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Virginie Boone is a Sonoma Valley-based wine writer. She has reported on the Northern California wine scene for the Santa Rosa Press Democrat and its affiliate food and wine magazine, Savor, covering breaking news as sudden as Robert Mondavi's passing and trend stories as broad as consumer confusion over the sprawling Sonoma Coast appellation. She has served as managing editor of 7x7 Magazine in San Francisco and is a longstanding travel writer for Lonely Planet and Rough Guides as well as the author of "Napa Valley and Sonoma." She earned a Master's in Journalism from Stanford University.

Bobby Burns cocktail. Credit: Teri Lyn Fisher

Everyone loves reading and drinking, right? Or maybe it's drinking and reading. So these great books about cocktails would be perfect presents for just

The Bloody Bull. Credit: The Lanesborough Hotel, London

An arranged marriage between vodka and tomato juice, infinitely customizable with an assortment of stalk-like accoutrements, the Bloody Mary is thought to have been

Sagatiba Pura Caipirinha. Credit: Courtesy of Campari America

Americans have always loved rum, but it tends to be pigeonholed as a party drink, the base for daiquiris and Mai Tais but not

Cucumber Mint Rickey.

Your backyard garden is a treasure trove of inspiration for creative cocktails that don't take hours of infusing or scouring for obscure ingredients known

Aloha Mary cocktail from Ocean Vodka. Credit: Jessica Pearl

Hawaii has always had a cocktail culture -- as evidenced by such drinks like the Mai Tai, Piña Colada and Blue Hawaiian -- but

Road to Rosarita cocktail. Credit: Prospect restaurant

Everybody loves strawberries, to eat or even to drink. And their appeal in cocktails goes beyond the ever-popular strawberry margarita. [aside] "Strawberries lend themselves to

Sangria. Credit: iStockphoto

Sangria is a simple concoction of fruit, sugar, water and wine and a staple in sunny, tapas-minded Spain. Grown-up fruit punch, it's refreshing and

Silver Coin margaritas. Credit: Courtesy of Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi in Santa Fe

Cinco de Mayo is a pretty straightforward holiday -- no gifts, no elaborate rituals -- but that doesn’t mean you have to succumb to