who’s sweating behind a barmat so you can have a good time.
Expect free stuff. How would you like it if someone came to your job and said, “Hey, when you take out my appendix, could you get my gall bladder too, but for free?” And when you said you’d be fired if you did that, he or she whined, “But I get sick in here all the tiiiimmme?” Your bartender’s job depends on selling drinks, not donating them, and she could be fired for “hooking you up.”
Read More About How to Become Your Local Bar’s Favorite Regular
Learn about the World of Wine
GoMacro is a family-owned nutrition and protein bar company whose mission is to create wholesome and healthy snacks for all to enjoy. They believe in inspiring people to love eating healthy and also live a healthy lifestyle that positively impacts not only individuals, but also the world around us.
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Bar Drink Supplies to Keep in Stock
When setting up your home bar, decide what mixed drinks you most enjoy or like to serve. From there, use this mixed drinks checklist as a guide so you don&apost forget anything when happy hour rolls around.
- Liquor: Choose spirits you love or base your liquor list off of your favorite alcoholic drink recipes. If you&aposre unsure what mixed drinks to serve, buy some basics to get started: whiskey, gin, vodka, tequila, rum, or vermouth.
- Mixers: Mixers are an essential part of most cocktails. Some basic mixers include carbonated water, tonic water, lemon-lime seltzer, and ginger ale.
- Garnishes: Top off mixed drinks with garnishes. Maraschino cherries, olives, lemon peels, and lime and lemon wedges are popular drink garnishes.
- Ice: To keep your cocktails cool and refreshing, have about a pound of cubes per person, and more for warm-weather parties.
- Bar glasses: You don&apost need a huge selection of glassware. Ten- to 16-ounce all-purpose glasses ($30, Bed Bath & Beyond) will work for nearly every alcoholic drink.
- Various bar tools: Be sure to have a few essential bar tools handy such as a cocktail shaker, bottle opener, and corkscrew. If you&aposre brand new to the home bar scene, consider investing in a bar tool set ($90, Crate & Barrel). You may also want a blender ($140, NutriBullet) to make frozen drinks.
Pickled cauliflower is an awesome sandwich topper
Giardiniera is an Italian concoction of pickled veggies including carrots, celery, peppers, and, of course, cauliflower. Simmered with mild apple cider vinegar and bay leaves and preserved in olive oil, it's a yummy topping for your favorite sandwich or salad recipe. You could also serve it alongside Italian deli meats, cheeses, and olives for a homemade antipasto platter, or simply enjoy it as a snack. If you like a bit of heat, some slightly spicy banana peppers are a welcome addition.
How to Make All Your Favorite Starbucks Drinks at Home
Copycat recipes are beloved for many reasons, including saving you a few bucks. These Starbucks copycat recipes are no exception, and are just what you need right now (even if you’re not on lockdown any longer, you’re probably not going out for coffee like you used to).
I’ll admit it: I love Starbucks, but I’m ballin’ on a budget, so I don’t always have Starbucks money. Feel me? You may not want to admit it, but you probably feel me. It happens to the best of us. But I have a solution. I’m here to help you become your own barista, and pretty soon you’ll be able to make some of the most classic Starbucks drinks—hot OR iced—from the comfort of your own home!
And if you buy all the ingredients up front, you’ll probably save money on coffee in the long run, which is a huge plus.
Coronavirus caveat: If you don’t already have some of the special syrups mentioned below at home, expect shipping delays when you order online—or DIY those too. Try this vanilla syrup recipe (don’t stress if you only have extract, but add a little extra), and this homemade caramel syrup recipe, and you’ll be all set.
Pumpkin Spice Latte
The fall-time favorite that I admittedly have still never tried(!) has quickly become synonymous with the Starbucks name, so I’d be certifiably insane to not teach you how to make it at home. That way, you could start every day with a PSL. As a bonus, Chowhound’s DIY Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe has way less sugar than the original and can even be made vegan if you want! You’re so welcome.
For the latte itself, you’ll want to start by heating your milk for one minute and then frothing it a bit if you don’t have a handheld frother, never fear. Here’s how to froth milk without an espresso machine (or an electric frother, for that matter). For the full PSL effect, be sure to top with whipped cream and some pumpkin pie spice.
Zyliss Handheld Milk Frother, $10 from Sur La Table
Another way to whip up some foam at home.
This is the perfect drink for a hot day (or a cheat day), and it’s the drink that got me hooked on Starbucks years before I discovered my need for pure shots of bitter espresso straight into my bloodstream. And this Caramel Frappuccino recipe was actually featured on Good Morning America, so you know it’s a good copycat! You can use espresso shots or strongly brewed coffee, and any milk you like. You’ll also need both caramel sauce and caramel syrup, but the xanthan gum is optional (it’s there to thicken things up for the ideal frappe kind of texture, but adding more ice works just as well).
Torani Syrup Variety Pack, 4 for $30.30 from Amazon
Caramel, vanilla, French vanilla, and hazelnut syrups for recreating all your faves.
Because you’re the barista, feel free to get even more generous with the caramel. For authenticity, top it off with some whipped cream and a little caramel sauce drizzle.
Cold Brew with Salted Cream Cold Foam
A more restrained but equally refreshing option that still satisfies the craving for a little something sweet (and salty), this simple cold brew with creamy, salted sweet foam is perfect. This copycat salted cream cold foam cold brew recipe promises everything you love about the drink, except the instant gratification part, since you’ll need to steep your cold brew for about 18 hours.
White Chocolate Mocha
This is actually one of Starbucks’ most popular drinks. It’s my go-to when I’m craving something very sweet, and it’s the everyday order of none other than Kim Kardashian West. Celebrities, they’re just like us. Now, this White Chocolate Mocha recipe calls for about 3 tablespoons of white chocolate chips rather than syrup, but if you like it much sweeter, just add more chocolate! Make sure to whisk often when heating your coffee, milk, and chocolate, and don’t skip the whipped cream and chocolate shavings on top.
Hot or iced, the Starbucks vanilla latte is my thing. It’s so simple, yet so delicious. It’s even perfect with any kind of milk—regular, soy, coconut, you name it! And this one is so easy, you don’t even need a recipe. Froth your favorite milk with a whisk or blender, add your preferred espresso or strong coffee, and pick up some vanilla syrup from your local grocery store. When summer comes around again, I strongly suggest making this over some ice.
Iced Caramel Macchiato
Perhaps the most Instagram-worthy drink on this list, the iced caramel macchiato looks difficult because the espresso is so beautifully layered on the milk, but I promise it’s super simple, thanks to this Iced Caramel Macchiato recipe.
You’ll need to get vanilla syrup and caramel syrup too (if you want things sweeter), plus some some caramel sauce for the bottom of your cup (OK, and the top). When pouring in your espresso, go slowly and the coffee will layer naturally on top of the milk. I know a lot of people choose to mix that until they blend, but I actually enjoy it separated.
Passion Tea Lemonade
In what is perhaps the most basic thing in the world, I stop in a Starbucks drive through once a week every summer on the way to beach volleyball for one of these things. The passion tea lemonade is as addicting as it is delicious, and I think it’s just as good unsweetened.
For this Copycat Starbucks Passion Tea Lemonade recipe, you’ll need the straight up passion tea that Starbucks makes. But good news, they sell it in stores and in bulk online! You’ll need to boil water and steep the tea first and foremost, because tea just doesn’t dissolve to its fullest in cold water. You’ll also need to add the sugar in now (if you so choose) for the same reason it’ll dissolve much better in hot tea. When you’ve boiled water and you’re satisfied with your tea, refrigerate it for a little while. When it’s ready, fill your cup with ice. The recommended ratio for the passion tea lemonade is one part tea, two parts lemonade. That way it’ll be naturally sweet.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Brownies
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Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Brownies are perfectly fudgy with chocolate chips and creamy peanut butter. It’s the perfect way to use up ripe bananas!
These easy, fudgy brownies may become your new favorite Dessert Recipe ever. They’re quick to throw together, chocolatey, moist, and bursting with rich, sweet flavors. Peanut Butter Banana Brownies fall somewhere between Peanut Butter Brownies and Chocolate Banana Bread. It truly doesn’t get better!
PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE BANANA BROWNIES
Two of our favorite dessert combinations are chocolate and peanut butter, and chocolate, and bananas. Well, why not have both? These chocolatey brownies take both and put them in one unbelievable sweet recipe. The ripe bananas add some extra gooey texture and sweetness while the peanut butter brings some salty and earthy flavors for the perfect treat.
The next time you have overripe bananas, consider these brownies an option along with the classic, go-to Banana Bread. These homemade brownies are barely harder than a box brownie mix and they turn out so much more chewy, and rich. The simple brownie base is sure to become your favorite brownie recipe. It’s a serious chocolate lover’s dream with a little something extra from the banana and nut flavors.
One of our family’s all-time favorite treats is serving up hot brownies with delicious, creamy ice cream. For the perfect dish serve Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Brownies with Vanilla Ice Cream and Hot Fudge Sauce and enjoy the unbelievable combination all in one spoonful.
MORE DELICIOUS BROWNIE RECIPES
Cream Cheese Brownies
TIPS FOR MAKING PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE BANANA BROWNIES
This chicken marinade is totally versatile and will become your go to marinade.
A good chicken marinade is an essential part of any cooking repertoire. It’s a quick and easy way to pull dinner together. This chicken marinade can be changed up a lot of different ways. I usually use Dijon but a stone ground mustard, spicy brown or regular yellow mustard will work too.
You can also switch out your vinegar. I usually use apple cider vinegar but balsamic vinegar would give it a nice flavor and sometimes I use red or white wine vinegar. The recipe calls for brown sugar but honey will also work. You’ve got lots of flexibility to use what you have on hand or play around with your flavor combinations.
This chicken marinade is the perfect one to use for any dish you want to add a little more flavor to. I often just marinade my chicken breasts, grill them or bake them and then serve them with some rice pilaf or yummy potato dish. The chicken is flavorful enough to dice up and add into pasta, onto a taco or anyway you like to eat your chicken.
One of my favorite ways to use this chicken marinade is for chicken tostadas. I’ll be sharing this easy, quick, go to family dinner idea tomorrow!
Use this chicken marinade to add some chicken in this Spinach Apple Salad.
Some of my favorite items I used to make FAVORITE CHICKEN MARINADE
LEMON JUICE SQUEEZER – this is one of my most used kitchen tools. Nothing beats fresh squeezed lemon juice and this guy makes it so easy.
REDMOND REAL SALT – this is my favorite, daily use salt. It’s unrefined, unprocessed, just the way nature made it!
Master Some Marinades
Why does steak cooked at your favorite restaurant taste so much better than the stuff you make at home? The answer lies in the marinade. Creating a flavorful marinade for your protein or vegetables and knowing what they do to the texture of your food—highly acidic marinades tend to toughen proteins, for example—can help you enhance your dishes and become a master of meal creation.
Three basic tools&mdasha cocktail shaker , a strainer , and a jigger &mdashmake it a lot easier to make cocktails, once you get the hang of using them. But you can also get by without them, too.
What to Use If You Don't Have a Jigger
Don&rsquot have a jigger? No problem. If you really want to be precise when mixing a drink, use a measuring spoon &mdashone tablespoon holds half an ounce. For larger volumes (two or more ounces), use a one-cup measuring cup &mdashour favorites also have ounce measures. But really, as long as you keep the ratios of the drink the same, you can use any small vessel&mdasha shot glass, a juice glass, etc.&mdashto measure volumes your drink might be bigger or smaller than ideal, but the balance will remain the same. (And if you decide you&rsquod rather just buy a jigger, our favorite is the OXO Good Grips Angled Measuring Cup .)
What to Use If You Don't Have a Cocktail Shaker
Contrary to what many bartenders will have you believe, you don&rsquot even need a shaker to make a cocktail. Almost every cocktail (except egg-white-based ones) can simply be stirred in order to chill and dilute the ingredients properly it will just take longer with drinks that you&rsquod ordinarily shake. You don&rsquot even need to use a dedicated bar spoon to stir&mdashany longish utensil will work. Legendary bartender Gaz Regan used to stir Negronis with his finger, but if your fingers aren&rsquot as cold-resistant, a chopstick or butter knife will do just fine. Stirring won&rsquot get you the frothy texture of many shaken drinks, but the drink itself will still taste good.
Here&rsquos how to make your drinks: Add as much ice as you can spare to any relatively tall vessel, such as a liquid measuring cup or pint glass ideally, you&rsquod have enough ice to fill it about two-thirds full. Pour in your drink ingredients, and then stir.
For spirit-only drinks like Manhattans, stir for about 30 seconds. For drinks with spirits and acids, like margaritas, which are typically shaken, you&rsquoll want to stir a bit longer&mdashabout a minute, and possibly more. It&rsquos OK to taste as you go. You&rsquore among friends. You&rsquoll know when your drink is properly diluted when it&rsquos boozy, but not harsh or rough-feeling.
What to Use If You Don't Have a Strainer
Pour your drink through a sieve or fine-mesh strainer . Alternatively, use another glass, a saucer, or even a small plate to carefully hold back the ice as you decant the drink. Or don&rsquot strain at all. Pour both drink and ice into another glass, or sip directly from the mixing vessel. I won&rsquot tell. Now your drink is on the rocks! (If you do want to invest in a strainer, our favorite is the Cocktail Kingdom Koriko Hawthorne Strainer .)
What to Use If You Don't Have a Muddler
Want a mojito but don&rsquot have a muddler? Use a wooden spoon to muddle the mint and limes in your mixing vessel. A mortar and pestle can also work if you have it&mdashjust don&rsquot turn your muddled materials into a paste. With either tool, press and turn your muddling implement firmly to express all the aromatic oils this should take about 30 seconds.
Make Better Mojitos Fletcher's Mill Maple Muddler
With a moderate weight and a large, smooth head, this model quickly and efficiently muddled everything under it, making great drinks.
This recipe is doubly useful because you can serve it as a spread with crackers or slather it on bread to make a sandwich. No matter what you use it for, though, make sure you’re incorporating sharp cheddar (not mild), good mayo (Duke’s!), and lots of black pepper. Pimento cheese, a tradition in the American South, is only as good as its component parts, and if you take care to source the ingredients in our recipe, you’ll enjoy the best batch of your life. Get the recipe for Pimento Cheese here.