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Republic of Jam Cocktail Club: Irish Scallywags

It's that time again when the masters of fruit preserves and culinary syrups gather their "citizens" for another quarterly Cocktail Club. When Republic of Jam puts on an event, it's sure to include an assortment of flavors to delight your tastebuds. This was no exception, and once again, we were invited to lend some creative cocktail ideas to the evening. One of the challenges we learned from last time was the fact that cocktails mixed in batches are served en masse and have to be prepared differently. Because all of the drinks get served as small samples on the rocks, none of them go through the typical construction process of shaking with ice. Proper dilution is normally a helpful byproduct, so we needed to take that extra water into account. By making these individually, you also have the flexibility of glassware choices and creative flourishes with the garnish.

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Drink of the Week: Cosmopolitan - Seriously.

Not everyone who reads Summit Sips will understand the implications of posting the Cosmopolitan as our Drink of the Week. In cocktail geek circles, the Cosmo is the quintessential "bad drink" of the late 1980's and 90s. Some craft cocktail bars even banish them (along with with Budweiser, cell phones, etc.) as a House Rule "no-no". It's just over two decades old placing the origin during a time before the current cocktail renaissance, but is it that hard to imagine how we might appreciate these ingredients if it were invented today? We think it's time to set aside pretentious attitudes and recognize that although it's possible to perpetuate everything that can be wrong with a Cosmopolitan, if you know what you are doing it can be delicious drink. We'd be lying by omission if we didn't admit that it happens to be one of our own guilty pleasures.

The Bad?

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Drink of the Week: Boston Bog

I have always wanted to make fresh cranberry juice, and you can find plenty of good recipes online that seem simple enough. Most of them describe putting cranberries through a blender or food processor, adding water, sometimes cooking them, sometimes letting the purée rest for some period, then straining the result. Then, it’s just a matter of adding sugar which helps bring that astringent flavor under control and counteracts the bitterness. The benefit is that you can add as little or as much sweetener as you like. The steps are straightforward enough, and I might try it some day, but for a single cocktail there had to be a shortcut.

The obvious solution is to simply muddle a handful of cranberries in your mixing glass and build the balance of flavor using other cocktail ingredients. That's what Misty Kalfoken of Drink, Boston does in her Boston Bog. This cocktail

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Monkey Bar & Seafood Restaurant

We had a little fun on Friday with our last post about the Frank Collins. I think it’s important not to always take life too seriously. If you or someone you know actually made that drink, I commend you for having an open mind and for trying new things. Leave a comment and I’ll try to remind you next year what day it is. Switching gears a bit, I wanted to recommend a destination if you happen to take a trip to the Caribbean. One of the joys of traveling is the exploration of cuisine, and of course, the opportunity to try local cocktails. There are plenty of other reasons to visit unique destinations, and finding a good drink can’t always be the focus. Sometimes local attractions such as clear blue water and white sandy beaches are reasons

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Homemade Cranberry Liqueur, Part 2

If you are seeing this for the first time, be sure to check out Part 1 for the first half of the story.

Straining the cranberries

With that out of the way, I want to repeat that this was an experiment. Why am I saying this again? Well, I guess it's because my final liqueur ended up a little different than I expected. So, without further ado, here's the rest of the story:

Strain, Filter and Repeat Whether I am making a liqueur such as my limoncello, doing a vodka infusion, or experimenting with some other unusual homemade concoction, I find that investing a little more effort in the filtration pays dividends in the quality and often clarity of the final product. The cranberry liqueur was no exception. Continuing where I left off, the next step in this process was opening the infusion jar and

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Homemade Cranberry Liqueur, Part 1

Well, it's that time of the year when apples start to replace the tomatoes at farmer's market. Last weekend, a vendor was selling bags of fresh cranberries, so I decided to try to get a jump on the holidays by creating a cranberry liqueur.

I want everyone to know that this is an experiment. While I have made lots of liqueurs in the past, I have not made one with cranberries. For this reason, I cannot post a complete recipe which is why this is only Part 1. I will describe my process in detail here now so you too can get started if you like. If you'd rather follow a completed recipe, there are plenty of them online. I even found a commercial product called Boggs Cranberry Liqueur, but it seems Boggs is no longer in business. So, in the spirit of trying new and exciting things, and with

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