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English Aperol Cocktail

by Michele July 11th, 2014| Cocktails, Mixed Drinks
spirits-295623_1280Continuing my quest to find different uses for Aperol, I played with a variety of ingredients from my liquor cabinet, pantry, and refrigerator.  I have to admit that there were two or three tries that will never see the pages of Parched No More.  One sip, maybe two, confirmed that the cocktail was not worthy of consuming.  However, I was not going to be a quitter; I would persevere until I found a beverage that tasted good and utilized Aperol.

With a little luck, I finally found a combination that worked well- gin, bitters, lemon juice, and Aperol.  I wasn't
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Aperol Cocktail: Sunshine and Summer on the Rocks

by Michele July 4th, 2014| Cocktails, Mixed Drinks
bar-375650_1280Last week I started this series of articles with a simple, sparkling cocktail, the Aperol Spritz.  This week's recipe is just as simple and refreshing.  Paired with vodka, it packs more of a punch than last week's recipe, but it still is fairly tame.  Using vodka as the spirit, there is no fight over which flavor will shine.  The Aperol is the winner in this battle of flavors.

To add more freshness to this cocktail, I suggest muddling an orange wedge.  It will give extra notes of brightness.  Combine the flavors of the muddled orange with the look and smell
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Aperol Spritz: Bubbles with Bite Will Refresh You

by Michele June 27th, 2014| Cocktails, Sparkling
sundowner-344094_640Aperol is one of my favorite ingredients to use in cocktails during the summer months.  This slightly bitter aperitif makes a delightfully refreshing cocktail. Although it can be served on its own as a sipping beverage, that doesn't suit my palate due to its thicker consistency.  However, when added to a little of this and little of that, it makes a delightful cocktail that is perfect for sipping.

I make a few different cocktails, but I will start with the most bubbly of the concoctions.  There's something about sipping a drink that is effervescent on a hot summer afternoon. Between
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Bubbly Berry Lemonade

by Michele June 20th, 2014| Cocktails, Mixed Drinks
berry drinkDuring the workday, my beverages tend to consist of coffee and water.  In winter a cup or two of tea may be added to make the afternoon feel warmer.  In the summer I add seltzer to the mix.  We have a water machine that has a seltzer option, so I can add any flavorings that I like.  My recent favorite is adding a few splashes of lemon juice and a teaspoon or two of simple syrup. This combination produces a mild version of lemonade.  It is slightly sweet and lemony, not a true lemonade but more of a spritzer. 
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Patriotic Cocktail #2

by Michele June 13th, 2014| Cocktails, Mixed Drinks
patriotic cocktail 2So, if Patriotic Cocktail #1 was red (kind of), then Patriotic Cocktail #2 must be. . . blue!  And living a five-minute walk from a blueberry farm, it is quite obvious what would be the main ingredient in this cocktail.  Of course, blueberries aren't in season here right now, but I still have berries frozen from last year's picking.  Of course, if you don't have local berries available, you definitely can use fresh or frozen berries from your store.

Originally, when I planned this cocktail I figured I would rim it with red decorating sugar, making it a mirror image
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Patriotic Cocktail #1

by Michele June 6th, 2014| Cocktails, Mixed Drinks
Patriotic Cocktail 1I am not a bartender, but I do enjoy a cocktail every now and then.  I have my simple go-to drinks: spiced rum and diet Coke, gin and tonic.  However, if it a lazy Sunday afternoon or a weekend evening of entertaining, I like to try my hand at creative combinations. Sometimes the drinks fail (and no evidence is left, such as an article like this), but quite often the recipes  succeed.

One of the key ingredients for this cocktail is Kinky Liqueur, which I discovered while shopping for our Easter egg hunt.  In addition to the nasty Cinnabon Vodka
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Raspberry Margarita

by Michele May 23rd, 2014| Cocktails, Margaritas
margarita imageThere's a local pizza place that my husband and I eat at every once in a while. When we go my food order tends to vary: steak wrap, caesar salad, pulled pork wrap.  Okay, it may not have a great deal of variety, as I tend to stay in two categories, but I definitely switch ingredients within the two.  Regardless, my drink order is almost always the same, a raspberry margarita.

The first time we went there I noticed this drink on their menu and realized that it wasn't a frozen margarita.  I don't order many frozen drinks for two
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Gin & Lemon

by Michele May 16th, 2014| Cocktails, Mixed Drinks
gin_and_lemonIn New Hampshire it was a long winter, which has been followed by a chilly, rainy spring.  So, although it is the beginning of May, there haven't been many opportunities to embrace the return of spring.  So, although we're watching baseball games and getting our yards ready for summer, we really haven't spent much time on the front porch or deck enjoying a refreshing beverage.  It's been far safer to have a glass of cabernet in the living room with a book.

However, there have been a few days where not only were skies blue but the temps were warm
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Repeal Day and Hey Bartender

by Jane Wangersky May 15th, 2014| Ask the Bartender
IMGP7180Repeal Day isn't a national holiday and is unlikely ever to become one, but as repealday.org points out, it's "a day that all Americans have a part in observing, because it's written in our Constitution." It's the anniversary of the day -- December 5th,  1933 -- when the 18th Amendment  went out of effect and it became legal, after 13 years, to buy and sell alcoholic drinks in the U.S.

I'd never heard of Repeal Day till I watched a clip from the 2013 documentary Hey Bartender, showing the annual December 5th party at New York bar Employees Only. Management and
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20th Century Cocktail

by Joe Shotkus May 9th, 2014| Cocktails, Mixed Drinks
20th cent ltd pdThe 20th Century; now here is a classic with a divine combination of quinine, lemon and chocolate that come together subtly to provide a drink with a dense palate and a rare color in modern cocktails, a hazy, almost smog-like brown. Named after the 20th Century Limited train, this commemorative quaff  is not quite a sour and certainly not a martini. I have a hard time finding an appropriate category for this guy here. It sits surprisingly well in spring, and is flavored for dessert, but honestly I could have one of these after a heavy brunch, too. I
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Morning Cocktail for Mom?

by Joe Shotkus May 8th, 2014| Ask the Bartender
file7711314599919We host Mother's Day brunch at our house.  We always serve coffee, tea, and mimosas.  Do you have any suggestions for a light cocktail that would pair well with a later morning meal?  One note, a Bloody Mary is not an option, as the moms in the group don't like tomato juice.

Champagne drinks are the standard, my favorite being the French 75. I started ordering those for my mom when we would have a nice family dinner out at a restaurant and she primarily orders them for cocktails now.

French 75
1.5 ounces Junipero Gin
.5 ounces lemon
dash simple syrup
5 ounces champagne

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Sloe Gin Fizz

by Joe Shotkus May 2nd, 2014| Cocktails, Mixed Drinks
red ginThis week I want to look at one of my favorite warm weather drinks, the sloe gin fizz. It's a very simple drink you can take a long way with proper ingredients. The base is sloe gin, a sloe-infused gin concoction from over the pond. Sloe is a relative of the plum despite looking like evil blueberries. The fruity concoction is thick and lower ABV, making it a nice choice for day drinking.

Sloe Gin Fizz
1 oz Plymouth Sloe Gin
1 oz Bluecoat American Dry Gin
1 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup

Shake all ingredients and strain into a collins
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