In the spirit of simplicity and hosting gatherings focused on conversations in 2018, how about we ditch the dirty dishes and decor in exchange for a Chinese take-out cocktail pairing party. There is no better time to nosh on Chinese food than with friends straight from the comfort of your home. In fact, why not serve it straight from the container? In honor of this fuss-free fête, we partnered with the mixologists behind Barçon Cocktail company to create a pairing menu to complement your favorite Chinese restaurant menu items and Layered Vintage to bring you the flowers for this no-fuss dinner DIY with the steps being as simple as one, two, three.
1. Make the cocktails (recipes below) 2. Order Chinese food take-out from your favorite local spot (including the menu items below) 3. Pair the food with the cocktails. Ahem, that is one easy party if we do say so.
While we are pretty excited about this easy dinner gathering with your guy and gal pals, we thought it would also be a fitting time to celebrate the history of American Chinese food.
If you have ever visited China you are well aware that America has very different menu items than any Chinese restaurant menu you will find across the pond. Did you know that Chinese food as we know it in America today probably originated in Calfornia? Chinese immigrants first arrived in America by way of San Francisco during the gold rush. At first, Americans were not inclined to try this new and unfamiliar cuisine. It is said that later, in New York around the early 19th century, a group of adventurous New York bohemian artists discovered this wonderful cuisine and its popularity started to rise from there, starting with cities like New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston.
By the early 1900s, chop suey restaurants started to spread across the country and America began its true love affair with Chinese food. Speaking of the very popular chop suey dish, you will be surprised to know that it's not an authentic dish to China! Say what?
Regardless of its authenticity, the adaptation of Chinese cooking to please American taste buds over the years is a great story of immigration in itself. Fast forward to 2018 and you will be hard pressed to visit any suburb and not find a local Chinese food restaurant.
Duck, Duck, Goosed - Paired with Sweet and Sour Chicken
- 1.5 oz Tequila
- 1 oz Lime
- .25 oz Aquafaba (this is usually used to replace egg whites. Drain a can of chickpeas and reserve the liquid. Use a mixer and whip for up to 5 minutes or when it begins to thicken and you get semi-firm peaks. You can see a full tutorial video on the Minimalist Baker.
- .5 oz Duck Sauce (ask the Chinese food restaurant to provide, find it at your local specialty store or buy online here)
- Shake vigorously, strain over fresh ice in a high ball
Boom Boom Pao - Paired with Kung Pao Chicken
- 1.5 oz Vodka
- 1 oz Ginger Beer
- 2 tsp Kung Pao Sauce (find it at your local specialty store or online here)
- Mix in a glass colander, pour over 2” x 2” cube in a double old-fashioned glass
Perfect Matcha – Paired with Honey Shrimp
- 2 oz Whiskey
- .5 oz Honey
- 1 oz Steeped Green Tea
- 2 Dashes of Bitters
- Shake and dump into a Collins glass
- The folded paper boxes that now carry your chow mein from the restaurant to your home were originally invented as oyster pails and were later used to contain your take-out food in the 1950's.
- The history of the fortune cookie is unclear! However, one thing is for certain & it's that fortune cookies are not traditional to China. They are often served in Chinese restaurants in the United States and other Western countries, but you will behard-pressedd to find them in China. The cookies were most likely created by Japanese immigrants who came to the United States between the late 19th and early 20th century.
- Sweet and sour sauce is another item that did not originate in China. There is another version of the famous sauce that is authentic to China that is a much more vinegary sauce. Another fun fact? The Americanized version of sweet and sour sauce has become wildly popular in China.
- According to Chinese Restaurant News, there are now more Chinese restaurants in America than there are McDonald's franchises—nearly three times as many in fact.