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Barrel Aged Cocktails Without the Barrel

Let's jump right in with the details: We are using toasted oak chips and a charred oak stick in a mason jar to age scaled-up portions of our favorite drink recipes. The results are—in a word—amazing. We could also say surprising, or even easy. Given the fact that we have done true barrel-aging in the past, we were pleased to discover this time-saving alternative that produces results that are similar, if not better than the traditional method. It's so simple, in fact, that we plan to keep it going so that we always have aged, pre-mixed cocktails in the house. This is also so much more satisfying given the limited investment. It's hard to justify not doing this. If you have been thinking about making barrel-aged cocktails but haven't had a chance to track down a barrel—or perhaps you don't want to spend the money on

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Travel Cocktail Kit

Not long ago, someone sent us the link to a clever gift item called the Carry On Cocktail Kit. We checked the link, read the descriptions, viewed the pictures and decided to make our own. To be fair, we haven't actually had our hands on one of these commercial kits, as they are still listed as a pre-order item on the website, but we did consider placing an order. It's basically a tin box that you toss into your carry-on baggage when traveling that enables you to construct two Old Fashioned cocktails while in-flight. For only $24 it seems like a reasonable price to pay for such a fun item. The idea alone is fantastic, but we immediately started thinking about ways we could improve upon it. We decided it would be a fun project and that we could share our results and hopefully stir up a bit of

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Holiday Gift Ideas

Every couple of years we run through a list of holiday gift ideas for the mixologist in your life. We have tried more tools and cocktail related products than anyone we know, so we think we have a good grasp of what works and what doesn't. It's safe to say that over the years we have collected some things that we really like—often "trading up" to better tools than we had before—and a we own a bunch of stuff we never touch. Here is a nice list of our favorite gift ideas. Some of them are special, some work better than anything we have tried, and others represent good values. We have also linked to these items for adding to your shopping cart.

Tools: Shaker Tins, Stirring Glasses, Spoons and Strainers Anyone wanting to make cocktails at home will eventually need a few essential tools. Depending on their interest, they

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Bottled Cocktails

Perhaps it was just a matter of time—or the right occasion—before we rolled up our sleeves to make bottled cocktails. We'll admit, it sounds easy enough: pre-mix a large batch of your favorite drink, carbonate it, fill a bunch of bottles, cap them, and you have a portable cocktail that can be served and shared without the hassle of measured ingredients, ice, or bar tools. We've seen both Morgenthaler and Boudreau succeed at this in the bars they run, but is it really that simple at home?

To be completely fair, there's nothing new here. These techniques and recipes are tried and true. But before you take a crack at it you should consider a few things, starting with your cocktail recipe. It's a little trickier than just putting any old drink in a bottle. You need to avoid fresh juices or anything that could spoil over time.

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Mid-Century Modern Glassware

When it comes to selecting glassware for the home bar, plenty of options exist, especially if you hope to feature your creations in vintage style. However, not everyone likes classic decor. Cut crystal stemware, hand-blown coupes, decorated etching—these are definitely beautiful options for presenting a fine cocktail, but for many of us, Mid-Century Modern designs are more appropriate, especially if the goal is to match other items in the home. Whether you are a fan of AMC's Mad Men, or you are simply drawn to that iconic look, we often stock such glassware in the Summit Sips Store worth investigating.

Whenever we find Mid-Century Modern items or designs that appear to match that aesthetic, we make a point to describe them as such. Pictured here are a couple examples, but you can always search the store for "modern" or "Mid-Century" to find out what we have

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Latest Glassware Arrivals

Etched Wine Glass

When we first decided to share our glassware collection with readers, we opened the doors of possibility, offering unique and inexpensive vintage and antique stemware to everyone. It was our hope that customers would be able enjoy their favorite recipes using glassware exactly like the cocktails pictured here on Summit Sips. We are pleased to report that many items from our collection have found new homes far and wide.

Whenever glassware leaves our shelves, it makes room for new items, like the wonderful set of etched wine glasses pictured here. We imagine using these glasses for everything from wine, water and champagne or for drinks like the Seelbach or the Oliveto. Actually, any recipe would work nicely in these gorgeous stems. To help folks find new items,

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Review: NewAir AI-215SS Portable Ice Maker

Every so often, we have an opportunity to review new products to see how well they might work for the home mixologist. Recently, we had the pleasure of trying the NewAir AI-215SS Portable Ice Maker. For several years now, we have seen similar devices in catalogs and gadget advertisements and and we always wondered how these miraculous machines actually work. It's never obvious just looking at a picture, and even in a store you may not know what to expect. We thought Summit Sips readers would appreciate an honest assessment after some hands-on experience with one of these.

The Shipment It only took a few days once confirmed by NewAir for the shipment to arrive. The unit came nicely packed and very well protected for the journey to our door. Ours is a top-of-the-line stainless steel model, although the top lid is black. The exterior surfaces came with

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