Some cocktails seem worthy of making based on the name alone, regardless of what’s in them. Since reading that there was a cocktail called a Sidecar 20 years ago, I’ve wanted to make one. But the brandy threw me off. Brandy is an after-dinner sipper, not a mixer. And if it’s just brandy, rather than Cognac, why bother at all? And if it is Cognac, why mix it? But damned if the Sidecar didn’t keep itchin’ at my heart, wanting to be scratched. I loved it for its simplicity, 2 parts brandy, 1 part orange liqueur (such as Cointreau), 1 part lemon juice (which seemed like a lot of lemon—¼ lemon juice). I happened to be shopping at a good independent grocery store here in Cleveland called Heinen’s, and they had a basket of Meyer Read On »

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American cider has been increasing in popularity here is a preview of what is brewing in the US, via WSJ.

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  More than any other type of post, readers have asked for a Friday cocktail post and so, for the fall at least, starting next Friday, we will return to posting on classic or great cocktails. Let me know if there’s a specific cocktail you’d like to see covered, or photographed (I think one of my all-time fave Donna pix is of the Paloma; refreshes me just to look at it). Thanks to all for your encouragement to return to this noble and important subject! —M.R. Cocktails made thus far. Dark and Stormy Gin & TonicLa Paloma Manhattan Martini The Berkshire Martinez Mint Julep Mojito Moscow Mule Negroni Whiskey Sour

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A refreshing recipe for thai basil watermelon margaritas, via Bob Vivant.

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  When it’s really muggy, and I’m fried from work, and stress, and travel, and I just want something cold and guzzlable, inexpensive hooch is the way I go. I’m too much of a cheapskate to waste the expensive stuff on a guzzle, especially one filled with an ocean of tonic and a couple good squeezes of lime. Furthermore, it’s senseless to dilute delicious Beefeater or Hendrick’s (my two favorite gins) with a lot of tonic. And there are days when I simply don’t want to bother with a shaker and egg white, have no desire for a sip of expensive reposado, and don’t have the patience to weigh the goddam bitters—just give me something cold and refreshing that will take the edge off this Friday afternoon brain sizzle, NOW. Fast. Ahh, the Gin and Tonic. Only Read On »

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