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Death in the Gulf Stream

Something we often admire about classic cocktails is their simplicity. We suppose early recipes had the advantage of being first to attempt basic combinations. Such is the case, for instance, with the Daiquiri: rum, lime and sugar—a favorite of rum lovers everywhere, including at least one famous writer from the Florida Keys. It shouldn't surprise you to know that in addition to his reputation for enjoying such drinks, Ernest Hemingway also had a hand in creating a few. One of them is called Death in the Gulf Stream, and it is both easy and efficient.

Cocktail construction efficiency isn't something we think about very often. In a typical setting, one has plenty of ice, a sink to rinse tools and glassware, and just a general concern for making the best use of every step and ingredient—it's the end result that counts. Need to shake a drink over ice,

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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: Improved Gin Cockail

David Wondrich calls it "New York's answer to the Sazerac." If you're a fan of that drink, you probably know that it comes from New Orleans. A true cocktail in the original definition of the word, the Sazerac features whiskey, sugar, water and bitters, plus a little absinthe—a fantastic classic. And since New York was originally a Dutch colony, it makes sense that their version would involve gin—but not just any gin. If we stay true to the period in which this was created, that gin would have been Dutch genever. It would be fair to call this the Improved Holland Gin Cocktail.

Not long ago, we explored genever in the Bols Alaska cocktail, so here's another fun way to use it. If you've been thinking about adding genever to your cabinet, let me tell you,

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Drink Of The Week: Bols Alaska

This week I am featuring a simple classic that dates at least as far back as the 1930's when it saw print in The Savoy Cocktail Book. It shows up in other notable texts as well, but its exact origin is unclear. I supposed it could have been named for the incorporation of the Alaska Territory in 1912 or maybe it dates as far back as the original US acquisition from Russia in 1867. Whatever the case, the Alaska cocktail is certainly a classic, and a largely forgotten one at that.

I can't tell you exactly why this drink takes the name of our largest and northernmost state, but the important part to recognize is that it's tasty and easy to make. Not all recipes specify the same measurements, so feel free to experiment a little with the proportions. Everyone does seem to agree that this cocktail is constructed

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