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Coffee Cocktails

Coffee flavor in cocktails is nothing new. Classic recipes like Mexican and Irish Coffee are legendary. You also have coffee liqueur which shows up occasionally in recipes (one of our favorites is the Curfew cocktail), not to mention how easy it is to make an infusion. Drop a dozen beans into a bottle of vodka and in just a few days you have coffee vodka for a very interesting "martini". We happily admit to hosting more than one party with a creamy and sweet espresso cocktail on the menu! All playfulness aside, some readers know that we are actually pretty serious about coffee. We roast our own beans, pull shots of espresso at home, and we don't mind sharing our experience and knowledge with others. Ok, we are coffee snobs (this is the Pacific Northwest, after all) but we still get excited when new products come around that

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Barrel Aged Cocktails Without the Barrel

Let's jump right in with the details: We are using toasted oak chips and a charred oak stick in a mason jar to age scaled-up portions of our favorite drink recipes. The results are—in a word—amazing. We could also say surprising, or even easy. Given the fact that we have done true barrel-aging in the past, we were pleased to discover this time-saving alternative that produces results that are similar, if not better than the traditional method. It's so simple, in fact, that we plan to keep it going so that we always have aged, pre-mixed cocktails in the house. This is also so much more satisfying given the limited investment. It's hard to justify not doing this. If you have been thinking about making barrel-aged cocktails but haven't had a chance to track down a barrel—or perhaps you don't want to spend the money on

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Bourbon Bijou

Park Kitchen in Portland, Oregon makes a lovely drink they call the Bourbon Bijou. You may recall the Bijou cocktail we posted several years ago which is the inspiration for this whiskey-based variation. The original is a gin drink with over a century of history, whereas this one is a modern riff. We like them both because they are tasty and easy to make. That translates to "no fresh anything required" which means you can throw one together for yourself or a guest while you consider more involved alternatives. It's also a spirit-driven recipe for bolder palates (which is perfect for us) and another excuse to use Chartreuse.

Bourbon Bijou at Park Kitchen, Portland, OR 1 oz bourbon 1 oz green Chartreuse 1 oz Cocchi Di Torino Italian vermouth 1 dash 50/50 orange bitters

Add all to a mixing glass and stir with ice until cold. Strain into

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Palmetto

Despite the improved quality and availability of citrus in winter, colder months always seem better suited for spirit-driven cocktails. Whiskey usually comes to mind, but other spirits also fill the need. Many classics also include vermouth, and the most typical recipes seem to start with the letter M, such as the Martini, the Manhattan, and the Martinez. Setting gin and whiskey aside for the moment, there is another classic cocktail in this family that contains rum.

Most folks have never even heard of the Palmetto cocktail, not because it isn't any good, but because it contains vermouth. You see, vermouth has been mistreated over the years, often banished to the back of the cabinet only to collect dust. People claim they dislike the taste of it. We find this hard to believe—if such claims are made honestly, they

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Drink of the Week: Metropole

There's a certain level of comfort when it comes to the classics. There was no Tiki movement, no vodka, and folks knew what to expect from a cocktail. By today's standards, times were simpler then, although it's all relative. Still, we think there is virtue in exploring basic, spirit-driven recipes that have stood the test of time—and some that have become lost in it. The Metropole is one such drink.

Originally the house cocktail for the Metropole Hotel in New York City, this brandy based drink has survived since the late 1800s while the hotel where it was created is long gone. It's a common story shared by many classic cocktails, although in our opinion, too few of them contain brandy. It's a simple enough formula, but it has changed somewhat over the years.

Metropole 2 oz cognac 1 oz dry vermouth .5 teaspoon simple syrup 2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters

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Drink of the Week: Eeyore's Requiem

When we first saw the ingredients for this cocktail at The Violet Hour in Chicago, we couldn't bring ourselves to order it. It seemed just too over-the-top with bitter ingredients. That was our first mistake. When the recipe appeared in Beta Cocktails, a book we recently mentioned in conjunction with the Art of Choke, we thought it might be time to check it out, but we never had the right combination of ingredients—most notably, we didn't have a Blanc vermouth. That was our second mistake. Today, we finally corrected both situations by picking up a bottle of Dolin Blanc and using it to construct one of the most interesting and surprising results we have tasted in a very long time.

Eeyore's Requiem is another recipe we have collected by Toby "Alchemist" Maloney, one of the

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Drink of the Week: Calvados Cocktail

This is another forgotten drink recipe from the Prohibition era. It appears in print as early as Harry Craddock's Savoy Cocktail Book but we picked it up in Ted Haigh's excellent Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails. As you might have guessed, it uses calvados as the base spirit. Like cognac, calvados is a type of brandy from France, although instead of grapes it comes from apples. Past recipes on Summit Sips that have featured apple brandy are divided among drinks like the Jack Rose and the Newark that make use of its American cousin, Applejack, and others such as the Widow's Kiss and our own Circean that contain the more refined French calvados. It's one of those spirits that seems to be overlooked by a lot of people and that's a shame, but it's not why this cocktail

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