How to Make a Bermuda Rum Swizzle

Categories: Last Call

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JK Grence
Since the weather is idyllic around here, let's ditch the winter drinks and pull out something bright and summery.

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Chocolate Wine Is Exactly What Not to Get for Valentine's Day

Categories: Last Call

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JK Grence
Should you? Short answer: No. Long answer: Noooooooo.

For some reason, people keep coming to me for advice in romantic matters at least tangentially related to booze. Since I'm behind the stick, I am apparently a relationship expert by default.

Never mind that I've been single for years.

I'm thankful that most people have figured out I'm not the one to ask for dating advice. They've instead turned to asking me what's a good drink to buy or make for their love.


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Vinegar Cocktails Are a Thing; Here's How to Make Them

Categories: Last Call

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JK Grence
It really works. Consider my mind blown.

Since I write about cocktails, I see all manner of ludicrous pitches for new things in cocktails. Usually they're some silly novelty product, e.g. the eye-catching but vile tasting Viniq liqueur. It gets a quick once-over, sometimes a little snicker at the ridiculousness, and then promptly forgotten.

Then, deep in the Chow Bella Secret Lair, one of my colleagues told me something that was one of the craziest cocktailian innovations I've heard recently. Someone told her that when making cocktails, you can substitute vinegar for lemon or lime juice.


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How to Make Rock & Rye (What the Hell Is Rock & Rye, Anyway?)

Categories: Last Call

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JK Grence

A rather old-timey flavor that I've seen pop up here and there lately is Rock & Rye. I've occasionally seen bottles of it collecting dust on a liquor rack bottom shelf. If you're from Detroit, or a Juggalo (you know who you are), then your more common association is with Faygo's Rock & Rye flavor soda.

This largely forgotten potion goes back to well before Prohibition. Even ardent followers of the temperance movement had a bottle in their medicine cabinet despite the high alcohol content.

But just what is rock and rye?


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Tasting Pimm's Blackberry Elderflower, and Making Pimm's Cup the Proper Way

Categories: Last Call

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JK Grence

One of the little luxuries of living in the Phoenix area is that come winter, we get to brag about the mild climate to our friends who are snowed in somewhere back east. One of my favorite ways to do this is by mentioning that while they're stuck salting roads, the only thing I'm salting is a margarita glass.

Of course, one can't live on frozen margaritas alone. Not that I haven't tried when I'm poolside midsummer, but I digress. One of my favorite beverages any time of year is Pimm's Cup, which is both the name of a quintessential British quaff, and the spirit used to make the beverage.


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Make a Carbonated Piston Slinger and Give Your Weekend a Serious Kick

Categories: Last Call

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JK Grence

Can I take a moment to say I'm secretly a little glad that holiday madness has wound to a close? It's fun to go to gatherings with friends and family, and to host gatherings of my own. But now, it's nice to kick back and not do much of anything for a change.

The change of pace has me in the mood for a cocktail with some firepower. A little something to say to the holidays "It was nice to see you, now don't let the door hit your ass on the way out", if you will.

And boy, does this week's cocktail deliver on that end.


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How to Muddle Drinks With Your Blender

Categories: Last Call

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JK Grence
What a gorgeous shade of green, no Midori necessary.

There are certain people who just know exactly what to get someone for Christmas. I'm very fortunate to know someone just like that.

A very good friend picked up a copy of a very fascinating new cocktail book, Liquid Intelligence. Author Dave Arnold has penned one hell of a book, practically a bartender's version of the landmark Modernist Cuisine.


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How to Make a Brown Derby Cocktail

Categories: Last Call

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JK Grence

I'm somewhat reluctant to admit that I love grapefruit and don't have any citrus trees. I know all too well how this story goes this time of year.

Friends get word of the two facts above. Then, they offer to bring me a couple of grapefruit. I graciously accept. Some other friends offer the same thing, usually while I'm obviously distracted so I just give the automatic "yes" nod. I think I'm going to receive a nice slow and steady stream of grapefruit all season long.

Nope, nope, nope.


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How to Make Glögg, Scandinavian Mulled Wine

Categories: Last Call

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JK Grence
Half of a mug is one full serving. May your days be merry and bright, indeed.

I'm all set for chilly weather. Granted, given that I live in Phoenix, I probably shouldn't keep my hopes up. But the mild climate doesn't keep me from enjoying one of my favorite winter beverages, mulled wine.

There's something about a steaming pot of mulled wine that's just a little bit more festive than most other holiday drinks. The communal nature of the drink makes gathering around a roaring fire an especially convivial event.


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Top 5 Holiday Cocktails from Last Call's JK Grence

Categories: Last Call

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JK Grence

Some of you might not realize that I've been writing Last Call for close to three years now. This means if you go back through the Last Call archives, you'll find yourself quite an impressive collection of cocktails.

This also means that if you're looking for a certain style of recipe, there's a whole bunch of other stuff in the archives that you have to slog through to find something that's more to your immediate taste. So, as an early holiday gift to you, this week I've culled five of my very favorite cold-weather cocktails. They're as welcome at a big soirée as they are if it's just a couple of people bundled up around a roaring fire under the stars. I hope you enjoy at least one of them soon, and hopefully several.


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