Brooklyn distillers and artists Aaron Fox and Daniel de la Nuez, co-founders of the botanicals-focused Forthave Spirits, tell us about their latest concoction, Brown, a coffee liqueur made with locally roasted beans from Café Integral.
You both have artistic backgrounds in painting, writing, and film. What led you to start Forthave?
Aaron Fox: Daniel and I became friends about seven years ago, nerding out over wine and other dinner drinks—amaro in particular. We started to make little experiments in his kitchen, and when that started to take over his dining room, we moved into this space that I would use as a painting studio. A few years ago, we went legit with a licensed space and began making it for people to buy. We started with this love of amaro, and that expanded into aperitivo. From there, our interest expanded into this larger category of what we call “botanical spirits.”
Your color series includes different takes on classic spirits—Red for aperitivo, Blue for gin. Tell us about the newest, Brown.
Daniel de la Nuez: The ingredient came first. Here, where we’re based in [Williamsburg], it’s a big warehouse complex, and there are a lot of small food startups. Earlier on, when we had our beginning studio space, our neighbors were this mother-son team from Nicaragua, and they created a beautiful company, roasting and importing coffee, called Café Integral. We started trading Red for coffee and became friends over the past few years. Naturally, Aaron and I thought, Hey, what if we were to collaborate on something? Forthave is ingredient-driven, so we took a lot of time trying a lot of different coffees, roasting processes, fermentation processes that growers use, and then we landed on this one bean, the Pacamara, grown by Don Sergio Ortez.
What about the Pacamara stood out in particular?
AF: It’s fermented like you would a chocolate, which is an anaerobic fermentation. Most coffee is what you’d call ‘washed coffee.’ You wash the fruit right off of the bean, which is its pit, and then you try it out in the sun. And then there are ‘natural coffees,’ where you let it ferment in the coffee cherry. This has a bit of both; it ferments inside the cherry for a week or two, then it gets a partial sort of dry wash, where some of the fruit and mucilage is left on, but the roots are taken off. Then it undergoes an anaerobic fermentation for another two weeks before it’s put out in the sun to dry. Between that process and this particular bean, where it’s grown, and the farmer, together you get this coffee that’s remarkably chocolate-y.
We do two different processes, then we blend them and age them. First, Café Integral will do a large cold brew for us: they have a giant machine where they can produce three hundred liters of immaculate cold drip. We start with that, then we fortify by adding spirit so that it rests and starts to integrate. Then, separately, we have another industrial-size, special filter we had made for us—it’s a bit like a giant pour-over or French press, where the coffee sits and macerates and ages for a long, slow soak. That one is blended with the cold brew and additionally aged.
How do you like your Brown?
DN: Our focus is on making it so that you can drink it just by itself, as a sort of after-dinner treat. We’ve [had] a bunch of tasty cocktails [that use it]—there’s a pizza shop in Philly that does an affogato with it. There’s been quite a few people who’ve been texting us about mixing it in with their espresso in the morning, and, I don’t know, that sounds pretty enjoyable on a cold day.
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The ongoing Covid-19 closures have brought the unimaginable to so many local and small businesses across the country andFamily Meal, a site and Instagram account of recipe cards featuring dishes from their favorite local restaurants. All are available for download, with suggested bagna cauda from Popina, challah from The Lighthouse, and lou rou fan from Win Son.
Between homeschooling, working from home, and/or cooking at home more than ever, many of us are spending our days stayinan automated, open-source system called FarmBot that’s been slowly cultivating a fan base of users online. Controlled using an app, and assembled from a kit of parts, t
Daytime drinking is on the up—hey, it’s 5 p.m. somewhere (not that we can keep track of time these days, though the #HandMarkingTime Stories on our @slowdown.tv Instagram at least help us remember which day of the month it is). But if you prefer not to risk getting a hangover, or weakeningDram Apothecary makes a version of the increasingly popular drink in a range of flavors, such as cardamom and black tea, using CBD extrWild Mountain Sage) and switchels, as well as a set of CBD tinctures that you can either drop directly on your tongue, or add to any drink
The ongoing Covid-19 crisis has put a sudden and massive halt on the restaurant industry: Bars, small businesses, mega-c“morbidly high business death rate.” (There’s an episode of our At a Distance podcast on this very subject with Esquire food and drinks editor Jeff Gordinier coming out soon.) As wholesale restaurant suppliers now find their client bases on
As people everywhere settle into new home-cooking routines, finding resourceful ways to make their pantry goods stretch victory garden. Luckily for apartment dwellers without a backyard or access to much green space (more than half the world, basically), all you need is a corner of a countertop to grow some fresh herbs indoors. Better still, and for the botanEdn. The company makes wifi-controlled kits that come with a built-in LED grow light; simple seed pods for no-fuss, soillesSmall Garden order placed—a welcome reminder, in these uncertain times, that your efforts to stay indoors can make a difference for
Self-quarantine and social distancing in the age of the coronavirus are not to be taken lightly, and if, like us, you’refor your own safety and for the safety of others—you may be asking yourself what to stock your pantries with. Add to cart: DADA Daily, a line of tasty and healthy snacks that are neither heavy-handedly survivalist nor overprocessed and, not to mention, so don’t be that bulk-buying, toilet paper-stockpiling jerk.
As the daughter of Slow Food pioneer and Chez Panisse founder Alice Waters, Fanny Singer has had her share of Proustian Always Home: A Daughter’s Recipes and Stories (Alfred A. Knopf), offers a warm and sensorial portrait of her mother, and of an upbringing that often revolved around
Dimes, the all-day café, bar, and market founded by Sabrina De Sousa and Alissa Wagner in downtown Manhattan, has always doneDimes Times: Emotional Eating (Karma Books)—which she says is the first in a series of more publications to come.
Rich Shih, founder of the blog Our Cook Quest and co-author of the forthcoming book Koji Alchemy: Rediscovering the Magic of Mold-Based Fermentation, is a self-taught cook and fermentation expert who makes everything from takuan pickles to fish sauce from scratch, twekoji, the source of umami in fermented ingredients like miso, soy sauce, mirin, and more.
South Korean cinema has been on everyone’s lips this week, in the afterglow of director Bong Joon-ho’s triumphant OscarsParasite, the grand finale to a months-long award spree that began with a Palme d’Or win at the Cannes Film Festival last year. making history in more ways than one. By his second acceptance speech, Bong, whose reactions were being duly memed, was ready to hit the bar. His exact words: “I’m ready to drink now, until the morning.” A total mood.