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So You Wanna Make A Great Cocktail

You can do it. I know you can, because I believe anyone can, provided they understand that the best cocktails consist of two basic elements:

Great ingredients Great technique—with the equipment you have

You won't resolve yourself to mediocrity once you realize that you're not required to own a multitude of special tools to get the job done. Of course, using top-shelf products and fancy equipment to build your cocktails can make things easier, faster and better—but getting good results using what's available is always the goal.

Is great technique a substitute for great ingredients? No. As you'll see, proper technique is closely tied to the equipment you are using, and rarely can it replace or mask a substitution or omission. Ingredients and technique are equally important, and as you face inevitable limits due to budget, space or availability, you'll need to understand how to use what you have and

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All Of This Basil

One thing I look forward to every spring is my own fresh herbs. I can’t wait to get my mint planted, my rosemary, thyme, basil and the rest. But by the time September rolls around, I start to wonder what I can do with all of these big healthy plants. If you’re like me, you have been pinching off the flowers on your basil plants all summer long. Just as soon as I see it start to grow those odd little flower tips, I pull them off and let the plant branch out. The leaves just keep doubling, and new tips want to flower again—so again, I pinch it off. This goes on all summer, building an incredibly full basil plant with more leaves than I can use. So, now that the summer is ending, what am I going to do with all of this basil?

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