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Drink of the Week: Fernelderwood

Nature is sometimes not without a sense of humor, or at least it appears that way when you consider the fact that citrus reaches its peak during the cooler months of the year. You might argue that the ideal time for lemonade or a refreshing Margarita comes during the hot summer months, but as far as the fruit is concerned, availability doesn't always represent quality. The best examples appear in October, November and so on. Refreshing sours are delicious when you are trying to beat the heat, but citrus season is just getting started when many of us would rather settle into a dark flavorful sipper to take the edge off a cool autumn breeze.

We tend to keep an eye out for white grapefruit when browsing the produce aisles of the supermarket. While the sweeter ruby variety is usually available year-round, the white

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Drink of the Week: Hanky-Panky

After our first sip of Fernet-Branca we doubted there would ever come a time that we would actually enjoy the stuff. It's a common reaction. Since then, we have proven over and over that the rumors of its miraculous medicinal effects as a remedy for an upset stomach are all true, and through the years of occasional doses to help us ease digestion, it happened. Fernet was no longer the vile and bitter solution to mystery meal after-effects. Instead, we found ourselves actually enjoying the herbal complexity. We began to seek it out on bar menus looking forward to sampling cocktails whose creators attempted to incorporate its not-so-subtle signature. It's fair to say that today, we're big fans!

One of the first recipes you might run across when armed with a bottle of Fernet-Branca is the Hanky-Panky cocktail. Its creator, Ada "Coley" Coleman ran the American Bar at the Savoy

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Barrel Aged Cocktails Part 2

Click here for Part 1 to find out how this started.

Several weeks ago we featured a technique involving oak barrels and batched cocktails. In that post we described some of the details to help anyone get started aging their own cocktails in barrels. After many weeks of anxious anticipation (and a few sips along the way) we are finally able to share our results. Was it worth the wait? Are the cocktails really that good after sitting in charred oak barrels for over a month? Should you try this yourself? In a word, absolutely positively beyond-a-doubt YES.

You can see from the images that we reused empty bottles from the original base spirits and decorated them with the taped-on paper labels we made for the barrels while they were aging. We probably should grab a marker and write the dates that the barrels were opened

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Drink of the Week: Toronto

The Toronto combines two things we love: rye whiskey and Fernet-Branca. Some accounts suggest that this drink was originally made with Canadian whisky which makes sense, especially considering that it’s called the Toronto cocktail. But there’s more to love when you make it with rye. We haven’t written too much about Canadian whisky. It’s a popular spirit, to be sure, represented by a multitude of brands in most liquor shops. We have nothing against the smooth flavor of Canadian whisky, but there’s a reason it doesn’t appear very often in recipes.

Canadian whisky (spelled without the “e”) is a blended product. Blended in this context refers to a spirit made by combining a pure distillate with neutral alcohol. For example, Laird’s Applejack comes in two varieties, a pure, bonded apple brandy and a blended version. The bonded Applejack is made entirely from distilled cider wine, whereas the blended version contains

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Barrel Aged Cocktails

All the cool kids are doing it, so Summit Sips couldn't wait any longer. We just had to try our hand at barrel-aged cocktails. It sounds like a lot more work than it is, but of all the things we've tried, plenty of homemade ingredients and ice experiments have been a lot harder than putting cocktails into barrels. There's absolutely no reason you can't do this yourself, and that's part of the appeal. Using simple techniques that anyone can master to create amazing, original results is exactly why we write this blog.

You may remember a post from way back when we first visited Portland, Oregon. A couple of drinks at Clyde Common were aged in oak barrels, a technique being pioneered at that time by Jeffrey Morgenthaler. A few months prior to our visit, he posted a short

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Drink of the Week: Zarzamora

Here's a recipe I have been meaning to share for quite some time. It's a highball that was my first cocktail at The Violet Hour in Chicago. That was several years ago now, but it's one of those memorable concoctions that has often been the subject of google searches and occasional experimentation for me. Eventually, it came up in discussion on the LTHForum where Toby Maloney has shared some of his other recipes, and although we never got the official proportions for the Zarzamora, the discussion did lead to a successful rendition.

Zarzamora is what they call the blackberry in Argentina. That’s significant for a couple of reasons. First, this drink has blackberries, but more importantly, it contains Fernet Branca. If you recall, Fernet is a bitter Italian Amaro, and it’s one of the strongest in terms of bitter

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Drink of the Week: Newark

There's no reason to take any of this mixology stuff too seriously. Whether or not you consider the art of mixing drinks a science, it would be hard to convince most people that it's an exact science. Everyone has an opinion about what mixes well together, what proportions work best, what tastes good and what should be avoided. The whole reason I created Summit Sips was to introduce readers to ingredients, flavors and techniques that might be new to you—because so much of it was new to me—and let you decide what to like or dislike. The journey so far has led to homemade ingredients, unusual spirit categories, tools, techniques and some fascinating history. It all adds up to a deeper understanding of what goes into the shaker so that we are all better appreciators of what comes out. Today, we pull together a variety of interesting ingredients to build

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