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Using Salt In Cocktails

If life on earth started in the sea, it might explain why most of us consider food "unseasoned" without a little salt. It's one of our five (six) primary tastes and it's fundamental in the culinary world. Yet, not many cocktails embrace this flavor. Perhaps drinks are meant to be refreshing and thirst-quenching—a characteristic that is incongruous with salt. However, if added in small amounts, salt can enhance other flavors just like it does with food. Margarita fans recognize that salt tastes great with lime and tequila. Also, some muddled ingredients such as cucumber will benefit by adding a scant pinch beforehand. But generally speaking, salt is largely ignored in cocktails with only a few exceptions here and there that incorporate it nicely. When it is used, it's often crystals on the rim of the glass or sprinkles upon a drink's surface as a garnish. But what if you

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Drink Of The Week: Margarita

It's Cinco de Mayo, the voluntary holiday when we celebrate Mexican heritage. Although it's virtually ignored throughout most of Mexico, the 5th of May is significant to folks in Puebla where the Mexican army defeated the French in 1862 against overwhelming odds. It was also the last battle in which a country in the Americas was invaded by an overseas army. The holiday has been celebrated in California every year since, and it has become nationally recognized in the United States as well as other countries, much like St. Patrick's Day and Oktoberfest.

In recognition of this day and to pay tribute to our beloved spirit from Mexico, we are posting our favorite recipe for the most popular drink in America—the Margarita. The proportions of ingredients and sometimes the ingredients themselves are often debated. By most standard definitions, the Margarita contains tequila, triple sec and lime juice, but we prefer

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How to make Tonic Water

I was never a Gin & Tonic fan, but all of that changed last year when I read Jeffrey Morgenthaler's post about making tonic from scratch. Of course, his wasn't the first recipe to gain widespread attention. The resurgence of craft tonic is credited to Kevin Ludwig of Portland, Oregon whose recipe even appeared in the March/April 2007 issue of Imbibe Magazine. Having basically skipped over that recipe back then, I considered it an ingredient best left to gin drinkers, or someone who was more interested. Finally, after reading more about it and seeing craft tonic added to a cocktail I really enjoyed, I decided to give it a try.

Why make something that already exists? When I first saw the Imbibe article, I was asking myself all sorts of questions. Can't you simply buy tonic water at the store? It's cheap enough, it's crystal clear, and

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