Clockwise from top left: Maryland beers, Amaretto sour, hot sauce, Irish coffee.

It was a big week for booze here at Food Republic. Our own Jeffrey Morgenthaler disagreed with cocktail authority David Wondrichs column criticizing the revival of crappy drinks and penned a thoughtful rebuttal. We also learned about California wine, the rise of Maryland craft beer and spirits, and how bourbon pairs terrifically with ham. To cap it all off, we uncovered some secrets to mixing the perfect Irish coffee, ideal for blustery winter days just like this one. Dont like booze in your cup o joe? We discovered a new product that mixes in some coconut water — yes, coconut water. Just when you think we may have given all the attention to the hooch this week, we unleashed five breakfast-taco recipes sure to beef up your weekend cooking. All that and more on this weeks edition of Hot Topics on Food Republic.

  1. Jeffrey Morgenthaler pens a rebuttal to a column on the revival of “crappy drinks.”
  2. NYCs Dead Rabbit may have perfected the Irish coffee. Background and a recipe.
  3. Remember MS-DOS? So do we. Here are 10 classic system games with food themes.
  4. It’s coconut water. It’s coffee. It’s both mixed together in one bottle!
  5. Famed winemaker Jamie Kutch talks all things California wine.
  6. A master’s degree we can get behind! Its the Master Course in Food Design program, out of Milan.
  7. The Los Angeles Times conducted a hot-sauce taste test. The winner was quite surprising.
  8. Breakfast tacos are godly. They’re also easy to make. Allow us to provide five recipes.
  9. Maryland is fast becoming a place to watch for beer and spirits. Here’s why.
  10. Ham and bourbon = a match made in bluegrass heaven. Chris Chamberlain has more.