Pisco Academy

November 25th, 2015

On Bartender Journey Podcast # 138 we learn all about the South American made Spirit Pisco, mix up some Pisco Sour Cocktails, and talk about using Egg Whites in Cocktails.

Listen with the player on below, on bartenderjourney.net or subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher Radio.

·      Pisco is the native spirit of Peru and Chile.  It is made from grapes, so can be considered a Brandy.  It is usually, but not always, a clear (un-aged) spirit.

·      We will learn all about it with Kappa Pisco Brand Ambasador Anne-Louise Marquis.  We spoke to Anne-Louise in episode #121 about Grand Marnier.

·      Cocktail of the week is Pisco sour.  I followed the recipe on kappapisco.com:

o  2 oz Kappa Pisco

o  1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice, (I used 1 1/4 oz)

o  1 oz Simple Syrup, (I used 3/4 oz)

o  1 Egg White

o  Shake vigorously with ice

o  Strain into a chilled coup glass (or they suggest a champagne flute).

o  Top with a few drops of Angostura bitters for decoration (and taste).

               Book of the Week: Food & Wine Cocktails 2015 Edition.  This is a great book that comes out every year from the editors of Food & Wine Magazine.  They collect cocktail recipes from top bartenders all around the U.S. and mix in some classics as well.  There are great innovative recipes in this book and beautiful photos.  It will be a great addition to your cocktail book collection or a great gift!  (Buy Now on Amazon).

For much more information about this episode and especially using Egg Whites in Cocktails, please visit the show notes on BartenderJourney.net

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Pour A Better Pint & Do Inventory Faster

November 19th, 2015

Pour A Better Pint & Do Inventory Faster

Bartender Journey Podcast # 137

Listen with the player below, or subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher Radio.

·      At the 2015 Hotel Experience Show at the Javitz convention center in Manhattan we got a chance to speak with 2 very interesting people:

o   Greg Elliott of the Chill Rite 32 company

o   Vanessa De Caria from Bevinco

·      The Chill Rite company makes draft beer systems that deliver beer to the tap at 32 degrees (or whatever temp you like), regardless of the temperature of the keg. This system promises zero waste.  We talk to Greg about a lot of issues regarding draft beer. They also make the Frost Rail.  The frost rail is a frozen rail built into the bar surface, which the guest sits their drink on and it keeps it cold!

·      We also speak with Vanessa from Bevinco - a company that has a system for liquor inventory for bars & restaurants that is very fast and accurate.  We’ll learn a lot about doing inventory, (which is such a dreadful task!) 

·      Book of the Week:  Cuban Cocktails 100 Classic and Modern Drinks.  This is a great book from the Manhattan bar Cienfuegos. There are classic cocktails from Cuba, plus lots of modern original recipes.  It’s a really fun book with beautiful photos from Cuba. 

·      Cocktail of the Week is the El Presidente

o   ¾ oz Aged Rum

o   ¾ oz Silver Rum

o   ¾ oz Dry Vermouth

o   ¼ oz Orange Curacao, (I used Grand Marnier)

o   1 Barspoon Grenadine, (I used Jack Rudy)

o   Stir with ice, strain into chilled couple. Lemon twist.

·      Toast of the Week:
“Here’s to the nights we’ll never remember, with the friends we’ll never forget”.

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Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky - Made in South Africa

November 11th, 2015

Bartender Journey Podcast # 136


·      Guest this week is Andy Watts Master Distiller of Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky from South Africa.

·      Bains is made from 100% corn (or maize as it is called it in South Africa).  It is double matured in first fill Bourbon barrels.

·      In South Africa, Whisky is spelled without the “e”, as it is in Scotland, Canada and many other countries.  American Whiskey is always spelled with the “e”.

·      Cocktail of the Week - Cape Mountain Boulevardier:

o   1 ½ oz Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky

o   1 oz Sweet Vermouth

o   1 oz Campari

o   6 drops Sea Salt Saline Solution: (1 teaspoon Sea Salt - Himalayan Sea Salt preferred) dissolved in 1 oz very hot water)

o   Stir in mixing cup with ice.  Strain into Old Fashioned glass with one large ice cube

o   Express oil from a lemon twist into glass

o   Add twist as garnish

·      A Boulevardier is a Negroni but made with Whiskey (traditionally, Rye Whisky), instead of Gin.  I used the Bain’s Whisky and changed the ratio from the 1:1:1 used in a classic Negroni, and did 1.5 oz Whisky, 1oz sweet vermouth and 1oz Campri.

·      If you are not able to acquire Bain’s Whisky try a high-wheat Bourbon such as Larcany (a great bargain), or W.L. Weller, (more expensive, but still a great bargain for such a high quality Bourbon). The Bains is a very soft, mellow whisky, not spicy like a Bourbon that has a lot of rye (like Bulleit, or Basil Hayden). Even though I personally love high rye Bourbons, these have a much different flavor profile than Bain’s.

·      There are very few Bourbons made with 100% corn. There's a great article about this subject in the New York Times.

·      Book of the week:  Discovering The New York Craft Spirits Boom by Heather Dolland.

You don’t have to be from NY to appreciate this book.  Its all about Craft Distilleries of course and there is a lot of knowledge about how spirits are produced in the book.  Heather traveled all throughout NY interviewing distillers.   

·      Bartender Journey will be traveling to Tampa in December 2015! The Tampa chapter of the US Bartenders Guild has a 4 day Repeal Day party. Repeal Day – December 5 1933 is the day alcohol became legal again in the US after Prohibition…a traditional anniversary for bartenders to celebrate!  But the Tampa Repeal Day Party is not all just about celebration -  there are seminars and educational opportunities too.  If you are interested in attending the event or just finding out more about it, its repealdayparty.com

·      Toast of the Week:

"Remember friends... The glass is neither half empty, nor half full... It just needs to be topped off!"

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Liquid Bar Tools

November 5th, 2015

On Bartender Journey Podcast # 135 we talk with “Flavorist” Jamie Beurklian from Bar 40 Bitters.

·      The Bar 40 Bitters are very unique –they come in 4 varieties:
   Sweet, Salt, Sour and Umami (or "savory").

·      A few drops can really change the flavor of your cocktail.  Jamie tells us how the Bar 40 Bitters were originally designed to “fix a problem” with a cocktail.

·      Bar40Bitters.com says their bitters are “based on the five gustatory taste receptors. Each flavor includes the compulsory bitter component and is paired with either sweet, sour, salty or umami (savory) flavor profiles”.  This allows the  cocktail creator to “chose the specific taste profile of their liking for their personalized cocktail creations”.

·      So we’ll make our cocktails of the week during the interview – we do a Manhattan & a Negroni (my 2 favorite cocktails btw!)  We make the Manhattan first with Umami bitters and then add the Sour bitters.

·      Cocktails of the week, provided by Jamie Beruklian:

Manhattan – Recipe #1:
·      1oz rye
·      1oz sweet vermouth
·      0.5 pinch (6-8 drops) of Bar40 Umami
·      stir with ice to desired dilution.
This recipe will give you an ultra smooth experience, the harshness or "burn" of the alcohol just goes away with the strong aromatics of the Umami. I A/B tested it with a standard Manhattan with Angostura. They are Apples and Oranges... Angostura Bitters adds spices notes, which I like, but can be slightly harsh. Bar40 Umami just smooths it right out.  It is reminiscent of a hardy winter's meal. Very easy to drink.
Manhattan – Recipe #2 (adding sour):
·      1oz rye
·      1oz sweet vermouth
·      0.5 pinch (6-8 drops) of Bar40 Umami
·      0.5 pinch (6-8 drops) of Bar40 Sour
·      stir with ice to desired dilution.
·      Orange peel twist for aromatics
·      Garnishing with an orange peel is great. It adds a beautiful orange aroma to it, which is very bright in the nose and makes the drink very desirable. but it just doesn't get enough acid in the drink to brighten it up for the tongue. So if you or who you are serving to wants something more bright, poppy and complex, adding Bar40 Sour just makes it more lively as it reacts with the vermouth. It beings out a beautiful complexity to it. A thinking persons drink.
Its easy to A/B the two recipes as you're building it and you can notice the difference yourself.
Negroni – Recipe #1:
·      1oz Gin
·      1oz sweet vermouth
·      0.5 - 1oz Campari
·      12-16 drops Bar40 Salt
·      Negroni's are classically bitter cocktails. Campari is a wonderful spirit to my tongue. this cocktails bitter complexity makes for an excellent amuse bouche or aperitivo, kickstarting one’s tongue into gear for better tasting your meal. However, many people find the bitterness overpowering. I have had many people refuse a Negroni because they don't like the bitterness. I've realized most North American tongues aren't sensitized to bitterness on their palate. So to help this, adding Bar40 Salt to a Negroni will cut down bitterness of the Campari and let the citrus, grapefruit notes shine. it makes for a wonderful complex drink.  
Negroni – Recipe #1:
·      1oz Gin
·      1oz sweet vermouth
·      0.5 - 1oz Campari
·      12-16 drops Bar40 Salt
·      6-8 drops Bar40 Sweet
In this cocktail, I made the Campari a variable. Because the Bar40 Salt will not totally kill ALL the bitterness in the drink (Bar40 Bitters still has bitter in them) yet you still want some bitterness which makes it a Negroni, so you can adjust the volume of Campari to the right level of taste based on your palate. However, Sweet perception is another taste that will help suppress bitterness. So to further add complexity to our drink, adding Bar40 Sweet will also help cut the Campari down. This opens up a bouquet of scents and tastes and makes for a truly complex and wonderful drink that wets your appetite and gets you in the mood to appreciate further food or cocktails.


·      Book of the week:  Well, I was planning to make the book of the week 901 Very Good Cocktails - A Practical Guide, but much to my surprise, it is sold out and only available on Amazon used for $360.05 (plus $3.99 shipping)!  We have a short interview with the author Stew Ellington recorded at Tales Of The Cocktail 2014.  The book is also available as an app for iOS for $3.99.

·      Toast of the week:

A toast is a boast or other compost

To a guest or the host or one we love most;

To a wink or or a girl that is pretty in pink --

Or any old thing, only for a chance to drink.

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Mezcal with Misty Kolkofen

October 29th, 2015

Mezcal with Misty Kolkofen

This week on Bartender Journey Podcast # 134 we talk with Misty Kolkofen from Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal about this intriguing, yet sometimes misunderstood, spirit.

Take a listen the show with the player below or subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher Radio.  Misty shares a plethora of Mezcal knowledge and education, (and we share some copitas of Del Maguey)!

Sales of Mezcal in the United States and around the world are growing quickly (up 72% in a decade according this article on thespiritsbusiness.com).  Mezcal has been made in Mexico for many generations, often with recipes and methods being handed down through family lines.  Mezcal is made from the heart of the agave plant, called the Pina.  Agave plants can take 7-12 to even 30 years in some cases, to reach maturity before they can be harvested, roasted (or steamed), and then turned into Mezcal.

Tequila is a “sub-set” of Mezcal.  While Tequila can only be made from Blue Weber Agave, Mezcal can be made from a variety of Agave types.

Cocktail of the Week, (From Del Meguay’s web site)



Created by Lucas Paya: SLS Hotel and Wyatt Peabody, BonSavant.com, LA 


2 oz. Del Maguey San Luis del Rio Mezcal (I used Minero)

1 oz. Blood orange - fresh squeezed (I used a ‘standard’ orange, sprinkled it with turbinado sugar, and broiled it before juicing).

1/2 oz. Lime juice - fresh squeezed

3/4 oz. Agave syrup

1/4 oz. Campari

3 dashes Regan’s orange bitters

1 Luxardo Cherry -soaked in Mezcal – I used a Jack Rudy Cherry

1 Orange wheel.

Pour first six ingredients in a mixing glass; add ice, shake, strain into old-fashioned glass with fresh ice.  Garnish with orange wheel and Marasche cherry.

For good measure, a copita of Del Maguey Mezcal should be served on the side (cherry optional). Enjoy.

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October 22nd, 2015

Join us for a Sazerac and learn about the history of this iconic New Orleans Cocktail!


The Official Sazerac Cocktail



·      1 cube sugar

·      1½ ounces (35ml) Sazerac Rye Whiskey or Buffalo Trace Bourbon

·      ¼ ounce Herbsaint

·      3 dashes Peychaud's Bitters

·      Lemon peel



                Pack an Old-Fashioned glass with ice

                In a second Old-Fashioned glass place the sugar cube and add the Peychaud's Bitters to it, then crush the sugar cube

                Add the Sazerac Rye Whiskey or Buffalo Trace Bourbon to the second glass containing the Peychaud's Bitters and sugar

                Empty the ice from the first glass and coat the glass with the Herbsaint, then discard the remaining Herbsaint

                Empty the whiskey/bitters/sugar mixture from the second glass into the first glass and garnish with lemon peel


The Bar Institute will be going on tour next year -  hitting six key cities across the US.

       Austin, TX in February 2016

       Baltimore, MD in April 2016

       Phoenix, AZ in May 2016

       Miami, FL in August 2016

       Portland, OR in September 2016

       And finally... New York in October 2016



Tips for making a great toast:  Don't get ahead of yourself! When Queen Louise of Prussia met the conquering Napoleon she drank to him:

To the health and kindness of Napoleon the Great. He has taken our states, and soon will return them to us." Napoleon bowed and replied, "Do not drink it all, Madame."

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Authentic Caribbean Rum

October 16th, 2015

Authentic Caribbean Rum

Bartender Journey Podcast # 131

·     This week we attend the ACR Authentic Caribbean Rum event in Brooklyn.

·     The ACR is a distiller’s association.  A group of distillers from the Caribbean Islands plus Belize in Central America and Guyana and Suriname in South America got together and decided that they wanted to set up some standards and a have a seal of quality and integrity.  And also they of course they promote their rums and rum education.

·     Jason Cousins was the presenter. I did a little interview with Jason after the event.

·     We are also talk to Washington DC Bartender and listener of Bartender Journey Walter Raubeson.  Walt is also a member of the DC Craft Bartenders Guild

·     BarSmarts Advanced is coming to San Diego on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 and Minneapolis on Wednesday, November 11, 2015. BarSmarts Advanced is a full-day of instruction, education, hands-on mixology, testing and certification that takes place in select cities each year. Hosted by Pernod Ricard USA, and BAR, LLC, these events are a day of challenge, learning, and fun.

·     Book of the week: The Dead Rabbit Drinks Manual: Secret Recipes and Barroom Tales from Two Belfast Boys Who Conquered the Cocktail World. It was just released on 10/13/15.  Using the Amazon links on the bartenderjourney.net web site help support the podcast and does not cost you any extra.

·     Please visit our Tip cup page to help support the show and/or leave a review on iTunes. Bartender Journey needs your support!

·      Cocktail of the week is an autumn drink with hard apple cider: Orchard Flowers


·      Orchard Flowers

               3/4 oz. Gin

               3/4 oz Elderflower Liqueur

               Splash Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice

               5 oz. Hard Apple Cider


Shake Gin, Elderflower & Lime Juice.  Add cider.  Strain into Chilled Cocktail Glass.  Garnish with Lime.


·     “Take aways” from the ACR rum seminar.

·     Rum is made in many different countries and even in this one particular region – the Caribbean – there is a large spectrum of cultures and even languages.  And as a result, the rums are quite diverse.  There are many things of course that effect the outcome of the final product, but probably the biggest influences are:

o  Whether it was distilled from Sugar Cane Juice or Molasses

o  Distilled in Pot still or Column still

o  Aging / Wood

o  Blending

·     Interestingly where the sugar cane is grown does not seem to have much influence. 

·     In very general terms, Rums made from Sugar Cane Juice will be a little lighter (or delicate?) and Molasses rums will be richer (and to me tastier!) 

·     On future episodes of Bartender Journey - interviews with:

o  Martin, who is a bartender and podcast listener from England

o  Misty who is Brand Ambassador for Del Maguey Mezcal

o  Andy Watts who makes an the amazing Bain’s Whisky in South Africa

·     Toast of the week: To friends: as long as we are able,
To lift our glasses from the table.

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Craft vs. Mass Produced Spirits

October 8th, 2015


Craft vs. Mass Produced Spirits

Bartender Journey Podcast number 130

·      Can you really taste the difference between mass produced and craft spirits?  I tend to think that in many cases you can…most especially in Gin and Rye Whiskey.  We’ll talk with Nick Yoder from Journeyman Distillery in Michigan.

·      MGP Ingredients, in Lawrenceburg, Indiana is a commercial distillery which since 1941 has been offering alcohol for wholesale purchase.  Some brands purchase spirits from MGP and bottle it under their own brand name, (sometimes barrel aging &/or other additional processes before bottling).

·      A Chicago man successfully filed a class-action lawsuit against Templeton Prohibition Era Rye Whiskey for deceptive practices.

·      Book of the Week:  The Negroni, Drinking to La Dolce Vita, with  Recipes & Lore by Gary ‘gaz’ Regan

·      Cocktail of the Week:  Rosemary Salted Negroni:

o   Toast fresh Rosemary and Sea Salt in a pan until the Rosemary releases it fragrance.  Discard Rosemary.

o   Using a sliver of Grapefruit, moisten the rim of an Old Fashioned glass.  Dip glass into prepared Rosemary Salt to rim the glass.

o   Add ice to glass, (ideally one large hand cut ice cube).

o   In a mixing glass add:

§  1 ¼ oz Gin, (I used Journeyman Distillery’s Bilberry Black Heart Gin)

§  1 oz Sweet Vermouth, (I used Martinez Lacuesta from Spain

§  1 oz Campari

§  Ice

o   Stir and strain into prepared glass

·      On the subject of Craft, during Tales 2015 distiller Chip Tate said during one of the seminars “I love Craft.  What is it??!”  He talks about how it started with beer and the eat local movements.  He talked about his barrels and how he checks each & every one personally when it arrives and he says he “learns things from his barrels”.


·      We also have audio from Tales Of The Cocktail 2015 – we chat with Marco Montefiori, US Market Manager for Amaro Montenegro.   Recipes from Amaro Montenegro’s event at Tales of the Cocktail 2015:


·      Monte Manhattan

-        2 oz. Amaro Montenegro

-        1 oz. Sweet Vermouth

-        2 oz. Prosecco

-        1 oz. Gin

-        Orange Bitters

-        Orange Peel

·      Montenegroni

-        1.5 oz. Amaro Montenegro

-        1.5 oz. Rye Whiskey

-        A Splash of Maraschino Liqueur

-        Garnish with 3 Brandied Cherries

The Monte Mule

-        2 oz. Amaro Montenegro

-        1 oz. Lime Juice

-        1.5 oz. Vodka

-        .25 oz. Peach Liqueur

-        3 oz. Ginger Beer

-        Mint Sprig

·      Toast of the Week:  Here’s to alcohol, the rose colored glasses of life.  —F. Scott Fitzgerald



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Not So Simple Cocktail Syrups

September 29th, 2015

·      This week we talk to Joe Raya, owner of the Gin Joint in Charleston, South Carolina.  He & his wife also make delicious syrups for bartenders called Tippleman’s.  There are 6 varieties and they are all awesome:

o   Burnt Sugar

o   Island Orxata

o   Falernum

o   Ginger Honey

o   Lemon Oleo Saccharum

o   Barrel Smoked Maple

·      Its Bartender Journey Podcast # 129 !

·      First lets do a cocktail of the week!  Its a Bourbon/Maple Old Fashioned using the Tippleman’s Barrel Smoked Maple syrup.  The syrup is made using barrels from Willett Distillery. I used about ½ oz.  I happened to have a lovely bottle of Willet Pot Still Reserve Bourbon, so I figured lets use that in our Old Fashioned!  It’s a pretty incredible Bourbon and it’s tempting to just drink it neat or with one ice cube, but I used it anyway -- 2 oz of Willet Bourbon in my quite decedent Old Fashioned.  I used Basement Bitters from Tuttletown distillery.  These are the guys that make the great Hudson Whiskey among other things and their bitters are great!

·      If you don’t have any Tippleman’s syrups yet, consider ordering some at tipplemans.com.  But meanwhile, try experimenting with a good quality maple syrup in your old fashioned.  Grade B is what is recommended for using in cocktails.  You might consider mixing it with a little hot water to make it easier to mix into your cocktail.  And if you don’t have the Basement Bitters, try substituting other aromatic bitters – Angostura is of course an awesome choice and widely available, but perhaps try experimenting with a few other brands too!

·      To make an Old Fashioned – mix the sugar (or syrup in this case) with the bitters in the bottom of your Old Fashioned or rocks glass.  Add the whiskey and some ice – ideally one big hand-cut ice cube and a twist.  Usually it would be an orange twist in an Old Fashioned, especially if it were a Rye Old Fashioned, but I used lemon in this case.  A little extra citrus “zing” from the limon goes better with the Bourbon and maple flavors.

·      Book of the week is Its All About The Guest by Steve Difillippo. 

·      The subtitle of this book is Exceeding Expectations in Busines and in Life The Davio’s Way.

·      Steve is a great businessman.  In his book he has lots of great lessons for us, including: “every decision you make: is this going to make things better for the guest?”

·      There will always be demanding guests who are ready to get upset about nothing.  They will require a lot of attention, but you can’t let that distract you from the other guests.

·      Figure out how much it costs to make what you are selling, otherwise you may be loosing money without even knowing it.

·      Its not just WHAT you do, its how people PERCEIVE what you do.

·      Our Toast this week: ‘tis better to spend money like there's no tomorrow
 than to spend tonight like there's no money!


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End of Summer Tiki Party!

September 23rd, 2015

This week we raise a glass and toast the Summer of 2015 with some Tiki talk (& Tiki Cocktails!)

It’s Bartender Journey Podcast # 128 - Tiki Edition!

Listen with the player below or subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher Radio.

We talk with Nicole Weston – coauthor of Tiki Drinks -Tropical Cocktails for the Modern Bar.

·      Since it’s a Tiki Party , let’s get to our cocktail of the week right away!  Its an authentic Mai Tai.  We will use the recipe from Nicole’s book:

o   1 oz aged rum

o   1 oz rhum agricole a style of rum originally distilled in the French Caribbean islands from freshly squeezed sugar cane juice rather than molasses.  I didn’t have any on hand, so I substituted Lablon Chasasa, which is the Brazilian spirit distilled from sugar cane juice.  We talked about Cashasa in episode #124.

o   ½ Orange Curacao

o   ¾ oz Lime Juice

o   ¼ oz Orgeat

o   ½ oz Simple Syrup

o   Shake that all up serve over crushed ice

During the interview we talk about:

·      Different kinds of rum/different regional styles

·      The book’s great photographs and fun garnishes!

·      Syrup recipes used for making Tiki Drinks

·      The “lineage” of Tiki in the US is well laid out in the book:

o   Don’s Beachomber Café in LA 1934 (Later renamed Don the Beachcomber).

§  During Prohibition (1920-1933) Rum was not too hard to get.  After Repeal, Americans went back to gin and whiskey. Rum supplies were high and the price was low.  Don the Beachcomber used that to his advantage.

§  The place was popular with the Hollywood stars.

§  Recipes were secret…even the bartenders didn’t know all the ingredients they were using!

o   Victor Bergeron (Trader Vic).

§  Owned a bar in Oakland CA & in 1937, he transformed it into a Polynesian “Paradise” – he called Trader Vic’s.

§  He franchised and about a dozen of those are still in operation!

o   These places were popular, but the craze really took off after WWII when servicemen returned from the South Pacific & Hawii.

·      Tiki Revival now – why?

§  Inspired by the Fresh Juices of the cocktail movement?

§  Renewed interest in cocktail history?

§  Tiki drinks are not meant to be taken too seriously, (maybe nice contrast to some cocktail bars that do!)

·      Also mentioned on the show this week – Beachcomber Berry’s Drinks of the Caribbean.

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