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Fogerty

Some time back, we had the unusual pleasure of tasting a drink that combined the flavors of chocolate with Campari. We know, it sounds really strange, but if you think about it, people who love chocolate often reach for dark, bittersweet varieties. If you look at it that way, maybe it isn't so strange after all. Besides, it would not be the first time the flavor of an Italian Amaro was reminiscent of cacao's complexity, only here, we actually have cacao to thank for it. A few years ago, Imbibe Magazine published a cocktail called the Fogerty by Ryan Fitzgerald of ABV in San Francisco. We think it is a great drink for winter.

It is sometimes helpful to understand the backdrop of historical recipes that might have guided the creator of a cocktail toward a wining combination. Whether intentional or not, it is hard not to draw comparisons

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Beretta's Rattlesnake

A sour cocktail is perhaps the most versatile framework when it comes to mixed drinks. It is both accessible and interesting, combining the flavors of any spirit with acid from fresh citrus while balancing that with some form of sugar. The sour formula is also flexible and forgiving, allowing different ingredients to successfully change the cocktail—sometimes subtly, but often with dramatic effect. For example, the Bee's Knees cocktail would be a plain gin sour (not really a popular choice) if not for the honey syrup. By just using honey instead of simple sugar syrup, it achieves an unexpected depth of character that mingles in unpredictable ways with the gin making it a memorable favorite.

Any base spirit works as a sour. Exploring the possibilities will lead you into categories like the Daiquiri, Sidecar, Margarita and the list goes on and on as you swap sweeteners or

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Bicycles & Baskets

This could be the perfect, simplest blend of your best-tasting ingredients. The floral/citrus Bicycles & Baskets is a whiskey-based original from Kask located here in Portland, Oregon. The menu describes this signature recipe as the perfect drink for a picnic. We won't disagree, but it's actually a drink that can be enjoyed any time. The name evokes images of pedaling leisurely toward a favorite location to enjoy the spring air or summer sun, but it's also a reference to the liqueur made from elderflowers that are supposedly picked by hand in the French hills and transported by bicycle to the distillery. Whichever visual applies for you, this might be a recipe worth scaling up to a batch that can fill a bottle for portability.

Rye whiskey has always held a leading position when it comes

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Cranston

One of our favorite go-to cocktails to beat the heat of summer is the Mint Julep. Nothing quite compares to recipes that employ crushed ice for a frosty glass. And while you sip, the drink gets satisfyingly smoother and colder! Previous features like the Pontarlier Julep, the Port Light, or even swizzles like this one or that one are perfect examples. Using our freshly-made fermented raspberry syrup, we made this little gem to add to the growing list.

The Cranston was created by New York bartender Rafa GarcĂ­a Febles. Rafa is a prolific cocktail creator and writer of the DrunkLab blog. In this simple recipe, he takes rye whiskey and

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Kirkwood

Here's another cocktail in a long line of modern Manhattan variants. Well, technically, they are modeled after a classic called the Brooklyn cocktail which is itself based on the Manhattan. We've seen many of these wonderful Brooklyn concoctions such as the Red Hook, the Greenpoint, and the Bensonhurst, to name a few. In fact, we could probably go on for weeks writing about drinks named after neighborhoods all over Brooklyn, but today, we are finally featuring the Kirkwood which appeared in the November 2010 issue of Imbibe Magazine.

Named after an Atlanta, Georgia neighborhood (most of Brooklyn is spoken for), it is Leon's Full Service bartender Miles Macquarrie's contribution to this family of drinks. Not to be mistaken for the Edgewood, another cocktail named after

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Figgy Pudding

Over four years ago we had the pleasure enjoying a few drinks at the Strip Club, a wonderful little steak joint in St. Paul, Minnesota. In addition to serving its delicious namesake New York Strip done several different ways, the place also has a wonderful cocktail program. In fact, the Strip Club blossomed in this regard relatively early in the Twin Cities cocktail scene. At that time, the number of places serving great cocktails in both Minneapolis and St. Paul could arguably be counted on one hand. Still, these guys were already veterans of house made tonic, bacon-infused bourbon, bitters and so on. One such masterpiece was a drink that is no longer on the menu called Figgy Pudding.

The original concept is based on whiskey that has been infused with butternut squash. This was combined with a muddled black mission fig

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Hunting Vest

There's a restaurant on Southeast Division Street in Portland, Oregon called The Woodsman Tavern. The charcoal-fired local fare as well as the decor pays homage to Pacific Northwest traditions and the rich logging history of the region. The place has a sort of rustic elegance that is part drinking tavern part fancy restaurant. The experience is punctuated with a bar program created by Evan Zimmerman, the local mixology genius responsible for the success of more than a few cocktail menus around Portland. We featured another one of Zimmerman's creations, the Saw Tooth last summer.

This time around, we have a signature cocktail that features a simple but unusual ingredient: charred cedar-infused Campari. The drink is called the Hunting Vest and it has been written up by a couple local publications since The Woodsman Tavern opened. It seems to be seasonally available, so if you visit the restaurant and

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