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Scottie Ferguson

Stocking a liquor cabinet is serious business. Space can limit decisions as much as budget, so we have always aligned with the idea that you should buy cocktails, not random bottles of booze. In other words, start with a drink recipe that you love and build your cabinet that way—recipe by recipe. This is great, in theory, but the allure of Italian bitters often trumps restraint. If you're as big of a fan as we are, you may have amassed quite a collection—cocktail recipes or not—grabbing almost every amaro you can find. But if you are just starting out, it can be difficult to decide what to buy first. Many of us are familiar with Campari, if even just for the Negroni and the Americano, but as we explore others, how do

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Bottled Cocktails

Perhaps it was just a matter of time—or the right occasion—before we rolled up our sleeves to make bottled cocktails. We'll admit, it sounds easy enough: pre-mix a large batch of your favorite drink, carbonate it, fill a bunch of bottles, cap them, and you have a portable cocktail that can be served and shared without the hassle of measured ingredients, ice, or bar tools. We've seen both Morgenthaler and Boudreau succeed at this in the bars they run, but is it really that simple at home?

To be completely fair, there's nothing new here. These techniques and recipes are tried and true. But before you take a crack at it you should consider a few things, starting with your cocktail recipe. It's a little trickier than just putting any old drink in a bottle. You need to avoid fresh juices or anything that could spoil over time.

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Lion's Tail and Allspice Liqueur

During the cooler months of winter it seems like everyone is interested in baking spices. Cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and allspice are seasonal favorites. Micro breweries start to churn out winterfest beer selections and cocktail bars start infusing spirits. Winter drinks are great—who doesn't love a warm toddy or a Hot Buttered Rum to help block that chill in the air? It's easy to get into the spirit of such flavors by selecting certain ingredients and recipes that use them. Liqueurs like Becherovka and Drambuie are good options because they bring a spiced element to cocktails, but today, we will take a look at Pimento Dram, also known as allspice liqueur.

One of the forgotten recipes that appears in Ted Haigh's Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails is a drink called the Lion's Tail. It's a wonderful classic that features this resurrected

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Raspberry Shrub

The concept of balancing sweet with sour in cocktails has been around for a very long time. Most of us associate lemons and limes with the acid side of that formula, but there are more ways than citrus to add sour to beverages. One solution common in the culinary world is vinegar. Coupled with fruit and sugar, this is known as a gastrique, but in liquid culture we call it a shrub.

Shrubs or drinking vinegars may not sound like a good idea to many people. We think this negativity probably comes from the idea that when a wine turns bad, it transforms into vinegar, and you don't want to be sipping bad wine! And yet, nobody has a problem using it to make salad dressing. The truth is, shrubs have been an important part of drinking history since the 15th century. And although the origins may be traced back

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One Flight Up

This cocktail appears on the cover of the Jan/Feb 2013 issue of Imbibe Magazine. It represents a delicious collection of ingredients and techniques that come together in a drink that looks incredible and tastes even better. We decided to feature this drink because it covers so many aspects of the craft that are worth investigating.

First, let's give credit where credit is due—this is a drink that was created by Troy Sidle for Pouring Ribbons, a New York bar and another successful Alchemy Consulting venture. The menu lists each drink with a unique double-sliding scale. One measurement reveals whether a selection is "Refreshing" or "Spiritous" while the other scale indicates "Comforting" vs. "Adventurous". We love this approach to recipes because of how it allows even the most unfamiliar list of ingredients to represent some idea of what you can expect in the glass. Although the definitions are

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Oahu Gin Sling

In our opinion—no, scratch that—this is just an indisputable fact: There's no better compendium of Tiki cocktails than Jeff "Beachbum" Berry's Remixed. So, when we feel like exploring drinks that remind us of the tropics, we look no further. Facing so many choices and a variety of unusual ingredients, we decided to search for a recipe that was fast and easy and didn't require us to buy something new. We settled on the Oahu Gin Sling for it's simplicity.

Historically, a sling predates the classic cocktail and stems from a period before drinks contained bitters. At that time, they also would not have had citrus, except as a garnish, amounting to little more than sweetened spirits. While modern versions with their added fruit juices and seltzer may not adhere to historic definitions, the fact remains that naming conventions are far less important than the flavors in the glass,

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Drink of the Week: Navy Grog

For many people, September 19th is just an ordinary day. But for others, it is an anniversary or maybe even a birthday. Somehow, this day also became International Talk Like a Pirate Day. We've mentioned this in the past, and even wrote an entire post in pirate-speak. Today we are simply going to feature Navy Grog as our drink of the week.

There are as many Grog recipes as there are pirates with patched eyes. It seems that for every combination of rums there is some version of grog. One popular and historic Navy Grog calls for three types of rum: light Puerto Rican rum, dark Jamaican, and Demerara. It employs citrus in the form of lime and grapefruit juice and uses honey syrup to balance the sour.

Navy Grog 1 oz light Puerto Rican rum 1 oz dark Jamaican rum 1 oz Demerara rum

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