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Drink of the Week: Dunniette

Some time ago I wrote about St-Germain, the wonderful elderflower liqueur with a unique, fruity and floral flavor. Armed with this exciting new liqueur that showed so much promise, I felt that there was simply no end to the many ways it could be used successfully in a cocktail. However, since that time, most of the drinks I see on bar menus are variations on the original sparkling wine and vodka theme. Don't get me wrong, that's a nice way to use the stuff, but every time I see someone doing something unusual or unique with St-Germain, I take note. I am not alone. Jamie Boudreau created a growing list of St-Germain cocktails that all sound pretty interesting. Another fellow blogger and respected writer, Paul Clarke even posted one of his own experiments, wondering if his combination had been "done yet". I

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Be A Better Bitter Imbiber

It's probably long overdue, but I finally decided to write a few words about the bitter side of the cocktail spectrum—this time to outline some specific ingredients that impose this unusual nuance of flavor. The subject has surfaced before in drinks like the Negroni, and in homemade ingredients such as Tonic Water. Yet, Americans are are only just starting to understand the appeal of bitter beverages, so if this all sounds unusual or makes you feel uneasy, you're not alone.

Expanding Palate For a cocktail enthusiast, the process of experimentation, and in many cases, the discovery of favorite drink recipes, can be likened to a chef, working through the pantry toward delicious dinner combinations. Each ingredient opens doors to new flavors that bring challenges and opportunities. Early favorites are often sweet concoctions that find refuge with the sours, where the quest for balance and variety can sustain

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Destination Portland: Clyde Common

Kimberly and I have a new favorite location for great food and even better cocktails, but it requires a little planning to get there from St. Paul. That's because this destination is all the way over the Rocky Mountains in Portland, Oregon. The object of our affection is Clyde Common, a Downtown/Pearl District hot spot that is helping to define the cocktail revolution.

Before I jump right into the cocktails, it's important to mention that first and foremost, Clyde Common is a restaurant. The decor has a basic, modern look that reminds me of a warehouse. The stenciled labels on the wall identify the "KITCHEN" or the "BAR" with a somewhat industrial look that is softened by wooden tables and candles glowing from every corner.

We were seated in front of the open kitchen at a huge table that seats perhaps 20 guests. This "common" seating arrangement was interesting,

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Bitters, Bitters and More Bitters

Yesterday, I attended the "Mixology 3: Make Your Own Bitters" event organized by Studio Bricolage and hosted by the Bradstreet Crafthouse at the Graves 601 Hotel. I was one of about 40 individuals in attendance at what was the third event in a mixology educational series. Although I missed the first two installments, I was happy to finally attend. I found this event to be hands-on and informative and I thought I would post a quick review.

Everyone was pre-registered, so we were greeted at the entrance with printed name tags and a chilled cocktail—a fantastic way to start. Rocky Mountain Punch which is a heavenly mixture of rum, maraschino liqueur, lemon juice, champagne or pineapple juice with Angostura bitters made a pleasant and refreshing introduction to the topic of the afternoon: Bitters.

The group was divided into two sections. Some were led into the back

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