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Need Meal Inspiration? Consider the Bar Cart

By: Lodge Cast Iron / June 28, 2023

Looking for inspiration for your next meal? Consider your bar cart staples. From briny olives that can ramp up your pasta night, to bitters that bring some subtlety to your bakes, check out our favorite tips for using cocktail ingredients in some surprisingly new ways.

Old Fashion Infused Pork Belly
Old Fashion Infused Pork Belly

Cocktail Cherries

Our Old Fashion Infused Pork Belly puts cocktail cherries and their juice to work for a show-stopping presentation and flavor. You can also dice up cherries and add them to brownies or fudgy cookies for a Black Forest flavor. And of course, no Pineapple Upside Down Cake is complete without a few of these gems.

Bloody Mary Mix

Remember when everyone on the internet was baking feta? That was a great time. Add a slice of feta or a few ounces of goat cheese to a skillet, then top with a few glugs of bloody mary mix and bake at 400˚ F until melty. Add your favorite veggies and stir it all up for a cocktail inspired topping for garlic toasts or pasta.

Dirty Martini Puttanesca USA Enamel

Olives & Cocktail Onions

Dice up a few of these wonderful martini staples to fold into your next loaf of sourdough or country bread. Or, pulverize a few in the blender and add to a vinaigrette for a bit of salty bite. But best of all: turn those olives (and their brine) into a pot of our Dirty Martini Puttanesca.


Add a teaspoon or two of bitters to your dough in place of vanilla extract to add subtle flavor to sugar cookies and chocolate chip cookies. We especially like to use orange bitters, pecan bitters, or something aromatic like cinnamon bitters. You can also add Angostura bitters to marinades or soups.

Herb Garden

Plant a cocktail garden

Bring fresh flavor to both dinner and drinks with a cocktail garden on your windowsill, porch, or in the backyard. Here’s what we’re planting in the Lodge culinary studio garden.

Muddling herbs
Mint, parsley, and basil are great muddled up in drinks and add something herbaceous and fresh to cocktails, chopped salads, and charcuterie platters. 

Sturdy herbs
Rosemary and thyme may be particularly popular for your roasts, but a sprig of either can help you bring something fragrant to drinks. Plus, they double as stirrers.

Edible flowers
Marigolds, pansies, and calendula add color and occasion to drinks: just let them float on top! We also love to top off salads and grilled pizzas with these beauties.

Infusion flowers
Roses, chamomile, and lavender are super fragrant and can be added to simple syrups for a dose of botanical goodness in your cocktail. These plants are also sturdy enough to stand up to hot teas.

Take home original cookware!

Turn every meal into a reason to celebrate with USA Enamel™—the only line of colorful enameled cookware made in the US.

Contributed By: Lodge Cast Iron

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