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Sea of Cortez

Here's a delicious cocktail created by Jeff "Beachbum" Berry that appeared in the January/February 2013 issue of Imbibe magazine. The magazine credits Chall Gray of The Magnetic Field, Asheville, North Carolina as the creator, but their website says otherwise. Frankly, we don't really care who first put this together—we're just glad they did! The Sea of Cortez cocktail is something like a simplified version of one of "Trader" Vic Bergeron's creations. Take an El Diablo cocktail, served it up without the ginger beer and you are pretty close. Yes, there's lime instead of lemon, and a little Cointreau, but you get the idea. Perhaps you could more accurately call this a blackcurrant Margarita served up. In any case, we love the drink and will be making these regularly throughout the summer. It's another great reason to get your

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Oahu Gin Sling

In our opinion—no, scratch that—this is just an indisputable fact: There's no better compendium of Tiki cocktails than Jeff "Beachbum" Berry's Remixed. So, when we feel like exploring drinks that remind us of the tropics, we look no further. Facing so many choices and a variety of unusual ingredients, we decided to search for a recipe that was fast and easy and didn't require us to buy something new. We settled on the Oahu Gin Sling for it's simplicity.

Historically, a sling predates the classic cocktail and stems from a period before drinks contained bitters. At that time, they also would not have had citrus, except as a garnish, amounting to little more than sweetened spirits. While modern versions with their added fruit juices and seltzer may not adhere to historic definitions, the fact remains that naming conventions are far less important than the flavors in the glass,

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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Named after Félix Kir (1876–1968), mayor of Dijon in Burgundy, the Kir was a drink that was originally made by pouring a measure of crème de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur) into a wine glass and then topping it up with wine.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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Drink of the Week: El Diablo

Continuing our series of scary Halloween cocktails, we have the El Diablo, our Drink of the Week. I am not going to get into a lot of history for this drink, because, frankly, I don't know much about it except that it was created by Trader Vic. If you know more, please post a comment or two.

What I will tell you is that it's a tequila cocktail that is surprisingly refreshing for its name, and although most recipes call for it to be made with ginger beer (and there's no reason you can't still use it), my recipe is going to make use of ginger syrup which I find far more versatile. You want the ginger to stand out, so quality is key here. Lucifer forbid, please don't use a run-of-the-mill ginger ale in your Diablo!

El Diablo 2 oz silver tequila .75 oz lemon juice .75

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Destination Portland: Clyde Common

Kimberly and I have a new favorite location for great food and even better cocktails, but it requires a little planning to get there from St. Paul. That's because this destination is all the way over the Rocky Mountains in Portland, Oregon. The object of our affection is Clyde Common, a Downtown/Pearl District hot spot that is helping to define the cocktail revolution.

Before I jump right into the cocktails, it's important to mention that first and foremost, Clyde Common is a restaurant. The decor has a basic, modern look that reminds me of a warehouse. The stenciled labels on the wall identify the "KITCHEN" or the "BAR" with a somewhat industrial look that is softened by wooden tables and candles glowing from every corner.

We were seated in front of the open kitchen at a huge table that seats perhaps 20 guests. This "common" seating arrangement was interesting,

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