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Crafthouse Cocktails
Photo by Eric Kleinberg.

These are the dog days of summer, and we?ll admit it: We?ve started skipping steps to make entertaining easier.

So when we heard about Crafthouse Cocktails, the new line of ready-to-drink libations from Charles Joly of the Aviary, we thought: pre-batched drinks endorsed by one of the country?s best bartenders? Sign us up.

?Forget about those sickly sweet margaritas (?alcohol included!?) you once chugged from a plastic bottle at frat parties. These are two dignified classic cocktails (a third flavor is on the way), and we?re surprised at how well they stand up to our homemade versions. ($20 per bottle; all you do is pour over ice.)

?The Moscow Mule, for instance, is a decidedly more ginger-forward take on the traditional vodka drink. You can taste the lime, too--we sometimes forget that all-important garnish, so we appreciate the citrus zing.

?The Southside, a classic gin-based cocktail with origins loosely traced to Chicago?s mob days, is on the stronger side--just how we like it--with distinct hints of lime juice, cane sugar and mint. (Tip: Sip slowly.) ?

This fall, Crafthouse will release its third concoction, the Paloma, a tequila-grapefruit highball that?s our go-to at Big Star. An opportunity to skip the crowded patio and opt for our own back porch? Yes, please.

Crafthouse Cocktails are available at Binny?s, Olivia?s Market, The Goddess and the Grocer and other locations or at

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