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Fruit Cocktail

by Brendan G October 16th, 2013| Cocktails, Mixed Drinks
fruit vodkasOver the past few years, there has been an explosion in the flavored vodka market. The first brand I recall doing flavors was Absolut. Their Citron vodka has been a mainstream ingredient for at least 20 years. Stolichnaya was the next major brand to expand their product line by offering some additional flavors like Orange, Raspberry, and Strawberry. But over the last 5-10 years the basic fruit flavors have gotten some more exotic company. Brands like Pinnacle, Three Olives, and Smirnoff have introduced vodka flavors like Peach, Blueberry, Mango, Passion fruit, Pomegranate, Pineapple, Grape and Cherry (just to name
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Pumpkin Pie Martini

by Brendan G October 9th, 2013| Cocktails, Martinis
PumpkinPie cocktailFall is here once again and the one flavor that immediately comes to mind when the leaves start changing colors, is pumpkin. It seems everyone catches pumpkin fever, from pumpkin flavored coffees to pumpkin beers, to actual pumpkin itself. Now is the time to come up with some creative fall themed cocktails. Problem is there isn't much choice in the way of pumpkin flavored spirits.

There are 2 however that come to mind, that would work well in this recipe. The first is Pinnacle Pumpkin Pie Vodka. It is no longer in production (discontinued last year), but it can still
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Svedka Vodka

by Jason Lightner October 8th, 2013| Liquor
bad drinkDown the seemingly endless corridors of south Philadelphia's skinny streets, where the row-homes stand like sweet corn, ready for the autumn harvest, there exists a little abode that goes by the moniker The Bashful Inky. It is here, at The Inky, where a group of comrades shared in an experience so enjoyably unpleasant that one could only cough up a fair warning to others above the howling partygoers.

"Don't take that shot!"

Svedka is a Swedish vodka, distilled five times from Swedish winter wheat. Like most vodkas, it clocks in at 80 proof and packs a punch. Here's the thing about
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A Build-Your-Own Screwdriver Bar

by Dennis Mayer August 20th, 2013| Cocktails
cocktail variationsThe screwdriver is a pretty basic drink -- not even fairly called a cocktail, since it only requires the two ingredients (orange juice and vodka, of course.) As such, we've never written about it. But we've talked about the potential of hosting a breakfast party (or any other kind of party) with a build-your-own screwdriver bar, and since some of you might want more information on that, now should be the time.

As for your base ingredients: fresh-squeezed juice would be best (if not exactly feasible), but failing that, a good quality organic juice is probably the next-best thing. (That
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Old Bay Vodka

by Dennis Mayer July 25th, 2013| Ask the Bartender
old bay pd In my state, Maryland, they've started selling Old Bay seasoning-infused vodka.  It is great in a Bloody Mary.  Any other suggestions of how I could best use this flavorful vodka?

Good lord. Outside of your Bloody Mary, I think anything would be fraught with peril. A simple martini, or a Old Bay vodka and soda, would let the flavor shine through, but wouldn't really add anything else. A dirty martini would maybe add something different, yet mostly complementary to the mix. Maybe it'd work in a margarita (on account of the salt), and the stuff could maybe work if you use
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Vesper Martini

by Dennis Mayer July 23rd, 2013| Cocktails
gins"A dry martini," [Bond] said. "One. In a deep champagne goblet."

"Oui, monsieur."

"Just a moment. Three measures of Gordon's, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it's ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?"

"Certainly, monsieur." The barman seemed pleased with the idea.

- Casino Royale, Ian Fleming

I've written more than once about James Bond and his drink preferences (at least, as he was first written by Ian Fleming.) The cinematic Bond veers toward either tippling vodka martinis exclusively
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White Russian

by Dennis Mayer July 17th, 2013| Cocktails
CONCORD  DIGITAL CAMERAI can't think of a drink that has enjoyed more of a sustained popularity surge from a prominent placement in a movie than the White Russian, the ubiquitous cocktail of choice for Jeff Bridges' "The Dude" in The Big Lebowski. Maybe James Bond's martini order is as well-known, and maybe everyone loves the scene in The Blues Brothers in which John Candy orders up a round of orange whips, but I can't think of any other drink that has become popular almost entirely because it plays a supporting role in a movie. (Maybe PBR, but that's
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Tanqueray Sterling Vodka

by Jason Lightner July 3rd, 2013| Liquor
vodka n lemonTanqueray is a name synonymous with the aromatic botanicals of juniper, licorice, coriander, and angelica; in other words, gin. The company, which began in 1830 as the Bloomsbury Distillery in London, currently produces three varieties of the spirit: Tanqueray London Dry Gin, Tanqueray No. Ten and Tanqueray Rangpur. Interestingly enough, the company also produces several varieties of their gin products that vary the alcohol content, yet these are only available in certain countries.

The discussion for today, however, is not about gin. It is about Tanqueray's much-less touted cousin of gin, Tanqueray Sterling Vodka. Sadly, the company feels so
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Salty Dog

by Dennis Mayer June 26th, 2013| Cocktails, Garnish
saltySeriously, people, we have to quit it with the Gatorade. Yes, as originally developed (and immortalized in recent TV spots), it was a sports drink designed to help replenish the energy of football players contending with both the hot Florida sun and a thick heat-trapping layer of pads. And yes, if you're engaging in some sort of sustained activity in which your brow seems to maintain a constant inch-thick layer of sweat, a sports drink like that can help. We're talking about running a marathon, moving into a fifth-story walkup on
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Russian Standard Platinum

by Jason Lightner May 15th, 2013| Liquor
vodka martiniWe took a look at Russian Standard Vodka a few weeks ago and this week we had the opportunity to try the premium edition of said spirit. Needless to say, we dove right in.

Russian Standard Platinum takes the age-old recipe of a clean and artfully crafted spirit and employs a special silver filtration technique that, combined with a a greater quality of ingredients, creates a vodka that is exceptionally smooth and crisp.

"Uniting a passion for perfection with a daring energy and confidence, Platinum has become the favorite vodka among Russia's booming generation of successful urban

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Skyy Vodka

by Jason Lightner April 24th, 2013| Liquor
skyyVodka has simply dominated the month of April, with three out of my four articles this month being about various brands of the neutral spirit. According to the feedback I've received it's apparently all good, so carry on we shall!

Skyy Vodka began its life in the hands of a San Francisco startup back in 1992 and quickly rose in the ranks among popular brands thanks in no small part to its affordability and smoothness. The manufacturing process utilized a quadruple distillation method in addition to triple-filtering, which produced an easily enjoyable product. This, coupled with the eye-catching blue
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Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka

by Jason Lightner April 17th, 2013| Liquor
smirnoff labelWhen people think vodka one of the first names to come to mind is Smirnoff. Beginning out of a vodka distillery founded in Moscow by Pyotr Arsenievich Smirnov in the 1860's, Smirnoff is both as authentic as it gets, and as synthetic as it gets. Let me explain...

Upon the death of Pyotr Arsenievich Smirnov, the distillery was passed down to his son, Vladimir Smirnov, in the late 1800's. In 1904 the Tsar nationalized the Russian vodka industry and Vladimir Smirnov was forced to sell his factory and brand. Subsequently the Smirnovs decided to flee the country. After some shuffling around of
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