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Batches and Bowls

Whether you are prepping for a weekend party or a spring picnic (we are probably several months early for that), you may be looking for ways to enjoy the event and the company of your guests without spending time mixing individual cocktails on request. Beer and wine are easy options, but you shouldn't have to sacrifice good flavors and quality ingredients just because you'd rather join the party instead of busily shaking craft cocktails. As log as you are willing to do some preparation a day or so ahead of time, you don't need to play bartender. We are talking about batched cocktails—a common request we get from friends who are either searching for the perfect recipe or are interested in techniques they can leverage to make the process easier once guests arrive.

For us, the Super Bowl refers to any vessel large enough to hold a batch of Philadelphia

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Drink of the Week: Savoy Tango

From the title you might expect something wild and exotic, but the Savoy Tango is a very simple cocktail. Boasting only two ingredients, it's also easy to make. But can a drink like this live up to its catchy name? You'll have to taste it yourself to find out, but if you'd like to take our word for it, the answer is yes.

When we first came across this recipe we had to wonder what all of the fuss was about. It appears in Harry Craddock’s The Savoy Cocktail Book, so it's been around for a while. It is also noted to have been a popular selection in its day. So, why don't we ever see it on the menu? Our guess is that it has something to do with Sloe Gin.

It isn't the first time the subject has come up. We have covered Sloe Gin before in

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Barrel Aged Cocktails Part 2

Click here for Part 1 to find out how this started.

Several weeks ago we featured a technique involving oak barrels and batched cocktails. In that post we described some of the details to help anyone get started aging their own cocktails in barrels. After many weeks of anxious anticipation (and a few sips along the way) we are finally able to share our results. Was it worth the wait? Are the cocktails really that good after sitting in charred oak barrels for over a month? Should you try this yourself? In a word, absolutely positively beyond-a-doubt YES.

You can see from the images that we reused empty bottles from the original base spirits and decorated them with the taped-on paper labels we made for the barrels while they were aging. We probably should grab a marker and write the dates that the barrels were opened

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Barrel Aged Cocktails

All the cool kids are doing it, so Summit Sips couldn't wait any longer. We just had to try our hand at barrel-aged cocktails. It sounds like a lot more work than it is, but of all the things we've tried, plenty of homemade ingredients and ice experiments have been a lot harder than putting cocktails into barrels. There's absolutely no reason you can't do this yourself, and that's part of the appeal. Using simple techniques that anyone can master to create amazing, original results is exactly why we write this blog.

You may remember a post from way back when we first visited Portland, Oregon. A couple of drinks at Clyde Common were aged in oak barrels, a technique being pioneered at that time by Jeffrey Morgenthaler. A few months prior to our visit, he posted a short

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Drink of the Week: Pink Lady

The name may not inspire you, but this drink actually surprised me. If you dig around in old cocktail books for this recipe you find that they are all different. Flipping through the pages of the Savoy, for example, you find a recipe that lacks the Applejack and has no citrus. It doesn't sound like something I want to try. You can find versions that add brandy to the mix and even some with cream. One might specify lemon while another will call for lime. It seems that darn near anything that had a light pink hue was once called a Pink Lady—a name you could just pass by thinking it's a girlie drink before you started comparing vintage recipes. Even Ted “Dr. Cocktail” Haigh goes to great lengths in his Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails to avoid revealing the name of this drink until you turn the

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Drink of the Week: Newark

There's no reason to take any of this mixology stuff too seriously. Whether or not you consider the art of mixing drinks a science, it would be hard to convince most people that it's an exact science. Everyone has an opinion about what mixes well together, what proportions work best, what tastes good and what should be avoided. The whole reason I created Summit Sips was to introduce readers to ingredients, flavors and techniques that might be new to you—because so much of it was new to me—and let you decide what to like or dislike. The journey so far has led to homemade ingredients, unusual spirit categories, tools, techniques and some fascinating history. It all adds up to a deeper understanding of what goes into the shaker so that we are all better appreciators of what comes out. Today, we pull together a variety of interesting ingredients to build

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Drink of the Week: Norwegian Wood

The first good sign of a decent cocktail bar is that they are using fresh ingredients. I'm not talking about lemon twists or lime wedges, I mean that they squeeze their fruit to make juice à la minute, and that they aren't using sour mix. But even if they take the time to use fresh citrus, it doesn't mean they know how to balance a drink. This is when a spirit-driven cocktail can save the day. A quick scan of the back bar may help you pick a winner without asking your bartender if they have this, that or the other thing. Of course, not all good drinks require obscure ingredients, but every once in a while you have to be willing to gather what you need yourself.

I can think of a few good bars in town that could make our drink of the week with what they

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