Sips & Shots: 50 Shots of America–New Hampshire

We’re already up to our ninth state, New Hampshire, which ratified the Constitution on June, 21, 1788. (So much for coincidental dates, I suppose we can save that lotto ticket!) The Granite State was, of course, one of the original 13 colonies to rise up against British rule and I’m a bit confused as my sources (read as: Wikipedia) claim that our last state, South Carolina, was the first to declare independence from Great Britain and now New Hampshire wants that honor. You know what? Allowing for a certain possibility of error AND the zeitgeist that undoubtedly roosted in the
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Sips & Shots: Wassail!

Here we come a-wassailing Among the leaves so green; Here we come a-wand’ring So fair to be seen. Love and joy come to you, And to you your wassail too; And God bless you and send you a happy New Year. Growing up, I often heard the traditional carol about wassailing sung with caroling in place of the unfamiliar word, leading me to think that wassail was just another word for going around, singing carols to the neighborhood. Makes sense, right? When in actuality, wassail (originally was hál in the Old English) translates to “be in good health/fortunate” and is
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Sips & Shots: Umbrella Drinks

So much for the cold snap! While it may be snowing in parts of the US, in Florida it was triple digits and the only way to make that sort of heat bearable is with something cold and slushy. Enter the frozen beverages most often served with a cute little umbrella perched on top. I don’t think it’s out of line to claim that the Pina Colada is the most often thought-of drink that comes with one of those petite parasols and, when we were getting ready for our cruise (yes, I’m totally milking that trip for every ounce of
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Sips & Shots: Why is the Rum Always Gone?

Because there are so many yummy ways to drink it! When flipping through the index of an extensive beverage reference it became quite apparent that I have many fond memories associated with rum, in one form or another: When I was just a child, about 4 or 5 I’d say, my Aunt Marie was a big fan of Pina Coladas. My grandmother’s living room was fitted with a well-stocked wet bar and, before she added the rum, my Aunt would pour off some of the sweet, pineapple-coconut smoothie into a mini parfait-style glass so I could be a part of
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Sips & Shots: The Mojito

This Cuban drink is currently experiencing its second wind among the cocktail elite, with good reason. It’s tart, refreshing and nice to look at with the muddled mint swirling around the glass. A Mojito is basically lime, mint and rum topped by club soda or sparkling water. In order to release the oils in the mint, a muddler (kinda like a cross between a pestle and a meat mallet) is used to bruise and break up the leaves without destroying their delicacy. (While the back of a wooden spoon can also be used, an actual muddler isn’t very expensive and
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Fruit[y] Cocktails

I’m not a girl who likes her liquor straight. On the contrary, I prefer mine well-mixered and my favorite class of mixer is fruit juice. Frou-frou umbrellas are not necessary and the blender can usually stay in the cabinet, but a good juice-to-booze ratio makes a happy camper of this cocktail chick. I went flipping through my mixology books and found a promising “Mocktail” (a non-alcoholic cocktail, from the book of the same name) that I thought had potential. Even better, I had plenty of fresh strawberries and honeydew melon on hand that the recipe called for. The one criticism
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