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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Should You Age Egg Nog For a Whole Year?

Categories: Last Call

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JK Grence
It's time for one of my favorite sights to see in my refrigerator.

It's getting to be that magical time of year when thoughts turn to egg nog. In recent years, I've seen a lot of discussion regarding proper egg nog making technique. To be specific, I'm talking about how long to let egg nog sit in the refrigerator before drinking it.

Due to the inclusion of raw eggs in many an egg nog recipe, quite a few people think it's best to consume it the same day that you make it. It turns out that you can make your egg nog several weeks in advance, and it tastes better than if you made it the same day.


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The Pink Lady Cocktail: Silly Name, Serious Drink

Categories: Last Call

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JK Grence
It only looks sweet and innocent.

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet."

I keep trying to tell myself that it's always true. But let's face it, sometimes you see a product with a name so horrible that you can't bring yourself to try it.

This week's cocktail is fantastic, one that I love making for people when they're in the mood to try something different. But I always tell them the name after I've served it to them and they tell me they like it.

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The Science of the Salty Dog

Categories: Last Call

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JK Grence

The other day when I was behind the stick, one of my guests ordered a drink that I haven't made in a while, a Salty Dog. It's one of those basic drinks that you learn early on as a bartender, then almost never make because hardly anybody orders them anymore.

It's a variation on the Greyhound, a highball consisting of nothing more than vodka and grapefruit juice. The ingredient that turns a Greyhound into a Salty Dog is easy enough to figure out: salt. Specifically, it gets salt on the rim of the glass, just like on a Margarita.

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How to Make Brain Hemorrhage Shots for Your Halloween Party

Categories: Last Call

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JK Grence
Eww, gross! (But that's the point.)

In last week's Last Call, I got to show off a punch recipe with a sanguine hue. It's great for just about any variety of Halloween party you can imagine, especially one that leans more toward the sophisticated end of the Halloween party spectrum.

However, there's a lot of fun to be had in silly, kitschy Halloween parties. You know the kind. People dress up as lascivious versions of... well, pretty much anything you can imagine. And there's probably going to be lots of shots.


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How to Make Halloween Black Currant Blood Punch

Categories: Last Call

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JK Grence
Oooh, spooky.

I'm more than a little excited that Halloween is almost here. Part of my excitement is that Halloween parties can be some of the most enjoyable soirées of the year. The mix of spooky kitsch and childhood nostalgia is irresistible.

Of course, now that we're grown-ups, our Halloween parties are a little more fun thanks to the addition of spooky cocktails. But there's a problem with a lot of Halloween cocktail recipes.

They suck.


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