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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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More Ice Spheres

A few months ago we picked up another set of ice molds. In one of our first posts ever we explored the virtues of a diverse ice program followed by an early exploration of ice spheres. Later, we posted a followup and wrote about making ice shards for taller drinks. Since it has been a while, we thought we could revisit this topic. We still can't afford to spend thousands of dollars on a Taisin solid metal "melting" mold (at least not one big enough), so we are always looking for new and better designs that use the slow process of freezing shapes.

There are several options available today—many more than when we first explored the idea. We still love the molds from Muji.com but we recently expanded our collection with Click here and take a bigger gulp of this article. . .

Drink of the Week: Volcano Bowl

I have to start with a word of caution. If you decide to make this Drink of the Week including it's fiery presentation, proceed carefully. I have always been an advocate of responsible drinking and although that applies here too, there's no reason to come this far only to let your hair catch on fire! That being said, there are alternatives if you don't have the proper bowl or if you want to avoid the flames altogether. We'll get to that, but first, let's talk Tiki.

Over the years there have been several "bowl" style drink recipes that, for me, epitomize the laid-back attitude of tropical consumption. While I enjoy an outlandish ceramic Tiki mug filled with exotic juice and rum as much as the next beach bum, I also appreciate the idea that sometimes a drink is just so big (or so strong) that it needs to be shared

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How To Make Ice Shards

Well, we had our first real snowfall here in the Twin Cities today, so I figured what better time to say a few things about ice. I have written before about the importance of using proper ice in cocktails. Whether you are making a recipe that calls for crushed ice or one that requires solid cubes for shaking, using the right ice for the job is more important than most people realize. You can read all about that here, so let's move on and explore the idea of the ice shard.

In addition to just serving drinks on the rocks, sometimes a recipe works nicely with a huge chunk that almost fills the glass. Ice spheres are great for this. Their large mass keeps everything cold, and the low surface area keeps the ice from melting. But what about

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Just last week I received word from Bill Samuels, Jr., President of Maker's Mark Distillery that my barrel has been moved to it's new resting place in the warehouse for some nice, Kentucky aging. It's true, that as an Ambassador, I get my name on a barrel with the privilege of buying bourbon from it when the time is right. Actually, there are all kinds of perks that come with joining this program. Sure, I have to "endure" an occasional email from Mr. Samuels regarding "obligations" that come up, such as the recent Maker's 46 release party at Prohibition in the Foshay Tower. Yeah, the demands of bourbon ambassadorship are tough.

This week, Bill sent me a surprise, as you can see in the images. He must be reading Summit Sips and enjoying my adventures with ice spheres, because inside the box was a two-part spherical

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Holiday Gifts for the Mixologist

Last year, I put together a comprehensive list of important gift items for the Mixologist. It's still a good list, but this year, I decided to take a slightly different approach. Rather than list the basic necessities and repeat myself, I decided to write more detail about items I wish I had found sooner as well describe some of the coolest stuff on my wish list. Some of these items do fill the basic needs, but most of them are my favorites. With so many similar tools out there, it can be hard to decide what to buy without first having a chance to use them. Let my experience guide you.

Shaker Tins The most important item for making cocktails besides the ingredients is the shaker. I normally recommend a Boston shaker which is a glass and tin combo, but I upgraded to an all-metal shaker a while ago.

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Cocktail on a Stick

There’s a class of cocktails out there called the swizzle. They can contain any variety of ingredients but are often rum-based with a “Tiki” flair. A swizzle can be a Punch or something more akin to a Daiquiri, but they are served with crushed ice and usually find their origin in the Caribbean. What sets the swizzle apart from a Julep, for example, is the preparation. This is truly a cocktail-on-a-stick! The Swizzle Method I was a little skeptical at first, thinking that this is really just a primitive blender, but using the proper technique and the appropriate tool, it’s possible to get a nice coating of frost on your glass while you super-chill the contents. Basically, you dunk the spoked end of a stick into your iced cocktail and with the other end sticking up out of the glass, you

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