Artisanal liquors provide taste of luxury in hard times

Artisanal liquors provide taste of luxury in hard times

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Shattering the taboo against mixing high-end spirits, some bartenders are finding success with upscale cocktails made from artisanal and super-premium liquors. Seen as affordable luxuries, they send some customers reaching for their wallets, offering a rare bright spot amid the recessionary gloom.

"Actually, the economy is helping us," said Toby Maloney, head mixologist and partner of the Violet Hour, a high-end cocktail lounge in Chicago. "We're getting busier. Peopl

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