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Naked and Famous

There's a great passage in the new Death & Co cocktail book that describes the process they use for vetting new additions to the menu. It's basically an interactive taste test with one bartender whipping up a new drink and all of the others making suggestions about proportions or ingredients. It helped us realize that perfecting a new recipe is often an iterative process, and settling on a final list of ingredients can be collaborative, but requires that one has access to (if not knowledge of) a vast array of possibilities. Sure, it's possible to hit incredible combinations right off the bat, but craft cocktail bars can even explore alternative brands allowing a recipe to be perfected to an extreme that most customers probably never realize—and it doesn't always lead to choices that are the most expensive or obscure.

Here's an agave recipe that caught our eye from the

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Drink Of The Week: Leapfrog

We don't often review books on Summit Sips. Sure, there's the occasional mention when we consider it worthwhile or when we give credit for an inspiring recipe, but by and large, when we write about mixology we tend to stick to the mixing and drinking part of the craft and not the reading. That's not to say you shouldn't bother with books. On the contrary—it's important to familiarize yourself with all of the great resources that are available. Just a few weeks ago we broke stride and wrote about the locally authored North Star Cocktails. But of all the books we have collected over the years, it's Jim Meehan’s PDT Cocktail Book that is quickly becoming our favorite.

The Leapfrog cocktail was created in the summer of 2007 and in December of 2008 it appeared in the New York Times. Eventually, it found a home in this

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North Star Cocktails

One of the best ways to try new drink recipes is to visit your favorite craft cocktail bar and order something new and exciting off of their seasonal menu. If it's not that busy, you'd also have an opportunity to discuss the details of your selection with the bartender—many of whom are quite happy to share their knowledge. It makes sense. An informed customer is more likely to order something interesting and share the experience with others, often returning as a regular with new customers. Another great way to learn about cocktails is to find them in books so you can make them at home. Plenty of books are perfectly suited for this and are worth your effort and expense. But what if you could find a book that revealed details about original drink recipes from your favorite bartenders—drinks you remember from past visits and either loved or never

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Holiday Gift Ideas for the Mixologist

For some people it's a burden and for others it's a joy—that time of the year when everyone is expected to exchange gifts. Whether or not you enjoy the holiday season there is one thing most of us agree upon: how frustrating it can be to try to come up with good gift ideas. Sure, there's amazing and expensive technology out there with plenty of fun gadgets that will be obsolete by this time next year, but how about a more traditional approach? Why not give a gift that will inspire or will teach, or will assist? I'm talking about useful gifts for the mixologist in your family.

A Shopping List I've written before about using good tools and technique with an emphasis on making the most of what you already own. That's fine for the rest of the year, but this is the perfect time to consider items

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