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Imbibe's Holiday Cocktail Book Features Coveted Recipes from Portland Bartenders

Dust off your shaker, it's cocktail season.

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Anyone can open a wine bottle or crack open a beer, but cocktails by their very nature require a little extra effort — like cooking, but with beverages.

So when you hand your guest a cocktail, you're sending them the message that they're special, and the night is, too, which is why most of us are re-stocking our bar carts right about now. But if we're going to offer more than G&Ts, we need some recipes. And if we're going to sacrifice our pricey top-shelf liquor, they better be good recipes.

Just in time, Imbibe Magazine, which is based here in Portland, collected holiday cocktail recipes from some of the most talented bartenders in the country in its new book "Cocktails for the Holidays: Festive Drinks to Celebrate the Season" (Chronicle Books, $19.95). From warm toddies to spiced punches, the recipes toe the all-important line between inventive and actually do-able. There's also expert advice on entertaining and serving.

Several seasonal drinks from Portland bartenders made the cut, including Jeffrey Morgenthaler's (Clyde Common, Pepe Le Moko) ridiculously good Anejo Tequila and Amontillado Sherry Eggnog, Dave Shenaut's (Raven & Rose) St. Knut's Day sparkling cocktail featuring Krogstad Aquavit, and Brandon Wise's (formerly of Imperial) Dutch Cocoa made with genever and green Chartreuse.

This spiced toddy from Douglas Derrick (formerly of Nostrana and now at Raven & Rose) caught our eye as the perfect pre- or post-Thanksgiving sipper. You can make a big batch of the base and keep it warm in a Crock-pot, then add spirits and bitters to each mug individually.

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