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Drink of the Week: Derby

It's one of several drinks by this name which shouldn't be too surprising. Plenty of cocktails are inspired by sporting men, the sports themselves and often the events that bring them all together. One of the more popular venues in bourbon country is the Kentucky Derby where the Mint Julep is king, but it's not the only thing worth trying. At least that's what somebody thought way back when this was invented.

This version comes to us from Trader Vic, but it also appears in Ted “Dr. Cocktail” Haigh's Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails. It's presented here as our Drink of the Week not because we recently watched the Belmont Stakes which reminded us of Churchill Downs, but because we read somewhere that it's Bourbon Day. We're not exactly sure this is an official holiday, but it's a good enough reason to

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Drink of the Week: Leap Year

If we didn’t post something about this cocktail today we would have to wait four more years to get excited about it again. And you know what? It’s not a bad drink. Not at all. It comes to us by way of the Savoy Hotel in London. It was created by none other than Harry Craddock, author of the famous Savoy Cocktail Book. Craddock supposedly created it on February 29th back in 1928—exactly 84 years ago today—in order to celebrate Leap Day, although it would be another couple of years before the recipe saw print. We have seen 20 such days come and go since then, and today we have one more. Raise your cocktail to Harry Craddock and celebrate the 21st Leap Year since it’s creation.

Leap Year 2 oz gin .5 oz Grand Marnier .5 oz sweet vermouth .25 oz lemon juice

Stir with ice and strain

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Drink of the Week: Brandy Crusta

The original definition of cocktail first published in 1806 was a simple combination of spirits, sugar, water and bitters. Drinks like the Old Fashioned and the Sazerac are good examples that have stood the test of time. Yet, recipes evolve, and it didn't take long for substitutions to occur. For example, instead of sugar and water, why not use simple syrup? And if you wanted a little exotic flair, perhaps you could even use a liqueur to sweeten your cocktail. At some point, citrus was introduced and by the time "Professor" Jerry Thomas wrote The Bar-Tenders Guide in 1862, the updated combination had a name. The Crusta was a fancy creation, all decked-out with a sugared rim and a huge lemon peel for a garnish. The good Professor predicted that the Crusta would eventually outshine the Cocktail.

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Drink of the Week: Satan's Whiskers

As the end of October draws near, I continue to feature the scary, the evil and the ghoulish for your Halloween drinking pleasure, even if it's just the names that are creating all of the fun. Perhaps the Diablo wasn't scary enough for you last week, or the tequila was too diabolical for your frightened taste buds. If you decided to keep your distance, I encourage you to get a lot closer to our fiendish devil this time. I'm not asking you to shave his goatee, but consider the inspiration that led to two versions of our Drink of the Week, the Satan's Whiskers cocktail.

That's right, this is a two-for-one recipe because history has recorded two slightly different ways to concoct this drink. According to Harry Craddock's eponymous tome The Savoy Cocktail Book, the hair on Satan's beard is either straight or curled. Thankfully, your preference

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