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Halloween Party Cocktails

It's a question we get asked every year: What cocktail should I feature at my Halloween party? There are a lot different answers depending on what is important for your situation. We usually answer with a series of questions. How much work do you want to do ahead of time? How much work do you want to do during the party? Do you want to make something spirit-driven or citrus-based? How important is it for your theme to be represented (either in name or ingredients)? Your answers to these questions can be determining factors, so here's a list of possibilities with summaries and links to the specific details.

Batches and Bowls We usually always refer folks to large-volume solutions like Punch, Sangria, and Morganthaler's Gallon of Margaritas. We covered all of these in this post back in January. Even if none of them are for you, it's a good

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Carbonated Air Cocktails

Maybe it's a rite of spring or the enthusiastic turn of another calendar page toward summer that brings out such creativity. Explanations fail us, but once again we believe we may have struck mixology gold. We are about to share another technique for home enthusiasts following a long line of fascinating ideas. On previous occasions, we took inspiration from all over. Once, it came quite literally from left field. A year later, we let the local farmer's market guide us to unusual cocktail flavors (and all too familiar aromas). Last year, we solved the hangover with an incredible morning after cocktail. Today, we have another great idea that is so unusual, so versatile—so amazing—we'd be foolish not to share it.

Our title is a dead giveaway. Carbonated Air Cocktails are exactly what they sound like—cocktails made of air

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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: Painkiller

We don't post enough tropical Tiki rum drinks on Summit Sips. It's not intentional—it just works out that way. With winter behind us now and the magnolias in bloom, we thought it might be nice to catch up on a classic that we mentioned back in April of last year. We may not be quite ready to kick off our sandals and relax in the luxurious sunshine, but this string of 70-degree days and thundershowers has us thinking maybe we should get few summer recipes prepared. The Painkiller is a perfect drink to put on the summer menu, and unlike a lot of Tiki tranquilizers, this one is easy to make.

In order to make the Painkiller, you need to gather a few ingredients, but it's not nearly as difficult as you might think. First and foremost, you need coconut cream. Don't worry, we

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Drink of the Week: Apple Smash

Last year, the New York Times ran an article featuring another fantastic cocktail by Bobby Heugel of Anvil, Houston. At the time, we didn't really think much about it, but looking back, the simplicity and the seasonal significance right now make it a perfect feature for the Drink of the Week.

We are referring to the Apple Smash, a basic rum cocktail that makes great use of fresh apples both in the drink and for the garnish. With so many different apples available this time of year, why not give this easy recipe a try? After all, fresh apples are underused in cocktails and it's nice to have a recipe that works without requiring a bunch of odd ingredients. In other words, you probably have everything you need to make this drink right now—just grab some apples and you are ready to go. Heugel suggests Honeycrisp, but it's fun to

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What's in a name?

You could slap a name on any unique combination of ingredients and call it an original cocktail, but if you create something from scratch that you want people to remember, the name can be pretty important. Of course, it also has to taste good, so by the time you're ready to pick the name, hopefully you've weighed your options. Memorable drinks of the past have celebrated geographical locations, an individual's name, and even popular events throughout history. If you want the name to stick, it helps if it's accompanied by a good story. As stories go, the one behind the Mexican Circus Tiger is pretty hard to beat.

This cocktail actually has two stories—mine, and that of the cocktail's creator. I'll start with mine since it's shorter and not as intersting. A few weeks ago, my wife and I found ourselves at Beaker & Flask, a fantastic cocktail bar

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Ouzo Cocktail: The Circean

Some years back my wife and I took a trip to Greece with her father. Like every other tourist, we became wrapped up in local traditions and enjoyed every opportunity to drink ouzo, a sweet anise-flavored spirit similar to French pastis or Italian sambuca. Naturally, we brought a bottle home with us, but sadly, it has spent most of its time at the back of the liquor cabinet.

A few weeks ago my father-in-law was visiting for Thanksgiving and requested a cocktail made with ouzo. I thought for a moment and realized that for the past few years I hadn't once opened the bottle. In fact, I don't even recall stumbling across a recipe that used it. What a shame to let our souvenir go unused for so long. Challenge accepted!

The Greeks normally drink ouzo with a splash of water which dilutes the alcohol and causes it to go

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