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Tasty tidbits: Sweet spots, Taco Bell cantinas, 'Blade Runner 2049' whiskey

| Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, 9:00 p.m.
Johnnie Walker is coming out with a special limited-edition “Blade Runner 2049”-themed whiskey.
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Johnnie Walker is coming out with a special limited-edition “Blade Runner 2049”-themed whiskey.

Sweet spots

One Hot Cookie is open at Ross Park Mall. It's a store with freshly baked cookies topped with homemade frosting served over gourmet ice cream.

The Macaron Bar, also at Ross Park Mall, opened Sept. 23. The two-bite treats – not to be confused with coconut macaroons – feature a vast array of unusual flavors of the sweet, meringue-based confections.

Cantinas coming

Taco Bell is planning to open as many as 350 cantinas by 2022 and is focusing on Pittsburgh, Detroit, Nashville and New York for the bulk of the expansion, Food & Wine reports.

What'll be different about these new locations?

They won't have drive-thrus but will have booze — beer, wine, sangria and Twisted Freezes, to be exact.

The “cantina-style” stores will feature local vibes, including artwork; open kitchens; and digital menu boards, KDKA reports.

Cocktail tea, anyone?

Tis the season to eat, drink and attend more holiday parties than you can count. Switch up your beverage routine, and, give the gift of elevated flavors with K-Teas' delicious blend, cocktail-flavored teas and mulling spices that will make even the biggest scrooge yearn for the yuletide.

Flavors include – root beer, which is birch bark, cinnamon, clove and Indian sarsaparilla as well as spiced orange chamomile with notes of cocoa nibs, rose petals, and pink peppercorn. The mojito is a blend of mint, rum and lime and horchata has cinnamon and long-grain white rice.

There is even one called Arnold Palmer – classic black tea, organic lemon peel, organic lemongrass.


Be good Johnnie

“Blade Runner 2049” gets its own themed whiskey

Johnnie Walker is coming out with a special limited-edition “Blade Runner 2049”-themed whiskey.

From their official announcement:

Johnnie Walker Black Label The Director's Cut is a limited edition Scotch Whisky created by Master Blender Jim Beveridge in collaboration with visionary filmmaker Denis Villeneuve. The experimental blend is inspired by Villeneuve's Blade Runner 2049, and is presented in a futuristic bottle.

With our trademark smokiness and a contemporary twist, Johnnie Walker Black Label The Director's Cut is a rich, smooth blend with aromatic and vanilla flavours and is bottled at 49% ABV as a nod to the futuristic period in which the film is set.”

The limited-run whiskey will price out at $89.99, and they're making only 39,000 bottles.

Herb it up

Herbs can add a new dimension to your home-cooked dishes.

Jen Welper, an executive chef with the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program, has three tips for getting the most bang out of your basil and other herbs.

Tip No. 1: When possible, use fresh herbs.

Tip No. 2: Rehydrate dry herbs (in a little oil or vinegar) before you work them into a dish.

Tip No. 3: If you want spices to stick, make sure they are finely chopped.

­— Staff and wire reports

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