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Smoky and Sweet, “The Mezcal Old Fashioned”

by Jason Lightner November 21st, 2014| Cocktails
mezcal old fashioned (400x400)I've been accused on more than one occasion of being a minimalist. Indeed, it's difficult to justify all of the pomp and circumstance which surrounds the creation of more than a few classic and contemporary cocktails. I'd usually much rather pour liquor into a glass and lift it to my face. That method, my friends, is what's known as the path of least resistance.

And so, many of the cocktails you'll see me feature here are meant to amaze not by the intricacies of the recipe, but by the flavors and experiences which they produce. With the fall and winter months coming
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Something to Abide By – “The White Russian”

by Jason Lightner November 14th, 2014| Cocktails
biglebowski white russian (400x400)Since we're taking a look at a vodka this week, I figured we may as well peek at one of my favorite vodka cocktails as well. This one traditionally includes dairy, but for those of us who might be lactose intolerant or of the vegetarian/vegan lifestyle, we've got an alternative recipe as well. Let us begin!

Those of you who've experienced the Coen brothers' famed movie, The Big Lebowski (1998), should know all about the White Russian. Jeff Daniels' character, The Dude, has his fair share of this delightful cocktail throughout the film, lending credibility to the White Russian
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Sweet and Savory, “The Godfather”

by Jason Lightner November 7th, 2014| Cocktails
the-bottle-427953_1280Having been the recipient of a fair number of bottles of booze courtesy of turning one year wiser (and not at all less handsome), I'm excited to try out a number of fantastic cocktail recipes I've had on the back burner for quite a while. Having a fully stocked liquor cabinet comes in handy when your goal is to try out new libations. After all, if you're too worried about conservation, you won't be as liberal in experimentation.

I'll be honest — I had an entire new paragraph written that continued the rhyming scheme from the previous sentence. I figured it
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The Redneck Mimosa

by Jason Lightner October 31st, 2014| Cocktails
breakfast-498480_1280Last week we talked about Mama Walker's Maple Bacon Liqueur and its role in helping us craft a fantastic and offbeat Bloody Mary. We're going to deviate from the savory this week, but remain squarely in the brunch seat. You see, brunch is a big staple here in the City of Brotherly Love. Nearly every popular bar has a weekend brunch special, featuring all manner of incredible food and drink. In discussing my Sunday plans with a few friends we got onto the topic of traditional brunch cocktails. The Bloody Mary, the Mimosa, Sangria, the Bellini... All of these classics
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An Eclectic Bloody Mary, “Mama’s Ruby Shoes”

by Jason Lightner October 24th, 2014| Cocktails
bacon-2815It was on clearance and I simply had to get it.

That's a line that might be familiar with some of our readers. That feeling when you see a discounted price and, no matter what your better judgement is telling you, you simply need to make that purchase.

This is the situation I found myself in with Mama Walker's Maple Bacon Liqueur. On the clearance rack at my local Fine Wine and Good Spirits for a measly $8.00, I snatched it up quicker than you can say "science experiments." It's an interesting liqueur, very sweet and perhaps right at home
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Root Beer Float Cocktail — Minus the Ice Cream

by Michele October 17th, 2014| Cocktails, Mixed Drinks
BundabergRootbeerHow can you have a root beer float without the ice cream, you might be asking yourself.  It is pretty simple.  In fact, there's a chewing gum that's root beer float flavored.  Having tried it, I can vouch that it tastes pretty similar to the soda and ice cream treat.  So, why not make a cocktail that tastes like a float?

Of course, you also may be wondering how I came to make a root beer float cocktail in October when the weather has turned chilly. This isn't exactly the time of year when one envisions ice cream-topped treats.  However,
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Wine Smoothie? Wine Slushie? Just Call It Yummy

by Michele October 10th, 2014| Cocktails, Frozen Drinks
wine smoothieWe had a heat wave the last weekend in September. Well, not really a heat wave, but the temperature was in the mid 80s on Saturday and Sunday with mostly sunny skies. That feels pretty warm in New Hampshire at the end of September.  So, after a day spent reading in the sun, working on an outdoor DIY project, and taking a vigorous four-mile walk, a cool drink was in store.

After rehydrating with a couple glasses of water, I began to consider what could be a  refreshing beverage.  I knew there were a few bottles of hard cider in
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Orange and Vanilla Frozen Treat Cocktail

by Michele October 3rd, 2014| Cocktails, Mixed Drinks
orange licor 43 cocktailWe have a bottle of Licor 43 in our bar that taunts me.  When I am feeling creative and want to make something besides a spiced rum and diet Coke or gin and tonic, I look at the various liqueurs we have.  One of those is Licor 43.  I think about its vanilla and spicy flavoring and wonder, What can I do with you?  Then I usually turn to a simple peach margarita or a fruity martini and leave the Licor 43, sad and unused in its compartment.

This past weekend I decided that I would find a way to
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Blueberry Cosmo — A Nice Spin on a Classic

by Michele September 26th, 2014| Cocktails, Martinis
file0002124046793I know, cosmos are so late 90s.  However, every once in a while, they are a fun drink to revisit.  They looks pretty in their martini glasses, they are light and (hopefully) refreshing.  Since I've had my share of the classic cosmo, I like to explore other flavor possibilities.  When I visit a restaurant or bar, I like to peruse their cocktail menu for different options.  Usually I don't order the cosmo, but I keep the different versions in mind to try at home.

I find that I enjoy most blueberry cocktails, which shouldn't be surprising as I have enjoyed
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Hint of Wine Spritzer — Light and Refreshing

by Michele September 19th, 2014| Cocktails, Mixed Drinks
DSC00472Go to almost any bar or restaurant in the summer months and you will find sangria on the menu.  It must be a popular item, as I noticed this year that most establishments offered both a white and a red version.  I like many versions of sangria -- made with white or red wine, garnished with berries or citrus fruits, served by the glass or carafe.  It has become a favorite make at home drink also, both made in batches and individually.

The other weekend we had a quiet Saturday night at home.  We had planned on going out, but
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Almond Joy — It Doesn’t Have to Be a Candy Bar

by Michele September 12th, 2014| Cocktails, Martinis, Mixed Drinks
DSCN4958Dessert cocktails really don't much more for me.  Oh sure, there was a time in my life when a chocolate or espresso martini was an exciting drink.  In fact, I have to admit that sometimes they weren't dessert drinks, they were pre-dinner drinks.  Now, something like that almost never fits anywhere into my drinking repertoire.  Except when I can make it myself to control the sweetness and consistency.

Yes, I am a picky drinker.

I do have sugar cravings, and sometimes it doesn't mean that I want a cookie or piece of candy, just a bit of sweetness to end the
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Blackberry Cider- Dressing up a Bottled Beverage

by Michele September 5th, 2014| Cocktails, Mixed Drinks
blackberry ciderI don't like beer; I never have. I find its taste to be off-putting and not enjoyable in the least. However, having discovered hard cider a couple years ago, I find most to be quite tasty.  (The most does not include ciders that are more beer-like.)  The discovery of hard cider has been quite useful.  When in a bar with a bartender who doesn't seem to know his way around the bar, an order of hard cider (tap or bottle) is much safer than any mixed drink.

It is true that hard cider is just fine on its own.  At
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