Tagged With drinks

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The ability to pay attention to the little things is a quality all truly skilled hosts possess. A little bowl for olive pits, a scented candle in the bathroom, and a chilled cocktail glass all show that you care about your guests' comfort and their overall party experience.

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There was a point in my mid 20s where I had a solid four-beer-a-day habit. At the time I was dating a brewer and my entire social life just happened to be tied to beer. Going out at night to meet friends for a beer or cracking open a few bottles a pal had brought back from a recent trip (or that my boyfriend had just made) was just what we did. Those four beers were probably consumed over an eight hour period, so I wasn't getting wasted every night, but even then at one point I had a moment of reckoning with myself and made moves to cut back.

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When it comes to fancy beverage flights and pairings, alcohol seems to have all the fun, but there are many non-potent potables that benefit from a little comparing and contrasting.

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I studied in France in university and brought a decent amount of French wine home with me. Some of that wine got consumed with friends pretty much immediately, but a few bottles I’ve held on to and moved from apartment to apartment over the years, saving them for a “special” occasion.

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Cocktail syrup is very easy — some would say “simple” — to make. Dump some sugar in some water, heat it until it dissolves, let it cool. If you want a flavour other than “sweet”, you can boil some sort of plant part in the water to impart something special. However, in the case of ginger syrup, this route can give you a dull, not-so-spicy syrup with a “cooked” sort of flavour.

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Bitters are basically the spices of the cocktail world, and just a few dashes or drops can round out a drink or give it a bit of depth. Dashing them right into the glass is fine (obviously), but by freezing some of the gentian-infused liquid into a big ol' cube, you get a drink that gets a little more special as you drink it.