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Chasers: Going Beyond the Pickleback

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LIQUOR CHASERS
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Tasting Table | Lizzie Munro

Chasers have traditionally fallen into two not-so-exciting categories: beer and the hot-in-2011 pickleback.

We knew there had to be a way to make chasers lighter, brighter and more interesting, so we asked our food editor, Andy Baraghani, to develop a few fresh-pressed shot chasers for spring. (Yes, even quick fire boozing can be moderately classy.)

"With tequila, lime and salt just don't do the trick," Baraghani says. Instead, he throws some fresh pineapple, jalapeño and cilantro into the juicer and comes up with a vibrant green elixir that packs a flash of heat and a bright herbal punch (see the recipe).

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For bourbon, Baraghani juiced ginger and apple (see the recipe); the ultra-concentrated juice mellows bourbon's natural sweetness. And for that most adaptable (i.e., blandest) of liquors, vodka, we tried a combination of strawberry, Meyer lemon and salt (see the recipe). It rinses out the palate with a surprising salty kick.
Each chaser could, in theory, be mixed with its respective liquor to yield a pretty stellar cocktail, but as shot chasers they created something unexpected: a heady smack of booze and a surprisingly long--and dangerously delicious--fruity finish.

Word to the wise, however: Depending on how many shots you take, you may want to save some juice for the morning after.

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