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Halloween Party Cocktails

It's a question we get asked every year: What cocktail should I feature at my Halloween party? There are a lot different answers depending on what is important for your situation. We usually answer with a series of questions. How much work do you want to do ahead of time? How much work do you want to do during the party? Do you want to make something spirit-driven or citrus-based? How important is it for your theme to be represented (either in name or ingredients)? Your answers to these questions can be determining factors, so here's a list of possibilities with summaries and links to the specific details.

Batches and Bowls We usually always refer folks to large-volume solutions like Punch, Sangria, and Morganthaler's Gallon of Margaritas. We covered all of these in this post back in January. Even if none of them are for you, it's a good

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Raspberry Cocktails

Columbia Cocktail

There are so many ways to use fruit in cocktails. Muddling fresh produce may be the easiest, but you can also freeze it for use off-season. More traditional options include preserving fruit as jams, syrups, shrubs or even liqueurs. We've been busy this summer with all of nature's bounty, and we'll be sharing some of our exploits in the coming months. Today, let's talk about raspberry syrup.

Making a syrup from raspberries is easy enough. The simplest recipe follows a basic formula of one part fruit juice with one part sugar. However, we wanted to take an approach that may seem a little unorthodox. According to the Jerry Thomas Bartenders Guide first published in 1862, it's better to add another step to the process. Fermenting the fruit juice for several days through natural processes (including the unrestricted

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South Side Rickey

Strictly speaking, a rickey is a highball cocktail that is not supposed to contain sugar—or at least it shouldn't if we are sticking to historical traditions. The style dates back before Prohibition when drinks were simpler and it was easier to categorize such details. When you mention the Rickey, most folks think of the Gin Rickey, a drink built in a Collins glass over ice. First, you squeeze a half ounce of fresh lime juice. Then, add two ounces of gin and top up with club soda. It's a decent drink that is both refreshing and easy to make—a nice combination for a hot summer day. It also works with other base spirits and gets renamed appropriately.

A couple months ago a batch of similar spring cocktails was published in the Oregonian. Some were more complicated, but one we recognized (in name at least). It was the South Side Rickey

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Grilled Pineapple Southside

We have long been fans of the Southside cocktail, not that we always think to make it. It's one of those great summer drinks we like to make for guests (and taste what's leftover in the shaker) to help us remember how delicious it is. So, when Kelly Sanders over at House Spirits posted a grilled pineapple version on the Aviation Gin Blog—well, what could we do but fire up the grill!

First, let us say that if you are new to the Southside, or you simply haven't had one in a while, do yourself a huge favor and follow the link above and make that drink right now. It's simple and delicious, and although it does require some mint, you'll be happy you went through the minor trouble of getting some. Actually, why aren't you growing your own mint? Did we

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Shipwreck

Thanks to everyone who played along with our last post. April fun has become somewhat of a tradition at Summit Sips, and we look forward to doing it again next year. Shifting back to serious cocktails, we are finally featuring the Shipwreck. This one comes from Portland, Oregon's Jamal Hassan. From Ox Restaurant's Whey Bar, to Tasty 'n Alder or Kenny and Zukes Deli—this guy really gets around! You may recall a cocktail we made a while back called La Yapa which continues to receive high marks at our house. That drink alone is reason enough to follow Mr. Hassan wherever he happens to be tending bar in town. He has another winner with the Shipwreck, a simple drink that is something akin to a julep with dual base spirits. It's a perfect spring cocktail and one we plan to feature on our house menu throughout

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Drink of the Week: Juliet & Romeo

If you ever wanted a drink recipe to show to your friends—one that you reserve for that special person you want to dazzle with something creative—this is it. If you know someone who claims that they don't like gin, but it's clear they have never experienced the wonderful alchemy of a gin-based cocktail, now's your chance to change their mind. For anyone interested in layering basic elements and techniques to create something remarkable in the glass, this cocktail will certainly entertain. The Juliet & Romeo has a fancy presentation yet it's easy to make and is perhaps the most interesting, most refreshing and delicious cocktail we've ever had the pleasure of sharing.

It comes by way of Toby Maloney of The Violet Hour in Chicago, but it has also appeared on the menu at his other bars such as the Bradstreet Crafthouse in Minneapolis. We've been

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Drink Of The Week: Art Of Choke

Pursuing a casual interest in cocktails will lead you through some delicious modern recipes and most of the classics. In fact, many cocktail books, either by way of documenting recipe categories and development, or out of respectful obligation, take their readers through the same forty classic cocktails adding just a handful of embellishments and additions. While that may satisfy some, the more adventurous among us are constantly seeking new flavors and exciting combinations. It's not always necessary to go out of your way to track down hard-to-find ingredients—there are still plenty of daring and innovative drinks that any well-stocked bar can create. Such recipes may break a few rules and challenge conventional thinking, but together they serve, at the very least, as a reference and a source of inspiration for trade professionals. That was the idea, anyway, behind Kirk Estopinal and Maksym Pazuniak's Rogue Cocktails book.

The collectible

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