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Cocktail Cherries

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When fresh cherries are in season, it's time to make a delicious cocktail garnish. I have a strong opinion that you should take advantage of every opportunity to avoid using those glow-in-the-dark cocktail cherries you normally find on store shelves. Don't be fooled by their unnaturally bright red coloring or their artificially preserved snappy texture. They are not fruit—the sad shells of what used to be cherries have been completely purged of real cherry flavor, totally robbed of natural color, only to be resurrected in a sinister soup of chemical syrups and artificial flavors and colors. They are the zombies of the preserved fruit world—Frankenstein's monsters of the cocktail garnish tray. Of course, you can find good cocktail cherries, (I like to use Amarena cherries) but these options can be few and far between. The

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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: Riviera, two ways

Sometimes I feature classics, sometimes a riff, and once in a while it's an exotic Tiki. There's not really a pattern to the Drinks Of The Week here at Summit Sips, but I do think it's important to understand classic recipes and techniques. Over the past year or so, some of the recipes (including a few that don't fall upon a Thursday) required a little more preparation to pull them together. Such cases usually involved preparing some homemade ingredient. That can mean making a better version of something you can find on shop shelves, or sometimes it's an opportunity to create your own version of an ingredient that's impossible to find anywhere. This week, I want to feature a recipe that relies upon a basic infusion for the base spirit. It's the Riviera cocktail by Toby Maloney, a popular favorite from The Violet Hour.

I

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Oscar Cocktails

“And the nominees for Best Supporting Cocktails are. . .” Wait, “Best what?” Ok, that’s crazy, but if the Academy asked me who should be nominated for this category, I’d steer them toward this recent article in the New York Times. Have a look at some of the Oscar-contender-inspired cocktails and you tell me who should win! In the past, my wife and I have often hosted Oscar parties, but this year, like the last several, we have chosen to keep it simple so we can enjoy the event on our own. That doesn’t mean we aren’t shouting at the television or cheering our own selections from this year’s ballot. Still, party or not, it’s a lot more fun with a good cocktail, so imagine my delight when I spotted the Jeremy Renner cocktail in the Times this morning. I just had to try it.

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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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Drink Of The Week: Floridita Daiquiri

This week we finish up our short Caribbean series with a two-for-one daiquiri post.

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Drink Of The Week: Last Word

This installment of the Drink of the Week is actually the last drink of 2010. If you have been following along, that makes 52 cocktail recipes posted over the past year, not including homemade ingredients and numerous other posts in-between. It has been fun to keep the momentum going with weekly features. We want to say thanks to everyone who reads and subscribes to Summit Sips and to those who are friends on Facebook or who follow via Twitter. We especially appreciate those of you who see fit to comment on the posts. Part of the fun that comes with these recipes is hearing what others are trying and discussing the results. To see all of the 2010 Drinks of the Week on one page, we created a special 2010 DOTW Archive.

We want to end the year with a fantastic cocktail, and the Last Word

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