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Figgy Pudding

Over four years ago we had the pleasure enjoying a few drinks at the Strip Club, a wonderful little steak joint in St. Paul, Minnesota. In addition to serving its delicious namesake New York Strip done several different ways, the place also has a wonderful cocktail program. In fact, the Strip Club blossomed in this regard relatively early in the Twin Cities cocktail scene. At that time, the number of places serving great cocktails in both Minneapolis and St. Paul could arguably be counted on one hand. Still, these guys were already veterans of house made tonic, bacon-infused bourbon, bitters and so on. One such masterpiece was a drink that is no longer on the menu called Figgy Pudding.

The original concept is based on whiskey that has been infused with butternut squash. This was combined with a muddled black mission fig

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Cocktail Cherries

Click here for a newer post with a fantastic, easy homemade cocktail cherries recipe!

When fresh cherries are in season, it's time to make a delicious cocktail garnish. I have a strong opinion that you should take advantage of every opportunity to avoid using those glow-in-the-dark cocktail cherries you normally find on store shelves. Don't be fooled by their unnaturally bright red coloring or their artificially preserved snappy texture. They are not fruit—the sad shells of what used to be cherries have been completely purged of real cherry flavor, totally robbed of natural color, only to be resurrected in a sinister soup of chemical syrups and artificial flavors and colors. They are the zombies of the preserved fruit world—Frankenstein's monsters of the cocktail garnish tray. Of course, you can find good cocktail cherries, (I like to use Amarena cherries) but these options can be few and far between. The

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Drink of the Week: Communist

Here's a cocktail that goes back to 1933. According to Ted "Dr. Cocktail" Haigh's Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, it comes from an old pamphlet. As it's presence in Haigh's book confirms, the Communist is more of a forgotten cocktail than a classic, although with this name I am surprised it's not well known. I suppose it might have been unwise for patrons to enthusiastically call out, "I'll have a Communist, please!" if they wanted to avoid more than just a some strange looks over the years.

Since we are no longer living in the McCarthy era, I think it's worth the effort to try making this. It's also another good reason to get some Cherry Heering which may not appear as often as other liqueurs, but shows up in some fantastic drinks like the Singapore Sling and the Click here and take a bigger gulp of this article. . .

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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Drink of the Week: Singapore Sling

Supposedly, July 27th was National Scotch Day. I know it's not the most popular holiday, but the timing was pretty good (it was a coincidence, really) for describing the Scotch tasting event last week and for featuring the Blood and Sand cocktail the week before. I thought about selecting another Scotch drink this week but I decided it was time to move on. That's when a friend of mine finally tracked down some Cherry Heering and made the Blood and Sand. I wondered if perhaps there were other readers looking for additional ways to use cherry brandy, so I thought I would feature the Singapore Sling.

It can be a delicious cocktail, depending on the recipe you use. That said, it's just as easy to make one taste awful. Part of the problem is that like a lot of cocktails, the original recipe was lost and this has caused

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Drink Of The Week: Blood and Sand

You just don't find many cocktails made with Scotch whisky. Perhaps it's hard to produce combinations that work well together considering the prominent flavors that are typical of any good Scotch. Nevertheless, a few creations have succeeded, and the Blood and Sand is one of them. I'm not saying the world needs more Scotch cocktails. Those of us who enjoy Scotch will say it's just fine on its own, but not everyone likes to sip spirits neat. Here's a chance to try something that is pretty rare in the world of mixology.

As uncommon as Scotch cocktails are, you might expect a working recipe to look better on paper, so when you see what's in this, you wouldn't think the combination can work. I have to say that if I set out to create a Scotch cocktail myself, it might take me a while before I would try mixing these

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Pomegranates and How to Make Grenadine

Randy explains how best to open a pomegranate and release the precious seeds within as well has how to use the juice from these seeds to make grenadine. Once you've made your own grenadine, there are several delicious recipes to try, including the Singapore Sling, Monkey Gland, and the Commodore Cocktail.

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