Viewing entries in
Montanya Mixology Series

Monthly Bartender Series - The Hornet

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Monthly Bartender Series - The Hornet

In our March Bartender Feature, we talk with Laura Banning of The Hornet in Denver, Colorado.

The Hornet was one of our very first bar/restaurant supporters in Denver when our distillery was just getting its start.  They have been committed to featuring our rums on their cocktail menu for YEARS and we couldn't be more full of appreciation for this amazing place. This year, Montanya Distillers celebrates our Tenth Anniversary and we will bring the party to Denver to host a party at The Hornet on May 20th.  Details to come, stay tuned!

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Monthly Bartender Series - The Farm Bistro

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Monthly Bartender Series - The Farm Bistro

In this December bartender feature, we talk with Laurie Hall of The Farm Bistro in Cortez, Colorado. Since 2009, The Farm Bistro has been serving the best produce and meat from their back yard in Montezuma County. Their “comfort food with style” menu offers homemade (and award-winning!) simplicity in a warm and lively atmosphere. They have an all-Colorado beer, wine and spirits lounge, with a delicious prickly-pear Montanya cocktail. If you are in the area, be sure to stop in!

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Monthly Bartender Series - Moonlight Pizza

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Monthly Bartender Series - Moonlight Pizza

Some of the very original bars and restaurants that embraced Montanya Rums when we started nearly 10 years ago were in rural Colorado. These have been some of our most consistent and growing customers since the early days. While the big cities were still getting used to the idea of small craft distilleries back in 2008 and 2009, small venues in the mountains were saying a resounding "yes" to local products made with care. Moonlight Pizza was one of our early customers and has been a consistent purveyor of great cocktails.  It is well worth building your ski, bike or kayaking vacation around a sunny afternoon on their patio in Salida.   

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Monthly Bartender Series - TacoParty

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Monthly Bartender Series - TacoParty

We are longtime street taco fans and we so rarely see this done right. But hold onto your sombrero, friends, because Josh Niernberg of Bin 707 and now TacoParty in Grand Junction, Colorado has done it again!  Incredible street tacos, maybe the best guacamole we have ever had, fantastic atmosphere, casual setting, and, you guessed it, fantastic Montanya Rum cocktails.   

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MONTHLY BARTENDER SERIES - SOCIAL of FORT COLLINS

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MONTHLY BARTENDER SERIES - SOCIAL of FORT COLLINS

This month in our bartender series, Montanya Distillers visits with the bar staff at SOCIAL in Fort Collins.  Three key bar staff converse with us about why they enjoy making rum cocktails, a favorite Montanya rum cocktail recipes, and what makes Social such a unique cocktail destination.

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MONTHLY BARTENDER FEATURE - SNOOZE AM EATERY

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MONTHLY BARTENDER FEATURE - SNOOZE AM EATERY

What better way to start your day than a Montanya Rum brunch cocktail at Snooze in Denver.  This month, we highlight the creative geniuses behind the cocktail menu at the Ballpark Snooze location on Larimer Street in Denver, who reveal their inspirations, favorite drinks and brunch-time wishes.

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MONTANYA MONTHLY BARTENDER SERIES - September 2015

ANDREW AMARO OF THE ST. JULIEN HOTEL’S T-ZERO LOUNGE – BOULDER, COLORADO

In this month’s Montanya Mixology Series, we’re exploring the Flatirons of Boulder, Colorado and highlighting The St. Julien Hotel & Spa’s T-Zero Lounge. This bar offers a modern, yet contemporary rendezvous for signature cocktails, handcrafted with love and inspiration by some of our favorite bartenders, like Andrew Amaro.

Andrew is a great friend of Montanya’s and a recipe of his is featured in Montanya’s upcoming cocktail book (details coming soon)! In this post, he talks about what sets the T-Zero Lounge apart from others, his favorite rum drink, and he shares the recipe for The 401, named after a popular mountain biking trail in Crested Butte.

**As we highlight bartenders we have come to love, we’d also like to hear from you. If you have a bartender or bar/restaurant you’d like to recommend for future consideration, please click here to learn more. To see more installments from the Montanya Mixology Series, visit The Kitchen Denver, Justice Snow’s, or Lounge 5280.**

Andrew Amaro

Beverage Manager of T-Zero Lounge – St. Julien Hotel & Spa

Years of Bartending Experience:

8 years

What sets your bar program apart from all others?

We are so lucky to be living in Colorado; the unique landscape, beautiful mountains, the abundance of amazing cocktail bars and the great community of Colorado bartenders. We aren’t afraid to step out of the box and create cocktails that are true expressions of creativity. 

At the St. Julien’s T-Zero Lounge, we showcase our creativity through house-made syrups, bitters and juices. Our guests demand freshness and quality. I like to call this ‘healthy drinking.’ By juicing our own fruits, we can provide the freshest cocktails and deliver a high quality drink. Our passion is on display at the bar and we love to pass it on to our guests.

T-Zero Lounge at the St. Julien Hotel

How do you use Montanya Rum in your bar program?

Montanya Rum is an integral part of our bar program. We try to use as many local spirits and products as we possibly can. When showcasing that, we make sure that guests are properly educated about the passion Karen Hoskin [co-founder and owner of Montanya Rum] and her team puts into distilling their rum and creating rum cocktails. It is evident in the taste and the ability to showcase passion in a cocktail.

What makes for a great night of bartending?

It’s really about getting into a flow with your fellow bartenders. Reading each other is critical to ensuring proper service to our guests. When you are at the height of the busiest point in your night and you can craft drink after perfect drink and get in that zone… well, that’s when you know you’ve achieved a great night of bartending. After all is said and done and each bartender is still smiling, you know you’ve conquered the night.

What’s your favorite rum cocktail?

My favorite Montanya Rum cocktail is the Jamaican Rum Crème. I remember my first visit to Crested Butte, Colorado; we had just skied a full day and headed into Montanya. I had one sip of this amazing cocktail and fell in love with it. I believe I had about three or four Jamaican Rum Crèmes before I moved on to try another! I have tried to recreate it several times, but it’s just not the same as the one I had in Montanya’s rum bar.

Recently Featured Montanya Cocktail at T-Zero Lounge

At T-Zero we have a cocktail called The 401, named after a popular mountain biking trail in Crested Butte, Colorado.  The cocktail features Montanya rum, of course.

THE 401

1.5 oz. Montanya Oro Rum

1.5 oz. Strawberry-basil shrub

1 oz. fresh pineapple juice

.5 oz. fresh lime juice

2 to 3 dashes of Wormwood bitters

Shake and strain into a martini glass. Top with four drops of black pepper tincture and garnish with half a strawberry. 

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MONTANYA MONTHLY BARTENDER SERIES

FEATURING THE BAR TEAM AT LOUNGE 5280 at DENVER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Travelers, take note! 

Whenever the Montanya team travels, we stop off at Lounge 5280 at the Denver International Airport (DIA). It’s in the B Main Concourse, on the Mezzanine level, and it’s one of our favorite places to grab a cocktail and snack before taking off. It has a stylish and upscale bar with a contemporary edge, and offers premium and unique cocktails. It also features Montanya rum on its regular menu along with a full menu of artisan cocktails made with Colorado craft spirits.

This month, in our Montanya Bartender Series, we’re highlighting five bartenders from Lounge 5280 in Denver. They share favorite cocktail recipes, surprising insights on clientele and what it’s like working at an airport bar!

**As we highlight bartenders we have come to love, we’d also like to hear from you. If you know about a bartender who makes innovative cocktails with Montanya rum, we’d love to consider them for a future post. To see past installments from the Montanya Mixology Series visitThe Kitchen Denver or Justice Snow’s.**

Becca Dummar

Bartender at Lounge 5280

Years of Bartending Experience:

5 years at Lounge 5280 – 15 years in service industry

What’s unique about your clientele?

Even though we’re in an airport, more than 40 percent of our clientele are regular patrons. The most gratifying detail is that people schedule their flights around an opportunity to come up to 5280 for a cocktail crafted with local Colorado spirits, a glass of wine, or one of Colorado’s craft beers. Customers can accompany their libation with our assortment of provisions; including fresh shrimp cocktail, roasted beet salad, marinated olives, ahi tuna and our seasonal flatbreads. 

Is working in an airport setting organized chaos every day?

Yes, but it provides a fantastic opportunity to connect with people and learn what makes them tick, where their jobs might take them, or what fantastic vacation they are jetting off to. I think the most entertaining part of the day is the thrilling travel stories we hear.

What is your favorite thing about working with Colorado craft spirits?

It is wonderful to have an opportunity to meet local distillers face-to-face or see them in action, which creates an unparalleled connection. The passion behind the product demonstrates the quality and creates excitement for new customers trying local spirits. It’s a great conversation piece for our customers.

Why do you use Montanya Rum in your bar program?

Karen Hoskin at Montanay has been an inspiration to me over the years. She is doing what she loves and she exemplifies a model businesswoman with ambition. She shows me that you can have a career and still be a wonderful mother! The balance of work and home is something that can be challenging, but gratifying.

What sets your bar program apart from others?

Offering Colorado spirits & cocktails to the everyday traveler has so many rewards and being able to expose customers to our Colorado proud spirits is very fulfilling. At Lounge 5280, we have to compete and offer quality options to a captive audience, so focusing on a high level of customer service and quality has been our goal since day one.

Recently Featured Montanya Cocktail at Lounge 5280

Bright and Sunny in Colorado

2 ounces of Montanya Platino

2 ounces of fresh squeezed orange juice

Top with ginger beer

{Is this the right way to write this description?}

Muddle fresh mint.

Add Platino rum and orange juice and shake.

Serve over ice and top with ginger beer.

Recently Featured Montanya Cocktail at Lounge 5280

Raspberry Rum Smash

2 ounces of Montanya Platino

1 ounce of fresh squeezed lime juice

Top with Pellegrino

Muddle fresh raspberries and mint.

Add Platino rum and lime juice and shake.

Serve over ice and top with Pellegrino.

Garnish with fresh mint and orange. 

Jony Castorena

Bartender at Lounge 5280

Years of Bartending Experience:

4 years

What do you like the most about working with Colorado craft spirits?

It makes for great conversations and good experiences for people from all over the country, who try our Colorado craft spirits. It’s great being able to educate and show off, to our customers, what great tasting spirits we have in Colorado.

What is your favorite rum cocktail?

A traditional mojito, with silver rum, turbinado simple syrup and fresh squeezed lime juice.

Mojito

Collins Glass with ice

1/2 Turbinado Sugar rim

1 Squeezed Lime

2.5 oz Platino

.25 Simple Syrup

6-8 Mint leaves - muddled

top with soda

Tyler Striplin-Sullivan

Bartender at Lounge 5280

Years of Bartending Experience:

3 years as a bartender

What do you like about Lounge 5280?

I have been at Lounge 5280 for close to a year and have been learning a ton about craft cocktails, as Classic Mojito (also shown with a Blackberry option)well as craft beer. I started bartending in Los Angeles and learned about craft cocktails there, but what I like about Lounge 5280 is we use fresh and locally-sourced ingredients, as well as local spirits and beer. 

What is your favorite rum cocktail?

Piña Colada because it's a classic and most people I've found either don't make it correctly or just avoid it completely.

The classic recipe:

1/2 cup of crushed ice

2 ounces of Montanya Platino

2 tablespoons each of coconut milk, pineapple juice, ice cream (vanilla)

Blend all the ingredients together and garnish with pineapple and cherry.

However, I personally don't like it blended and at Lounge 5280 I make it a little different.

My recipe:

2 ounces of Montanya Platino

1 ounce of almond syrup

1 ounce of pineapple juice

Splash of cranberry & hibiscus simple syrup

Shake all ingredients together, serve over ice, and garnish with a flag (cherry and an orange).

Jason Garin

Bartender at Lounge 5280

Years of Bartending Experience:

10 years as a bartender – 15 years in service industry

What do you like the most about working with Colorado craft spirits?

I was born and raised in Colorado so for me it's a sense of pride. By introducing people to something from my home state that someone else put their heart and soul into is a way for me to give back to Colorado and the people who give us these delicious sprits.

What makes for a great night of bartending?

My idea of a great night of bartending would be a busy night where the whole team comes together and everything runs smoothly, you have great guests and just have a fun night.

What do you wish more people knew about bartenders who develop craft cocktails?

To me, bartenders who develop craft cocktails seem to have more heart towards the cocktails they create and are more proud and excited to introduce people to these craft cocktails.

Laura Ramos

Bartender at Lounge 5280

Years of Bartending Experience:

4 years

What makes a great night of bartending?

Meeting the standards of my customers and helping them have a memorable experience. I love making cocktails from scratch and using fresh squeezed ingredients. More than half our cocktails are made with Colorado spirits as the main focus and it’s great being able to tell customers about the background of Colorado spirits.

Lounge 5280 at Denver International Airport

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MONTANYA MONTHLY BARTENDER SERIES

SAM GEMUS OF JUSTICE SNOW'S in ASPEN, COLORADO

Sam Gemus of Justice Snow's in Aspen, ColoradoIn this second installment of our Montanya Bartender Series, we’re traveling up into the Colorado mountains and highlighting Justice Snow’s. This restaurant, in historic Aspen, is wildly popular for its hand-crafted cocktails with fresh ingredients and inspiring creativity. This bar and restauraunt has the most extensive cocktail program west of the Mississippi.  Montanya Distillers is honored to be featured regularly on Justice Snow’s cocktail menu. 

In September, 2014, the entire staff of Justice Snow's hiked over to Crested Butte (and Montanya Distillers) for a comprehensive distillery tour, tasting and rum pairing cocktail hour with appetizers at the Montanya Distillers Tasting Room.  In May, 2015, Justice Snow's bartender Jacob Johnson joined Montanya's staff in Crested Butte for two days as part of our Bartender "Bar Stage" Program.  We love to host talented bartenders at our rum bar to learn a bit about our specialty, craft rum mixology.  In June, 2015, we will be collaborating with Justice Snow's on a Montanya Cocktail Party as part of Aspen Food and Wine.  More details will be announced soon. 

In this feature Samuel Gemus, a bartender at Justice Snow’s, explains what makes a great night of bartending, his favorite Montanya cocktail and a must-try rum recipe.

Samuel Gemus

Bartender at Justice Snow’s

Years of Bartending Experience: 3.5 years

What sets your bar program apart from all others?

The Justice Snow's bar program is different for two reasons, scale and speed. With a bar menu that once exceeded 150 cocktails and patrons that are usually two to four people deep at the bar, the bartenders have to be skilled and fast. Most cocktail bars have the luxury of only seating people in how many chairs they have; that's not the luxury we get here. We often fill to standing room only. We as a bar staff must have incredible depth of knowledge, extremely precise hand work and superb social skills to handle such thirsty crowds.

How do you use Montanya Rum in your bar program?

Montanya Rum is one of the amazing Colorado spirits we like to feature in our bar program.

With a cocktail menu as extensive as Justice Snow’s, the best place to feature a local distillery is on our opening statements page, which is our first two pages of the book, and where you’ll often find Montanya. With so many amazing Colorado distilleries, we now feature mostly local products on our Opening Statement menu.

What makes for a great night of bartending?

A great night of bartending has many faces. When the light is at the perfect dim, the music is at the perfect decibel, the background noise is scattered with laughter, and there’s a pronounced sound of ice banging around in the shaker. Everyone is working hard to create a great ambience for every single person. Then after the dinner service the band shows up ready to rock, the tables get pushed to the side and everyone dances, drinks and shares a great night with friends and strangers. That is the perfect night for a bartender.

What’s your favorite rum cocktail?

Tiki Old Fashioned from Sam Gemus, Justice Snow'sMy favorite Montanya Rum cocktail came about when I was tinkering with some classic recipes. I threw a brown sugar cube in a rocks glass and put a dash of orgeat syrup along with several dashes of angostura bitters and tiki bitters. I then muddled the sugar cube down very finely and added some Montanya Rum along with ice and a lemon, or sometimes an orange peel. This is one of my favorite ways to make a rum Old Fashioned.

RECIPE: Tiki Old Fashioned

In a rocks glass:

1 brown sugar cube

dash of Orgeat Syrup

2 dashes Angostura Bitters

2 dashes Bittermen's Tiki Bitters

muddle above ingredients and add

2.5 oz. Montanya Oro Rum

orange or lemon peel

stir with a bar spoon

What do you wish more people knew about Justice Snow’s?

I wish more people knew that at Justice Snow’s, we work to restore culture within our drinks. Many places all across the country serve people too many drinks and then you lose the great tastes and sensations behind the drinks. For example, a well balanced Rum Manhattan can truly open someone’s eyes to how beautiful rum can taste, giving them another amazing option and gets people thinking beyond Rum and Coke.

Justice Snow's - Aspen, Colorado

Justice Snow's Michelle Kiley's Favorite Montanya Rum Cocktail:

Kiley, the dynamic and delightful proprietor at Justice Snows, is a particular fan of the Fiery Passion cocktail at Montanya Distillers rum bar in Crested Butte.  (You are not mistaken that Montanya has a strong history of enjoying the company of other women-owned businesses in Colorado and around the world!) We have included Kiley's favorite cocktail here so you can share her love of this spicy, dramatic passionfruit recipe.

RECIPE: FIERY PASSIONFIERY PASSION COCKTAIL WITH MONTANYA PLATINO RUM

in a tall Collins Glass 

In cocktail shaker with ice

2.5 oz Habanero-Pineapple Infused Platino (recipe below)

1 fresh Lime, juiced

2 oz Juice made from organic, unsweetened Passionfruit Puree

.5 oz light Agave syrup

6 fresh Mint leaves - lightly muddled

Shake and strain over ice

Top with Club Soda or Seltzer

Garnish with 1/2 Spiced Sugar Rim (Turbinado Sugar, Cinnamon, Nutmeg), a fresh Pineapple wedge and fresh Mint sprig

Habanero Pineapple Infusion:

Take the rind off a half a fresh Pineapple and chop into pieces.  Slice 1/2 to 1 fresh Habanero pepper, wearing gloves.  Place into 1 bottle of Montanya Platino Rum.  Add the Habanero in stages if concerned about the infusion being too spicy.  (If it gets too spicy, add more Montanya Platino Rum.)  

As we highlight bartenders we have come to love, we’d also like to hear from you. If you know about a bartender who is making innovative cocktails with Montanya rum, we'd love to consider them for a future post.  And if you haven’t already, check out last month’s feature on The Kitchen Denver.

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FEATURED BAR TEAM FOR APRIL, 2015 - THE KITCHEN DENVER!

 Recipes, bartender interviews, photos and more in this monthly bartender feature from Montanya Distillers!

Courtesy of The Kitchen Denver

One of the most fun things we get to do at Montanya Distillers is meet some incredible bartenders whose creative energy inspires exceptional Montanya rum cocktails. Their passion for what they do is amazing to experience, and today we’re bringing them to you through a feature highlighting some of the very best in the biz.

Our monthly Montanya Mixology Series features some of our favorite bartenders, as well as our favorite places to drink Montanya Rum. As we highlight bartenders we have come to love, we’d also like to hear from you. If you have a bartender or bar/restaurant you’d like to recommend for future consideration, please click here to learn more. 

To kick things off, we’re starting with our colleagues at The Kitchen Denver, a garden-to-table restaurant known for consciously sourcing and serving up delicious cuisine in an incredible eco-friendly urban space with a wonderful cocktail menu. The following article features three of The Kitchen Denver bartenders and four impressive recipes they have been generous enough to share with us.  

Kyla Ostler, Bar Manager at The Kitchen DenverFirst, we asked The Kitchen Denver’s Bar Manager, Kyla Ostler, about her favorite rum drinks and how she uses Montanya. Her answers, as well as favorites, recipes and insights from three other bartenders from The Kitchen Denver, lead our series.

Kyla Ostler

Bar Manager of The Kitchen Denver

Years of Bartending Experience:

5 years, managing for 3 years

At Montanya Distillers, we know that Kyla plays a critical role in hand selecting spirits and guiding her bartenders to use Colorado craft spirits.

Kyla's Favorite Rum Cocktail at The Kitchen Denver:

Oliver’s Raddington (with Montanya Oro) or a Hemingway Daiquiri (with Montanya Platino)

How do you use Montanya Rum in your bar program?

What I love about Montanya Rum is that it makes rum so approachable. I have found that there are a lot of people who had a really negative early experience with rum (coconut rum + high school, terrible combinations like that) and as a result they have written rum off completely. Such a mistake. So, to be able to tell our guests that we have a Colorado craft rum that uses Louisiana sugar cane and is made in Crested Butte - that’s an easy conversation, how can they say no? You have to try it! It’s aged in Colorado Whiskey Barrels, come on!

What sets your bar program apart from all others?

I’m incredibly lucky to have a super creative, passionate, talented and very knowledgeable bartending team that uses The Kitchen’s philosophy of letting good ingredients shine. I think our most successful cocktails combine the best of what the season has to offer with Colorado spirits in simple, delicious ways. 

Oliver Weinberg, Bartender at The Kitchen DenverOliver Weinberg

Bartender at The Kitchen Denver

How do you use Montanya Rum in your bar program?

I think that we use Montanya Rum to enhance our guests experience by showing them a product that they can connect with because it’s made locally by real people.

What’s your most memorable cocktail with Montanya Rum?

I would say that the Raddington is probably my most memorable cocktail with Montanya Rum because it was the first one that I did at The Kitchen Denver. It has been a great experience to get to learn about all of the amazing distilleries, breweries, and farms that we work with at The Kitchen. I think that the Gold Fashioned might be my favorite Montanya Rum cocktail that I've created so far. I love that the presentation and ingredients are so familiar and approachable and I think it really highlights the Montanya Oro Rum beautifully. 

What makes for a great night of bartending?

Just a bunch of happy people on both sides of the bar!  That's the main thing that I try to bring to work every day and even when I go out to eat or drink. It's all about having fun and enjoying the experience!

 Oliver’s Favorite Rum Cocktails:

The Raddington CocktailThe Raddington

1.5 oz Montanya Oro Rum

.5 oz Lillet Blanc

.5 oz Grapefruit

.5 oz OJ

Plus Leopold Bros Absinthe for rinsing

Shake in a cocktail shaker, not including the absinthe.

Use a small bit of absinthe to rinse a coupe glass, pour drink, garnish w/ a grapefruit swath.

The Gold Fashioned

The Gold Fashioned Cocktail at The Kitchen Denver

2 oz Montanya Oro Rum

1 sugar cube, soaked w/ Peychauds, (approx. 4 dashes)

1/4 of a grapefruit  

Muddle the sugar and the grapefruit then add Rum, stir. Pour into small rox glass with big cube.

Garnish with a grapefruit wedge on the glass rim.

Other Rum Favorites from The Kitchen Denver Bartenders:

Mia Provenzano of The Kitchen Denver

Mia Provenzano’s favorite cocktail is perfect for spring/summer:

Corpse Reviver #2a

1 oz Montanya Platino Rum

1 oz Lillet blanc

1 oz Cointreau

1 oz lemon juice  

Shake in cocktail shaker.

Serve in a coupe glass with a lemon swath twist.

Jack Simpson, Bartender at The Kitchen DenverJack Simpson’s, Favorite Rum Cocktail:

Captain Jack’s Tiramisu

2 oz Conscious Coffees espresso

2 oz half & half

1.5 oz Montanya Oro Rum

1 T Demerara Sugar

Shake in a cocktail shaker.

Pour over crushed ice. Top with whipped cream and dust with cinnamon. 

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