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Negroni Week 2014

It's Negroni Week all over the world! It started on June 2nd and extends throughout the week to June 8th. At current count, 1271 participating bars are donating a portion of the sales of this featured cocktail to their chosen charities. At Summit Sips, we encourage everyone to support local businesses and charities everywhere by ordering a Negroni at participating establishments. For details as well as links to find locations near you, check out NegroniWeek.com. The event is presented by Imbibe Magazine in conjunction with Campari and was inspired by the Negroni Social event at Nostrana in Portland, Oregon. Of course, not everyone is familiar with the Negroni, so we thought we'd help get the word out and remind readers of some of our favorite posts featuring the Negroni or variants based on it.

Just over four years ago, we posted about the Negroni cocktail in detail.

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Republic of Jam Cocktail Club: Irish Scallywags

It's that time again when the masters of fruit preserves and culinary syrups gather their "citizens" for another quarterly Cocktail Club. When Republic of Jam puts on an event, it's sure to include an assortment of flavors to delight your tastebuds. This was no exception, and once again, we were invited to lend some creative cocktail ideas to the evening. One of the challenges we learned from last time was the fact that cocktails mixed in batches are served en masse and have to be prepared differently. Because all of the drinks get served as small samples on the rocks, none of them go through the typical construction process of shaking with ice. Proper dilution is normally a helpful byproduct, so we needed to take that extra water into account. By making these individually, you also have the flexibility of glassware choices and creative flourishes with the garnish.

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Republic of Jam Cocktail Club

This past weekend we were invited to participate in the quarterly Cocktail Club at Republic of Jam. Being asked to contribute recipe ideas was an honor, and it was even more exciting to be there to answer questions and provide details about each drink. Citizens in attendance were genuinely enthusiastic about the whole process. Many had questions about everything from ice options to spirit suggestions. It was a joy to see so many people excited to participate.

Each of the recipes were made in large batches and poured over ice to make service fast and smooth. This was a smart choice given the sample size of each drink, but if you make some of these yourself, follow the directions. Some of these drinks are designed to be served up, in a stemmed cocktail glass (chill glasses in the freezer ahead of time and serve without ice). Good shaking

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Red Hood

A few weeks ago we posted a cocktail called the Briar Patch that is flavored and sweetened with jam. Of course, we turned to our favorite local shop, Republic of Jam for the featured ingredient. It turns out that they host a quarterly Cocktail Club event to share drink recipes that highlight their products, and this weekend we are invited as guest cocktail creator!

If you have been to the shop in Carlton, Oregon or visited the online store you know that they carry unique culinary syrups in addition to jam. It's easy to get overwhelmed with choices when every shelf has something you want to try. The Cocktail Club events help narrow the search by providing some inspiration in the form of samples. This quarter the theme is fables and fairy tales, and one of the recipes we submitted for the event on Saturday is

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Drink of the Week: Fitzgerald

It's Cocktail Week in Portland, Oregon which means the whole city is buzzing with events. Some require registration while others are open to the public. There is everything from classes about topics like drink photography and how to get a book published to seminars about spirits and technique. Most are sponsored by one brand or another often with samples or cocktails provided. We attended one such event on Monday called On The Town with Dale DeGroff: A Tribute to Bars, Speaks, and Legendary Saloons!

We have to admit, it's a privilege just to share a room with Dale DeGroff (aka King Cocktail). He's one of the most respected living bartenders and an international personality whose career is intimately connected with our current cocktail renaissance. Although he's quick to give credit to the visionary restauranteurs that first hired him to run their bars, most people agree that Mr. DeGroff

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Don't Forget Derby Day

Tomorrow is the day I normally post the Drink of the Week. It's also Cinco de Mayo, which is a great excuse to post a tequila cocktail. However, this Saturday is the Kentucky Derby, and I don't want anyone to think I forgot about that. Of course, the traditional cocktail served at Churchill Downs is the Mint Julep, and it's one of my favorites. However, since I already covered it, I thought I would post a quick reminder with a few convenient links related to Kentucky Bourbon and of course, the Julep.

It has been a slow start for spring here in the Twin Cities, so I only just planted my mint a few days ago. I picked out a couple large "Kentucky Colonel's Mint" plantings at the farmers market last weekend, and I am hoping now that they are in the ground, we will have a summer with

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Knob Creek Release Party

Twenty years after Booker Noe, sixth generation distiller and grandson of Jim Beam, introduced Knob Creek bourbon, we will soon see their first ever single barrel bottling. Those of you who live in the Twin Cities will have a chance to taste this new whiskey at a release party being held during happy hour this Thursday at Prohibition in downtown Minneapolis. Like the Maker's 46 party last year, this event is open to everyone of drinking age and is a great way to sample something new as it enters the market.

Normally, the flavors associated with a particular bourbon are achieved by carefully combining whiskey from many different barrels. This process allows master distillers to create the same flavor profile year after year, maintaining a consistent and recognizable product. The single barrel concept is exactly the opposite: individual barrels of aged whiskey are tasted for specific flavor characteristics.

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