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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How to Make Cola de Mono, Chilean Christmas Coffee Punch

Categories: Last Call

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JK Grence
It only looks like an innocent cup of coffee.

Did you remember to make your egg nog a few weeks ago? If you've been playing along at home, you should have a tasty batch of luscious chocolate coquito waiting in your fridge, ready to serve at a quickly upcoming holiday party.

Or maybe something happened. Someone found it and drank the better part of it, not knowing you were saving it for a special occasion. Coquito does have a peculiar way of evaporating despite being in a well-sealed container. (At least, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.) Or maybe you just got so wrapped up in Thanksgiving preparations that the window to make egg nog came and went.


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How to Make a Pitcher of Martinis for Your Thanksgiving Party

Categories: Last Call

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JK Grence
What's better than easy martinis at Thanksgiving? Not much, I tell you.

As I look at the calendar, I realize that my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, is sneaking up on me faster than I'd care to know. The refrigerator is getting filled with all manner of tasty treats, and soon the house will be full of food and friends.

With all the madness of Thanksgiving merriment, for many people a little social lubrication is in order. For some it's to help the holidays feel especially merry and bright. For others... the unofficial slogan of Thanksgiving is "I need a freaking drink."


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Improving Coquito, Puerto Rican Coconut Egg Nog: Just Add Chocolate

Categories: Last Call

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JK Grence
Oh baby, that's what I like!

Count me in as a fan of egg nog. Not that stuff in a carton at the grocery store masquerading as egg nog, mind you, the real stuff laden with egg yolks and cream. And, of course, plenty of brandy and rum.

However, around my house, egg nog has fallen by the wayside. A few years ago, I found something even better: Coquito. It's a Puerto Rican drink that's similar to egg nog, but with the addition of sweet coconut cream.


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