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Knickerbocker

Here's a delicious drink to help you start thinking about summer. It's relatively easy to make and it's a classic, first published in The Bar-Tender's Guide by "Professor" Jerry Thomas way back in 1862. That happens to be the first cocktail book ever published, so we are talking about an old cocktail from a bygone era. Fortunately, the ingredients aren't.

This is a rum drink, and a stiff one at that. It requires a bit of raspberry syrup (or a bit more if it suits you). Making raspberry syrup is a small challenge but definitely worth the effort, and once you have it you can easily make a handful of tasty beverages, not to mention a fantastic sundae! To make raspberry syrup, you need raspberry juice and sugar. The best method is to squeeze fresh raspberries and use the juice to make a simple syrup. Just measure your juice

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Honeymoon

For no particular reason, we decided to feature the Honeymoon cocktail. It's a drink we have eyed for quite some time that appears on the pages of Ted Haigh's Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails. If you are unfamiliar with the book, it's both a fun read and an excellent resource. As "Dr. Cocktail" explains, the Honeymoon exists in print at least as far back as 1917 with some variations along the way. We are never shy about featuring another classic, but the truth is, we like this one because it tastes good!

You don't see a lot of recipes that use Calvados—too few in fact. French apple brandy aged in oak is a fine product worthy of your admiration and attention, and it always surprises us with how nicely it plays with other ingredients. When we are in an experimental mood, we often forget we have a bottle of

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Drink of the Week: Derby

It's one of several drinks by this name which shouldn't be too surprising. Plenty of cocktails are inspired by sporting men, the sports themselves and often the events that bring them all together. One of the more popular venues in bourbon country is the Kentucky Derby where the Mint Julep is king, but it's not the only thing worth trying. At least that's what somebody thought way back when this was invented.

This version comes to us from Trader Vic, but it also appears in Ted “Dr. Cocktail” Haigh's Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails. It's presented here as our Drink of the Week not because we recently watched the Belmont Stakes which reminded us of Churchill Downs, but because we read somewhere that it's Bourbon Day. We're not exactly sure this is an official holiday, but it's a good enough reason to

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Drink of the Week: El Presidente

It may be long overdue, but we are finally getting around to posting about the El Presidente cocktail. We mentioned this drink way back in November 2009 but never provided a recipe. That's because it was one in a list of several classics you could make with grenadine and we placed our focus on a homemade recipe for this wonderful syrup. It's been a while since we've touched on this ingredient, and even though the El Presidente contains just a tiny portion of the stuff, there are plenty of other great classics that employ pomegranate syrup to sublime effect. Of course, you have to use the real deal, not an artificially flavored bottle of corn syrup. It seems appropriate to briefly revisit the details.

The sad truth is that the most common store-bought brand of grenadine is excruciatingly bad for cocktails. It’s supposed to be a syrup based on real

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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: Satan's Whiskers

As the end of October draws near, I continue to feature the scary, the evil and the ghoulish for your Halloween drinking pleasure, even if it's just the names that are creating all of the fun. Perhaps the Diablo wasn't scary enough for you last week, or the tequila was too diabolical for your frightened taste buds. If you decided to keep your distance, I encourage you to get a lot closer to our fiendish devil this time. I'm not asking you to shave his goatee, but consider the inspiration that led to two versions of our Drink of the Week, the Satan's Whiskers cocktail.

That's right, this is a two-for-one recipe because history has recorded two slightly different ways to concoct this drink. According to Harry Craddock's eponymous tome The Savoy Cocktail Book, the hair on Satan's beard is either straight or curled. Thankfully, your preference

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Punch Drunk

I wanted to write a few words about my experiments with Punch. As the tagline suggests, Summit Sips is about exploring the mysteries of mixology. Whether or not you like the word "mixology", I don't advocate consumption of alcoholic beverages to get "drunk". I see it more as a culinary pursuit to find a balance of flavors and to pair ingredients in unique (or sometimes classic) ways. Semantics aside, there's always the benefit of five o'clock refreshment, and sometimes the goal is to lubricate the social gears of a party to stimulate mingling and conversation. In any case, Punch is a great way to explore exotic flavor combinations.

Punch is a borrowed word from the Hindi panch which itself came from the Persian word paantch meaning five, to represent the five typical ingredients in this early beverage: alcohol, sugar, lemon, water and tea or spices. It was brought back to

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