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Rakia 101: Making Cocktails With Dor?ol's Kinsman

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To better understand the Serbian moonshine that is rakia (read Ron Bechtol's story on the new Dor?ol Distilling Company in this week's issue) I stopped by the boutique craft distillery on South Flores to learn more. Bartender Nick Kenna, who's in charge of the bar at Dor?ol, mixed a number of drinks ranging from easy to mildly difficult to demonstrate what home bartenders can whip up using a $60 bottle of the apricot rakia or Kinsman. If all else fails, visit Kenna at the bar's distillery at 1902 S. Flores. Bar/tasting hours:5pm-midnight Thu-Fri; 5pm-1am Sat. The first cocktail is a take on the French 75 (made with gin or brandy).
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Sub in rakia for gin or brandy. Serbian 77 1/2 ounce lemon juice 1/2 ounce simple syrup or elderflower liqueur 1 ounce Kinsman rakia 3 ounces bubbles of your choice (Kenna used Prosecco) Combine lemon juice, syrup or elderflower and rakia in a shaker; fill with ice. Shake and strain into flute or large coupe and top with Prosecco. Garnish with lemon twist.
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Rakia subs in for bourbon whiskey. The second cocktail, the favorite so far at the bar, is a riff on an bourbon-based classic. Old Fashioned 1/4 ounce anise-infused brown sugar 3 dashes bitters of choice Splash of water 1 1/2 ounces rakia In Old Fashioned glass, muddle sugar, bitters and water. Add rakia, ice and stir. The third, my personal favorite, was Kenna's take on a hot toddy. He adds whole leaf cardamom/cinnamon tea from Whole Foods in place of water.

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Hot Toddy 3 ounces tea of choice (I say stick with a cinnamon, cardamom or chai blend) 1 1/2 ounces rakia 1/2 ounce lemon juice 1/2 ounce honey simple syrup Orange slice Cinnamon stick Combine all ingredients in a mug. Stir. Grate a dash of cinnamon over the drink and enjoy.

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