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White Whiskey

White whiskey has many names. It can be marketed as white dog or white lightning, or even the yokel moonshine, although that usually refers to illicit varieties. A few things are clear, however, besides this unusual spirit. First, it is an unaged product, meaning it does not typically spend time in oak barrels. Second, because it is whiskey, it is a distillate made from fermented grain. This is where products differ. Depending on the grain used, where it is farmed, the water added, and of course, the distillation process itself, one white whiskey can taste dramatically different from another.

Traditionally, whiskey is thought of as a "brown" spirit, but all of that color and much of the flavor comes form the aging process. Time spent in charred oak barrels allows the high concentration of alcohol to extract flavors from the wood. Caramel, vanilla, smoke, fruit, spices—these are all derived from

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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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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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Republic of Jam Cocktail Club

This past weekend we were invited to participate in the quarterly Cocktail Club at Republic of Jam. Being asked to contribute recipe ideas was an honor, and it was even more exciting to be there to answer questions and provide details about each drink. Citizens in attendance were genuinely enthusiastic about the whole process. Many had questions about everything from ice options to spirit suggestions. It was a joy to see so many people excited to participate.

Each of the recipes were made in large batches and poured over ice to make service fast and smooth. This was a smart choice given the sample size of each drink, but if you make some of these yourself, follow the directions. Some of these drinks are designed to be served up, in a stemmed cocktail glass (chill glasses in the freezer ahead of time and serve without ice). Good shaking

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Part & Parcel

Here's another Toby Maloney great that's nice to have at the ready for anyone who says they want a good vodka cocktail. It's also an opportunity to play a little switch-a-roo on your friend to demonstrate how much better it is with gin! This is called Part & Parcel, and it's something we have been making for years, ever since Mr. Maloney shared the recipe online.

Plymouth gin is a good choice for the substitution, but we used locally distilled Aviation from House Spirits which has a similar flavor profile. St-Germain liqueur is made from elderflowers and it mixes so wonderfully with fresh grapefruit juice. The acid gets a boost with a little lime juice brought into balance with the simple syrup.

The bitters is tricky because, according to Maloney, he uses his own house grapefruit bitters at the Click here and take a bigger gulp of this article. . .

Drink of the Week: Fernelderwood

Nature is sometimes not without a sense of humor, or at least it appears that way when you consider the fact that citrus reaches its peak during the cooler months of the year. You might argue that the ideal time for lemonade or a refreshing Margarita comes during the hot summer months, but as far as the fruit is concerned, availability doesn't always represent quality. The best examples appear in October, November and so on. Refreshing sours are delicious when you are trying to beat the heat, but citrus season is just getting started when many of us would rather settle into a dark flavorful sipper to take the edge off a cool autumn breeze.

We tend to keep an eye out for white grapefruit when browsing the produce aisles of the supermarket. While the sweeter ruby variety is usually available year-round, the white

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Elder Rose

Yesterday, we had a bit of fun with our post like we did last year. Today we set aside the pranks to feature two St. Paul destinations related to an original impromptu cocktail. The first is a fantastic little shop on Grand Avenue called Golden Fig, one of the Twin Cities' top prepared fancy food shops. We use their their Vanilla Rose Syrup as inspiration for a cocktail based on a classic sour formula with a few twists. But, of course, we can't really take credit for the recipe which leads us to our second St. Paul destination, Meritage. In addition to a delicious menu and great happy hour specials, Meritage calls itself "a little slice of Paris" and happens to be host to some of the best craft cocktails in downtown St. Paul. We were treated to this recipe by Rob Jones, the

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