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Beretta's Rattlesnake

A sour cocktail is perhaps the most versatile framework when it comes to mixed drinks. It is both accessible and interesting, combining the flavors of any spirit with acid from fresh citrus while balancing that with some form of sugar. The sour formula is also flexible and forgiving, allowing different ingredients to successfully change the cocktail—sometimes subtly, but often with dramatic effect. For example, the Bee's Knees cocktail would be a plain gin sour (not really a popular choice) if not for the honey syrup. By just using honey instead of simple sugar syrup, it achieves an unexpected depth of character that mingles in unpredictable ways with the gin making it a memorable favorite.

Any base spirit works as a sour. Exploring the possibilities will lead you into categories like the Daiquiri, Sidecar, Margarita and the list goes on and on as you swap sweeteners or

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Gilded Cage

One of the challenges often faced by cocktail enthusiasts is reconciling the fact that vodka—the most popular spirit in North America—isn't fairly represented in classic cocktail books. In fact, you just don't find mention of vodka in many of the old texts. It's as if no one had even heard of it until the Cold War when James Bond's martini and the Moscow Mule came along. Even here at Summit Sips we are guilty of tipping the scales out of balance. It's not intentional—we just don't cover as many vodka recipes as we probably should, given the likelihood that our readers probably want us to.

It might make sense from a historical perspective that—in order to cover more than a century of modern drinking culture with dozens of important classics—vodka could be considered a

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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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One Flight Up

This cocktail appears on the cover of the Jan/Feb 2013 issue of Imbibe Magazine. It represents a delicious collection of ingredients and techniques that come together in a drink that looks incredible and tastes even better. We decided to feature this drink because it covers so many aspects of the craft that are worth investigating.

First, let's give credit where credit is due—this is a drink that was created by Troy Sidle for Pouring Ribbons, a New York bar and another successful Alchemy Consulting venture. The menu lists each drink with a unique double-sliding scale. One measurement reveals whether a selection is "Refreshing" or "Spiritous" while the other scale indicates "Comforting" vs. "Adventurous". We love this approach to recipes because of how it allows even the most unfamiliar list of ingredients to represent some idea of what you can expect in the glass. Although the definitions are

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Drink of the Week: Amaretto Sour

We are sometimes asked: Where do you find content? What inspires you to write about one particular topic or another? How do you come up with recpies to post? While completely original ideas do come along, it’s far more common (and often more interesting) to find inspiration among existing sources. We certainly didn’t invent the recipe for falernum, nor did we make the first homemade tonic or cola. Even barrel-aged cocktails are documented at least as far back as the first published cocktail book. Acknowledging previous accomplishments is one thing, but confirmation is so much more rewarding. Drink books both old and new are good places to start. The online cocktail community is also very collaborative. But nothing quite compares to sitting opposite a professional and watching a master

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Drink of the Week: Pink Panther

Sometimes, it's all about the lady in your life. That statement means different things to different people, of course, but let's face it: not everyone wants to drink the latest Manhattan variation. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that, not because it leaves more rye whiskey for the rest of us, but because plenty of people either don't like whiskey or don't yet have an affinity for spirit-forward cocktails.

We're not saying that ladies don't like Manhattans. We're not saying that at all. We simply recognize that every so often, it's fun to put what we've learned into a drink that is accessible to everyone. That's not to say we think this is a "girl drink"—or that there is such a thing—but you could do a lot worse than the Pink Panther. We'll even go a step further and say that if you (or your lady friend) doesn't like our

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Drink of the Week: Iron Cross

Scan the liquor cabinet for base spirits and you might find a sad bottle of pisco that always seems to squeeze itself into the darkest corner. That's a shame because there's nothing actually wrong with pisco—it's just that there are only a handful of cocktails you can find that use it. Of course there is the Pisco Sour plus old references to Pisco Punch, but aside from a few recipes that pair this clear brandy with Galliano, you just don't see folks using it much. Just because recipes don't exist in abundance doesn't mean it's not popular. The Pisco Sour is a fantastic drink and depending on what part of the world you are in, it can even be the most important cocktail on the menu. Having already covered it some time ago, we decided there's no reason it can't be used as

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