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Drink Of The Week: Rural Juror

If you've ever had the pleasure to enjoy the culinary mastery of Chef Lenny Russo at the Heartland Restaurant in St. Paul, you might have also enjoyed an inspired beverage from their cocktail menu. It's great to see that a kitchen capable of churning out an ever-changing array of local, seasonal masterpieces doesn't completely overshadow its small but interesting list of mixed drinks. With names like the Jerry Thomas, Cardinal Kiss, and the Violet Beauregarde, there's plenty to keep your interest. I also appreciate the fact that they feature a classic Negroni, an Amaro Manhattan and a collection of ingredients that combine unusual liqueurs, bitters, and distilled spirits from the local region.

But, the cocktail that seems to evoke the most curiosity may also be the simplest. The Rural Juror isn't exactly a tongue-twister, but it's impossible

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Be A Better Bitter Imbiber

It's probably long overdue, but I finally decided to write a few words about the bitter side of the cocktail spectrum—this time to outline some specific ingredients that impose this unusual nuance of flavor. The subject has surfaced before in drinks like the Negroni, and in homemade ingredients such as Tonic Water. Yet, Americans are are only just starting to understand the appeal of bitter beverages, so if this all sounds unusual or makes you feel uneasy, you're not alone.

Expanding Palate For a cocktail enthusiast, the process of experimentation, and in many cases, the discovery of favorite drink recipes, can be likened to a chef, working through the pantry toward delicious dinner combinations. Each ingredient opens doors to new flavors that bring challenges and opportunities. Early favorites are often sweet concoctions that find refuge with the sours, where the quest for balance and variety can sustain

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Drink of the Week: Sazerac

Building the Sazerac

Next week marks the beginning of Tales of the Cocktail, an annual event held in New Orleans to celebrate our truly American invention. But it's more than that. Tales has become something of a Mecca to cocktail enthusiasts and professionals from all over the world. With so many sponsored events and educational sessions throughout the week, attendees have the opportunity to learn from the experts and discover new products and techniques. In addition to hosting Tales of the Cocktail, New Orleans enjoys a deep tradition of mixology and has been host to the creation of many classic cocktail favorites. Perhaps the one most identified with the city is our Drink of the Week, the Sazerac.

A cocktail was at one time a narrow class of beverages following a very specific formula: spirits, sugar, water and bitters. Today, the word is associated with any mixed

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Drink Of The Week: Seelbach

A few weeks ago I posted a teaser about our upcoming tour of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail®. Well, it’s time to kickoff the bourbon trail series starting with a special Drink Of The Week and a perfect start to our exploration of Kentucky bourbon country. Click here to see all of the Kentucky bourbon posts on one page. New posts will be added over the next few days so you can see how the trip progressed. The first destination of our tour was the Seelbach Hotel in Louisville, KY. The History Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Seelbach Hotel is a perfect example of gilded-era luxury and beauty which recently underwent a $12 million restoration. Its turn-of-the-century Beaux Arts Baroque style served as the backdrop for Tom and Daisy Buchanan’s wedding in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Once a fellow resident

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Classics Series: The Manhattan Cocktail

It's a very basic drink, but nobody seems to ever make it exactly the same way. There are plenty of variations (and as many hot debates over them). But one thing everyone agrees upon is that the Manhattan is a true classic. Only a cocktail this fundamental—this delicious—could instill such devotion or inspire such creativity. One of my all-time favorite cocktails is The Violet Hour's incredible Dogwood Manhattan, created by Michael Rubel. He takes liberty with the ingredients, raising the bar on flavor without straying from the core concept. Whether you are new to the Manhattan or you just don't understand what all of the fuss is about, this is one cocktail that is definitely worthy of further exploration.

Origins We cannot be certain how exactly the Manhattan cocktail came into existence. It's no surprise that most people believe it originated in New York, but the specific circumstances surrounding its

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