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Cocktail Nuts

Cocktail Nuts
September 2009
Put an epicurean spin on autumn libations with almond-infused tequila

At Upper King hot spot Shine, owner Dean Johnson and his team have assembled a beverage menu that features the same global influences as their fare. Among the slew of lavish signature drinks, the tequila-based Baxter—a Cinco de Mayo special that customers refused to forget—reigns as a popular favorite.

If you want to add a swanky touch to an autumn gathering, look no further than this creative cocktail. Crossing over into epicurean territory, the Baxter combines almond-infused tequila with raspberry and hazelnut liqueurs. Garnish simply with a lime wedge, and you’ve got a decadent alternative to the typical mixed drink.

“Making the tequila requires a couple extra steps, but it’s easy to do at home and well-worth the effort,” says Johnson. To get a strong flavor, “Don’t be afraid to add more almonds than the recipe calls for. Also be sure to puree the infusion to a nice pulp, as you want to extract as much oil as possible from the nuts.” Merely planning a spirited party of two? The leftover puree will last in the refrigerator for about two weeks.

When toasting the start of a new season, just don’t forget: “This drink’s 100 percent alcohol. Sip slowly!”