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Poi Dog

We expected great flavors from cocktails in Maui during a recent trip to the island. Given the fact that they have such ideal growing conditions for fresh ingredients, we were hoping for wondrous citrus, pineapple and coconuts, or muddled passion fruit and mangoes. At the very least, we thought we would find a decent tiki concoction. But like many tourist destinations, the resorts (at least in West Maui) are setup for high-volume service for vacationing beach bums and sun bunnies not discerning cocktail enthusiasts. Sure, you can order a Mai Tai, but you don't really know what you are going to get. Most of the time it's sugary mixers and rum. Nobody seems interested in geeking-out with bartenders crafting world-class drinks. Some restaurants still loosely throw around the word "Martini" to describe their ridiculous list of vodka-based sugar-blasts. Visitors seeking spirit-driven classics can forget it. Italian bitters are

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One of our favorite go-to cocktails to beat the heat of summer is the Mint Julep. Nothing quite compares to recipes that employ crushed ice for a frosty glass. And while you sip, the drink gets satisfyingly smoother and colder! Previous features like the Pontarlier Julep, the Port Light, or even swizzles like this one or that one are perfect examples. Using our freshly-made fermented raspberry syrup, we made this little gem to add to the growing list.

The Cranston was created by New York bartender Rafa García Febles. Rafa is a prolific cocktail creator and writer of the DrunkLab blog. In this simple recipe, he takes rye whiskey and

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Nick Kosevich reflects on Town Talk Diner

As some of you may have heard, the Town Talk Diner is now closed for business. It's no secret that we considered Town Talk one of the best places to find good cocktails. So, when we heard the news, we decided to reach out to Nick Kosevich who was the front of the house manager there for several years. He has won numerous awards including the first annual Iron Bartender Competition in 2009 and was voted Best Bartender by City Pages in 2008. It's fair to say Nick has been one of the most influential figures in transforming the local craft cocktail scene. Given his history with the restaurant, we wanted to find out his perspective on recent events.

Leaving a five-year gig at Palomino to work with Tim Niver and Aaron Johnson, both of whom he considers some of the best restauranteurs in the area, Nick helped open the

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Basil Oil Garnish

Yesterday, my brother told me he was searching for other ways to use basil in a cocktail. His first thought was to do a search on Summit Sips to see what I had to offer. Most of my basil references point back to the Gin Basil Smash which is a wonderful cocktail, but he already knew about that. Of course, you could muddle some basil in just about anything and have a nice new riff on an old classic, but I think he was after something a little more interesting.

Then, I remembered a cocktail I had at the Town Talk Diner a while back called the Jackson Pollock. It's basically a gin sour made using grapefruit and lime juice plus sparkling wine, but the feature that makes this cocktail so unique is the inverted basil garnish. Basil oil is eye-droppered into your cocktail glass first, and

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Drink Of The Week: Gin Red Basil Smash

I simply couldn't let the summer slip by without featuring my favorite summer drink, the Gin Basil Smash, but this time with a twist. I mentioned this drink last year, but for our Drink Of The Week, it's different; it's better—it's RED!

The Gin Red Basil Smash is a drink from Le Lion – Bar de Paris, in Hamburg, Germany. Jörg Meyer has featured both the red and green version at his bar, but I find that many people don't even realize basil comes in a red variety. Inspired by the Whiskey Smashes that he enjoyed at the Pegu Club in New York, Mr. Meyer brought the classic smash technique back home with him to Germany where they tried it with gin. Adding basil almost as a joke, and later, writing about the cocktail, word got around. Soon, the drink was being served at

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All Of This Basil

One thing I look forward to every spring is my own fresh herbs. I can’t wait to get my mint planted, my rosemary, thyme, basil and the rest. But by the time September rolls around, I start to wonder what I can do with all of these big healthy plants. If you’re like me, you have been pinching off the flowers on your basil plants all summer long. Just as soon as I see it start to grow those odd little flower tips, I pull them off and let the plant branch out. The leaves just keep doubling, and new tips want to flower again—so again, I pinch it off. This goes on all summer, building an incredibly full basil plant with more leaves than I can use. So, now that the summer is ending, what am I going to do with all of this basil?

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