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Elixir de Amontillado

The plain old Champagne Cocktail is a classic from a bygone era that has remained unchanged since it was invented in the 1800's. Back then, all you did was drop a sugar cube into a flute, douse it with a few dashes of bitters, add bubbly and maybe garnish with a piece of lemon peel. There's not much to it. The sugar cube generates bubbles as it dissolves, more or less carrying the scent and flavor of the bitters throughout. You would be forgiven if you decided not to sacrifice good sparkling wine to this process. Even if it sounds exciting, you might not notice the effect which is probably why you don't see anyone drinking these. At some point, folks started adding other ingredients to give sparkling cocktails a bit more interest. For example, the Casino Cocktail includes a cognac float, and the Kir Royale skips the sugar

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Bottled Cocktails

Perhaps it was just a matter of time—or the right occasion—before we rolled up our sleeves to make bottled cocktails. We'll admit, it sounds easy enough: pre-mix a large batch of your favorite drink, carbonate it, fill a bunch of bottles, cap them, and you have a portable cocktail that can be served and shared without the hassle of measured ingredients, ice, or bar tools. We've seen both Morgenthaler and Boudreau succeed at this in the bars they run, but is it really that simple at home?

To be completely fair, there's nothing new here. These techniques and recipes are tried and true. But before you take a crack at it you should consider a few things, starting with your cocktail recipe. It's a little trickier than just putting any old drink in a bottle. You need to avoid fresh juices or anything that could spoil over time.

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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: Champagne Cocktails

ChamPino Cocktail

We have said it before and it still holds true: It’s never a bad time to open a bottle of champagne. Although we like to keep a bottle of bubbly in the refrigerator ready for any event, sometimes all it takes is dinner at home. There’s no reason it should only come out on special occasions. Whether you open a bottle of cava, prosecco, or real champagne from France, sparkling wine is great all by itself or as an ingredient for cocktails. Flavors vary, and so does quality and price, but you can make decent drinks with just about anything. We aren’t saying you should drink the cheapest stuff you can find, but you don’t have to break the bank either.

Over the years we have featured some popular uses for sparkling wine—the Mimosa, the French 75,

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Mimosa

There’s nothing wrong with documenting the hunt for odd ingredients or describing exploits in the glass. We’ve waxed poetic about Italian bitters, extolled the virtues of herbal liqueurs, and even promoted the benefits of exotic rum. And while we may not inspire every reader to expand their liquor cabinet or cocktail repertoire, we continue to build a foundation of information that anyone can appreciate. It’s easy to get completely carried away with stuff many folks can’t find or won’t even try, so as much as we like the unusual and obscure, nothing gets us more excited than revealing details about something that is common, whether it’s mixing up delicious homemade ingredients, borrowing

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Drink of the Week: Kir Royale

It's been a long time since I patted myself on the back for the novel idea of pouring a little Chambord into a bottle of Zima. I don't even know if you can still buy Zima anymore, but that seemed like a good idea at the time. Of course, it wasn't such a unique concept—adding liqueur to sparkling beverages. In fact, it doesn't even have to be bubbly at all.

Named after Félix Kir (1876–1968), mayor of Dijon in Burgundy, the Kir was a drink that was originally made by pouring a measure of crème de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur) into a wine glass and then topping it up with wine. After World War II, there was an abundance of white wine in Burgundy, so Kir renovated the drink and used the surplus white wine in place of his original red. Today, we also have the Kir Royale which is essentially

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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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