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Gangs Of New York

It's hard not to love the Whiskey Sour with all of its many variations. Even if you don't think of yourself as a whiskey drinker you can usually find something you like in this category. You can go for the classic preparation with egg white, something a bit more modern like a Rattlesnake variant, a wonderful Whiskey Smash, or even the best Amaretto Sour in the world! But with everyone's favorite Irish holiday just around the corner, we decided to explore a little history and see if we could find a version that would be appropriate for March. The Gangs of New York cocktail by Sandy Levine of The Oakland Art Novelty Company in Ferndale, Michigan is the perfect solution.

The Oakland is an elegant speakeasy in the Detroit area often considered the best cocktail spot in the city. So, why then, is this whiskey

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Batches and Bowls

Whether you are prepping for a weekend party or a spring picnic (we are probably several months early for that), you may be looking for ways to enjoy the event and the company of your guests without spending time mixing individual cocktails on request. Beer and wine are easy options, but you shouldn't have to sacrifice good flavors and quality ingredients just because you'd rather join the party instead of busily shaking craft cocktails. As log as you are willing to do some preparation a day or so ahead of time, you don't need to play bartender. We are talking about batched cocktails—a common request we get from friends who are either searching for the perfect recipe or are interested in techniques they can leverage to make the process easier once guests arrive.

For us, the Super Bowl refers to any vessel large enough to hold a batch of Philadelphia

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Republic of Jam Cocktail Club: Irish Scallywags

It's that time again when the masters of fruit preserves and culinary syrups gather their "citizens" for another quarterly Cocktail Club. When Republic of Jam puts on an event, it's sure to include an assortment of flavors to delight your tastebuds. This was no exception, and once again, we were invited to lend some creative cocktail ideas to the evening. One of the challenges we learned from last time was the fact that cocktails mixed in batches are served en masse and have to be prepared differently. Because all of the drinks get served as small samples on the rocks, none of them go through the typical construction process of shaking with ice. Proper dilution is normally a helpful byproduct, so we needed to take that extra water into account. By making these individually, you also have the flexibility of glassware choices and creative flourishes with the garnish.

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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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Drink of the Week: Kir Royale

It's been a long time since I patted myself on the back for the novel idea of pouring a little Chambord into a bottle of Zima. I don't even know if you can still buy Zima anymore, but that seemed like a good idea at the time. Of course, it wasn't such a unique concept—adding liqueur to sparkling beverages. In fact, it doesn't even have to be bubbly at all.

Named after Félix Kir (1876–1968), mayor of Dijon in Burgundy, the Kir was a drink that was originally made by pouring a measure of crème de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur) into a wine glass and then topping it up with wine. After World War II, there was an abundance of white wine in Burgundy, so Kir renovated the drink and used the surplus white wine in place of his original red. Today, we also have the Kir Royale which is essentially

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Drink of the Week: Sangria

Some of you may know that I have a sister who lives in Spain. Over the years, she has shared some wonderful stories about life in Europe, but when it comes to cocktails, she usually talks about Sangria. Essentially a wine-based punch, Sangria is a great party beverage. It’s normally made in batches and tastes better if the ingredients are allowed “get to know each other” while chilling in the refrigerator. That means you can and should make it ahead of time. With the Fourth of July holiday just around the corner, it seemed like the perfect time to mix up some of this delicious potion. I also thought it might be interesting to see how my own basic Sangria recipe stacks up against my sister’s experiences in Barcelona and to share some of her insights about what works and what doesn’t. In the end, this highly customizable drink should

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