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We have been interested in making the Blinker cocktail ever since we first made our fermented raspberry syrup. It is a classic drink often associated with raspberry, but the real star here is the grapefruit.

We used grapefruit juice from a Honeygold. This seasonal variety is only available from a few locations for about three weeks. It has white flesh, a thick rind, and is known for its delicious flavor without as much tart bitterness as other white varieties. While some cocktail recipes call for Ruby which is more popular year-round, we tend to like white grapefruit better for its intense flavor. The Honeygold falls somewhere in the middle, and for a recipe that calls for the white variety, we would like to try again with a more traditional white to achieve better balance with the raspberry syrup.

2 oz rye whiskey
.5 oz white grapefruit juice
1 barspoon raspberry syrup

Shake with ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist of grapefruit peel.

As with other drinks that include citrus, you need to use fresh-squeezed juice to make this. Fortunately, winter is the best time of the year to do it because citrus is in season. When making this drink, save a big slice of the peel which is easier to cut while the fruit is whole. You need it for the garnish. We like to trim up our twist to give it a nice, appealing shape. Then, be sure to express the oils from the peel over the glass and carefully rub the outside of the peel around the rim to enliven the aroma of this drink.

Some versions of the Blinker call for grenadine which is an interesting alternative, but we went with raspberry. For the syrup, we made our own, but you can use just about any raspberry syrup to make this drink including raspberry ice cream topping. You could even try using raspberry jam, but take care adjust the proportions as jam tends to stay clumpy when cold, and be sure you double-strain through fine mesh when serving to remove any seeds.

This is a great cocktail for folks who normally like strong, spirit-driven whiskey drinks but are in the mood for something a little different. Although it has citrus, this isn't a full sweet-and-sour cocktail, and even the raspberry is subtle. Grapefruit works nicely here because it has some intensity but doesn't overpower. It can hold its own as the base flavor in a drink without requiring a ton of sugar stay balanced, and just a mere spoonful of raspberry syrup does the trick. With our Honeygold, even that was a little too much. We think this recipe would be perfect with just plain white grapefruit.

The first sip reminds of a Whiskey Sour with the rye coming through, but it is more spiritous and mellower than than, never hitting the acidic notes that lemon would bring. Instead, a long grapefruit finish is accented with spice from the rye and hints of raspberry—though it might be hard to know that's what you are tasting if you did not read the ingredients.




Some time back, we had the unusual pleasure of tasting a drink that combined the flavors of chocolate with Campari. We know, it sounds really strange, but if you think about it, people who love chocolate often reach for dark, bittersweet varieties. If you look at it that way, maybe it isn't so strange after all. Besides, it would not be the first time the flavor of an Italian Amaro was reminiscent of cacao's complexity, only here, we actually have cacao to thank for it. A few years ago, Imbibe Magazine published a cocktail called the Fogerty by Ryan Fitzgerald of ABV in San Francisco. We think it is a great drink for winter.

It is sometimes helpful to understand the backdrop of historical recipes that might have guided the creator of a cocktail toward a wining combination. Whether intentional or not, it is hard not to draw comparisons

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Thanksgiving and Shopping

Happy Thanksgiving! Although it has been quieter lately around Summit Sips.com, we have big plans in the coming months to share more great cocktails, reviews and vintage items. But before we show you what we have been making this week we have an announcement to make about the Summit Sips store.

Summit Sips Vintage Barware on Etsy.com Summit Sips recently opened a vintage barware store on Etsy.com. The Etsy marketplace is a fantastic resource for art and vintage/antique items for sale, and we finally added some of our collection to the mix. Right now, just a handful of items are available in our shop but we plan to grow this inventory as we add more from our collection, eventually shifting our glassware inventory to this new venue. Please take a look and check back in the coming weeks for more. Your support is what helps keep Summit Sips

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Copita de Mezcal

A copita is just a little cup, and mezcal, as you might already know, is agave spirit—like tequila. It comes from the blue agave, a long-leafed desert succulent similar in appearance (though not related) to aloe. The plant is harvested, the leaves are hacked off, and the resulting core, called a piña, resembles a giant pineapple. These are roasted then crushed and fermented, and finally distilled. Categorically speaking tequila is also mezcal, but by definition tequila is more specific because it has to come from Jalisco. Anyway, we are talking about mezcal here which is similar in flavor, having all of the goodness you get from distilled agave, but often with additional smokiness reminiscent of the roasting process. Let's stop right here and mention that any bottle with a worm in it is just a marketing gimmick. Today, we have better choices than that, and there is some fantastic mezcal

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The Gimlet, and How to Make Lime Cordial

We have often cited the importance of using fresh juice in cocktails, and we stand behind the idea. One of the easiest ways to up your game when making amazing craft cocktails is to always use fresh juice. Of course, many rules have exceptions, and the fresh juice rule has but one: The Gimlet.

The Gimlet is a classic English cocktail that uses lime cordial, not fresh-squeezed lime juice. We are talking about Rose's Sweetened Lime Juice—a bottled product that is intensely sour and painfully sweet. It is effectively a preserved lime juice product that contains sugar, and as such, it cannot be a substitute for actual lime juice in other recipes. Yet, bartenders and ignorant enthusiasts have been using Rose's for years when they should have been squeezing actual limes. All recipes that call for lime juice get ruined when you use Rose's. Just don't do it. However, the

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Bloody Mario

It is no secret that we are not fans of tomato juice. Consequently, we have never written about that famous classic, the Bloody Mary. Of course, we recognize that many of our readers probably enjoy this morning pick-me-up and it has been somewhat irresponsible to ignore it for so long. We thought it might be time to set aside our foolish challenges and come to the table with a working recipe. And then it hit us: While we may not like tomato juice, we absolutely love pizza! It's a wonder we hadn't thought of this before.

Just in time for spring, and for all of our fellow pizza lovers, we give you the Bloody Mario. No, it has nothing to do with video games or mustachioed plumbers in colorful suspenders. This is an honest cocktail, modeled after the Bloody Mary, but one with more Italian flair. Think of it as

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Organize Your Bitters

If you are like us, you have collected quite a few bitters brands over the years. Cocktail bitters typically come in "woozy" bottles for dashing small quantities into drinks. However, not all of them are sized consistently. There are flat narrow bottles, short stocky sizes, and some that are huge compared to others. We buy Angostura, for example, in big 18-ounce bottles—not a very convenient size to keep at the ready wherever you mix drinks. Our solution is to use small eye-dropper bottles for everything. They store easily and can be labeled using simple envelope address stickers (for laser printing, we like self-adhesive 1" x 2-5/8" address label sheets). Some brands like Bittercube already market their products in 1-ounce dropper bottles. This not only saves space, but allows precision when you need it. For example, administering dashes is easy enough with just a squirt from the dropper, but you can

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