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Reverse Manhattan – The Perfect Second & Third Drink

In Cocktails by Thomas Fondano4 Comments

I love cocktails. Happy hour is 5 pm daily at our house, usually two rounds. I love Old Fashioneds and Manhattans, but two high-proof cocktails before dinner can be a bit much. As I get older happy hour seems to get shorter.

I love sweet vermouth. (You can learn more about vermouth in Amaro, which I have reviewed for you or visit Some people say they don’t like sweet vermouth. These people are wrong. Vermouth is wine and you need to treat it that way. You wouldn’t leave an open bottle of wine in the back of your cupboard for a year and expect it to be good, would you? No. Refrigerate after opening and use within a couple weeks.

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Big O Ginger Liqueur Review & Cocktails

In Cocktails by Thomas FondanoLeave a Comment

“Big O is a premium ginger liqueur handcrafted from high-quality, all-natural ingredients and artisan-crafted spirits. Prepared with hand-chopped fresh ginger, whole spices, citrus, wine-based vodka, and brandy. Big O is a smooth, warming drink that’s both flavorful and pleasing to the palate. Big O is a superb after-dinner drink, but it is also a versatile base or modifier for creating craft cocktails, giving a fresh twist to classic concoctions or inspiring new creations sure to please any palate.”

Hmmm, no explanation there. Cheeky name aside, Big O is a tasty liqueur in a pretty bottle. Less sharp than other ginger liqueurs, it is also less sweet and more nuanced due to the addition of other spices to complement the ginger. To me, there is something reminiscent of Juicy Fruit gum in the aroma with a nice punch of ginger flavor. It’s very versatile. I recommend substituting it for sweet or fruity liqueurs like orange curaçao. Or combine Big O with club soda to make a hard ginger ale to use in a buck.

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2016 Cocktail Trends and Bourbon

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The average bourbon connoisseur may be vaguely aware of the emergence of a number of trends in the world of craft cocktails. While the more sanguine amongst you may raise a weary eyebrow at the use of ‘artisanal’ ingredients, home-ageing, or fancy garnishes and sparklers, and just ask for another large Pappy on the rocks; what if 2016 does offer some trends that you can apply to your bourbon drinking?

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Bourbon & Ginger Cocktail Recipe

In Cocktails by Erin Petrey1 Comment

According to John Vickers-Smith, the Maker’s Mark “Distillery Diplomat” for the DC area, the Bourbon and Ginger was, in recent years, the most popular bourbon cocktail in DC. With an established and ever-expanding cocktail scene, this is unsurprising. I have found that throughout my bar-going life that the Bourbon and Ginger tends to attract more cocktail-centric folks, as well as bourbon-diehards looking for something a bit lighter to sip. Sometimes, an occasion (or a bar) doesn’t warrant a neat or on-the-rocks pour. And sometimes, you just need a mixed drink.

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Simple, Simple Syrups & Cocktail Recipes

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We all feel it; those last few sad moments when you are about to finish that bottle of bourbon or whiskey. It’s always so hard to say goodbye to that delicious water of life! Especially when it could be a bottle that you really enjoy and may not be able to get your hands on for a while.

So what do you do with your empty bottles? Do you trash them, recycle them or re-use them? For me, it will depend on the bottle, some of the bottles for me aren’t worth saving, but a few are. I’ve used many of my old bottles as olive oil bottles, hand soap dispensers and most recently for my simple syrups.

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Celebrating National Whiskey Sour Day

In Cocktails by Erin PetreyLeave a Comment

With summer temperatures continuing to soar past the 100-degree mark (at least here in Washington, DC), I find myself of the mindset that summer may actually never end. Though I will be happy to shed the need for 75 SPF to protect my rather fair skin and not feel like I am stepping out into a swamp every morning, I will miss the days of pool lounging and patio drinking.

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Burnt Peach and Sage Bourbon Infusion

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Barbecue season is upon us, and if you’re looking for a cocktail recipe to accompany all that grilled meat, look no further than this burnt peach & sage bourbon infusion.

Peaches and bourbon are just two of those flavors that go well together – the recent rise in peach flavored bourbon will tell you that. But even before those folksy artisanal moonshine producers got in on the act, the internet was full of peach and bourbon ice creams and desserts.

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Stay Cool with a Kentucky Mule

In Cocktails by Matt EvansLeave a Comment

Now that we are enveloped in the throws of summer and barbecue season is well underway, it is time to re-open discussions about what adult drinks of choice will complement the fare coming off the grill and keep you cool on the those hot, humid evenings on the back patio.

Lately, I have been finding respite from the sultry conditions in the form of the Kentucky Mule (since we are not reading the website Vodka and Banter, there is no need to even bring up a Moscow Mule). What about the Mint Julep one might ask? Even for a hardened Louisvillian, the julep is an acquired taste that tends to disappear in popularity after the Derby has been run.