Food News Friday
A new travel guide for vegans, Woodford Reserve releases its annual julep cup, and a sustainable vodka from Florida's panhandle are on the menu.
“Plant Based USA” is Fresh Reading for Vegans on the Go
More and more, people are embarking on a plant-based journey. According to the Alliance for Science, one in ten Americans say they don’t eat meat. In response, most restaurants offer delicious plant-based dishes on their regular menus — a far cry from the days when vegans were tasked with choosing between a plain salad or a steamed veggie plate for dinner options. In addition, more and more restaurants offering plant-based food are thriving.
To help people find plant-based options while traveling, Veronica Fil just wrote Plant-Based USA: A Travel Guide to Eating Animal-Free in America ($29.99). This colorful book offers the best plant-based restaurants in 18 major cities including New York, Chicago, Miami, Detroit, Kansas City, Los Angeles, and more. The book is instantly loveable — a neon-colored cover makes you want to display it (or carry it in your backpack). each city offers multiple entries, and the pictures are drool-worthy. Worth picking up for the traveling vegan in your life.
Woodford Reserve’s $1,000 Mint Julep Cup
Each year, millions of people get dressed up in seersucker suites and their finest millinery to drink mint juleps and watch what’s known as “the most exciting two minutes in sports”, otherwise known as the Kentucky Derby.
Of course, Kentucky is just as famous for its bourbon as its horses. Each year, Woodford Reserve offers a limited-edition julep cup fashioned out of silver or gold. The cups just went on sale, each handmade by Louisville-based jeweler, the Vault.
This year’s cups pay tribute to Secretariat’s Derby win that happened 50 years ago. A total of 150 cups will be available for purchase: 100 silver cups will be sold for $1,000 each, and 50 gold cups will be offered at $3,500 each. Each cup will have Secretariat’s white and blue silks encrusted in white and blue sapphires and proceeds benefit the Secretariat Foundation, founded to support thoroughbred and equine-related industries. Order your cup at woodfordreservemintjulep.com.
What to put in that jewel-encrusted chalice?
Woodford created the Secretariat mint julep, which adds chestnut liqueur as a tribute to the fast thoroughbred’s distinctive chestnut hue.
Secretariat’s Mint Julep
2 oz. Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight bourbon whiskey
1 oz. chestnut liqueur
1 sprig of mint, for garnish
Mix, then pour over a julep cup filled with crushed ice. Garnish with one sprig of mint.
A Florida Distillery is Making a Sustainable Vodka Using Oyster Shells
The vodka market is huge. Vodka is the most popular spirit in the United States, accounting for 31 percent of overall sales according to a 2022 report by the Distilled Spirits Council. There’s good reason: vodka can be casual in a highball, elegant in a martini, or straightforward in a chilled shot.
Distillery 98, located in Santa Rosa Beach in Florida’s Panhandle, has created a vodka that is more sustainable — from its core ingredient to the bottling. Half Shell Vodka ($24.99) starts with corn sourced from a local Florida farmer. The corn is distilled, then filtered using oyster shells from the Florida Gulf. The shell-filtering balances the liquid’s ph levels, decreasing acidity.
Finally, the vodka is bottled in packaging made from 94 percent paperboard. The company sent a sample to try and, at first, the bottle felt strange, indeed. It squishes like a milk carton, making it seem like you’re going to smoosh it and vodka will explode around your house (it doesn’t). Another benefit to the packaging is the fact that it’s safer around pools and boats than glass bottles.
The vodka, itself, has hints of grass and lemon and works well with a splash of lime and a hit of soda. It’s a great, sustainable choice for your summer home.