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Food Network Duo to Talk Cocktails at Frankfort Library

The Hearty Boys will demonstrate how to craft the perfect vintage drink just in time for the holidays.

Former Food Network stars Steve McDonagh and Dan Smith, also known as The Hearty Boys, will teach Frankfort party hosts how to add vintage charm to their cocktails this holiday season at an event Thursday evening at the Frankfort Public Library.

The local authors and partners will demonstrate how to execute classic cocktails and snacks from their new book, “The New Old Bar: Classic Cocktails and Salty Snacks from The Hearty Boys.” The event will focus on teaching technique and exploring the history behind the featured food and drink. And, of course, no cooking demonstration would be complete without a few samples.

“It’ll be a lot of fun,” said Melissa Rice, who is the head of adult services for the library.

Thursday’s appearance is one of several in a regional holiday book tour for McDonagh and Smith. “The New Old Bar,” which was released a few weeks ago, is the second book The Hearty Boys have co-authored.

The book includes more than 200 recipes, most of which are pre-prohibition, and is intended to make vintage cocktails accessible for the contemporary host.

McDonagh and Smith were inspired to write the book by a mutual love of the history of American food.

“With the cocktails, I really love the whole ritual of it that is a completely lost art,” said McDonagh. “It was a great part of our culinary history and I think it really deserves to be brought back to the average household.”

The Hearty Boys were the original winners on the reality television competition The Next Food Network Star. They then went on to host their own Food Network series called Party Line with The Hearty Boys.

Prior to appearing on the Food Network, McDonagh and Smith ran a catering company in Chicago under the Hearty Boys name. 

They currently co-own Hearty, a restaurant in Chicago.

Thursday’s demo event begins at 7 p.m. Registration is required. To register, visit the library’s website or call 815-534-6173.

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