5 PITCHERS FOR SUMMER COCKTAILS

Summer living should be easy – and so should your plan for entertaining when the mercury shoots up. Forget fussing over individual cocktails. Mix up a big batch of drinks instead and let guests serve themselves so you can get back to the fun part: hanging out. Here, we’ve rounded up the best summery cocktail pitchers to match your personal style.

Expensive and timeless: Crystal and pewter lend an heirloom vibe to this handsome handmade pitcher.
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3 FAVORITE AMERICAN CRAFT GINS

Like a white button down shirt, crisp, classic London dry gin will never go out of style. But come warmer weather, we want something just a little more fun.

Enter American-style gin. Alternatively known as “new Western” or “International,” this freeform style has become the go-to for craft distilleries that are looking to make a distinctive mark.

While traditional gin has a piney juniper-forward signature, these new bottles amplify the other elements in the botanical mix (the herb and spice combo that flavors gin), which can include anything from citrus peel or cardamom to jasmine and bay laurel. The base spirit often (but not always) has a sweeter, softer profile to help bring balance.
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SUMMER’S FINEST

Blackberries make (almost) everything better. Take this riff on the classic Tom Collins, for example.

The basic Collins is pretty much summer-in-a-glass, made from gin, lemon juice, sugar and soda water. It's bubbly, refreshing and just the slightest bit herbal from the gin – everything you need on a sweltering day.

But for a seasonal twist, we like to add in some muddled blackberries and swap the sugar for a more mellow honey syrup. The sweet tart character of the berries adds a deeper dimension to the drink and the honey helps tie everything together. And that gorgeous red color? We'll take two, please.
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IN PRAISE OF THE PALOMA

There will always be a place in our hearts for a well-made margarita. But this summer we’ve been crushing hard on the Paloma—Mexico’s other great tequila drink.

Made from tequila, lime juice and sparkling grapefruit juice, it’s got all the right things going for it: easy, bubbly, refreshing and the prettiest shade of coral pink. And it’s versatile to boot, working equally well as a brunch-time day drinker or as an aperitif come sunset.

Some notes about the preparation: Salt the rim of the glass if you like that sort of thing, but it’s not necessary. For a smoky twist, use mescal instead of tequila. And if you don’t have sparkling grapefruit juice on hand (we like Izze’s or Gus’s), you can DIY with a mix of fresh grapefruit juice, club soda and simple syrup to taste.
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A Five-Star Stay for the Five Senses – Partner Proof

From cosy jerk chicken stands along Seven Mile Beach to Wine Spectator noted chef’s tables in Camana Bay, the Cayman Islands boasts a delectable range of restaurants. Home to spots from renowned names such as Cindy Hutson, Dean Max, and James Beard Award Winner Michael Schwartz, the destination has long been lauded by epicureans the world over.
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Are these the five best bars in the United States?

The James Beard Foundation announced the final nominees for this year’s awards yesterday, which are considered by food and drink insider type-folks to be very prestigious. The whole list is worth a browse, but we’re already updating our travel plans to visit and revisit the nominees for best bar programs, as listed below. Road trip anyone?
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Spring Bee’s Knees

Though we tend to think of gin as a high summer type of spirit—June means an endless stream of gimlets, G&Ts, Southsides—pioneering craft distillers are showing that it can age well in barrels too.
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Spring glassware

While losing an hour of sleep to Daylight Savings is a drag, it does mean good things are on the way (answer: longer days and warm weather.) And that’s our cue to get a jump on spring cleaning.To spruce up our barware for this season of renewal, we’re liking clean lines, minimal design and lots of natural materials, such as wood and glass. Yes, it can look a little spare, but once they’re filled with some fun cocktail, we like that an understated glass can let the drink shine.
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Mezcal Blood and Sand

Winter 2015: The Neverending Story has us rummaging around in the back of our liquor cabinets, dusting off bottles that we rarely use--bottles like Cherry Heering. Not that we don’t appreciate the cherry flavored brandy in summery concoctions like the Singapore Sling—it’s just that we tend to forget about it. Until we have snow day after snow day, that is.
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