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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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Drink of the Week: Apple Smash

Last year, the New York Times ran an article featuring another fantastic cocktail by Bobby Heugel of Anvil, Houston. At the time, we didn't really think much about it, but looking back, the simplicity and the seasonal significance right now make it a perfect feature for the Drink of the Week.

We are referring to the Apple Smash, a basic rum cocktail that makes great use of fresh apples both in the drink and for the garnish. With so many different apples available this time of year, why not give this easy recipe a try? After all, fresh apples are underused in cocktails and it's nice to have a recipe that works without requiring a bunch of odd ingredients. In other words, you probably have everything you need to make this drink right now—just grab some apples and you are ready to go. Heugel suggests Honeycrisp, but it's fun to

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Hard Cider can be easy to drink

I am just going to come right out and say it: I'm no apple expert. Not by a long shot. Of course, I am referring to the fruit, not the computer. Sure, I've been able to pick up a few basic tips over the years, but apart from making an occasional pie, I don't eat apples very often. We start to see them appear in vast numbers and bewildering variety this time of year down at the farmer's market, but I honestly don't really know a good apple from a bad one.

When it comes to cider, all I ever knew was the giant one-gallon jug called Indian Summer. Then, a few years back (or has it been a decade?) I started seeing bottles of Woodchuck's Hard Cider and a few others. Together with Hard Lemonade and similar malt beverages, I figured these were simply sweetened alcohol products for people

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