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Woodford Reserve Holiday Cocktails: Holiday Spice, Bourbon Ball & Candy Cane Infusion Cocktails

woodford reserve candy cane infusion cocktail Woodford Reserve Holiday Cocktails: Holiday Spice, Bourbon Ball & Candy Cane Infusion CocktailsWell-crafted holiday parties include well-crafted cocktails.  And while there are always the classics, a signature drink and a well-paired appetizer can separate your party from the rest.  We’ve assembled some of our favorite Woodford Reserve cocktails and some tasty bites that will have people talking until next holiday season.  Check out these great holiday cocktails, but these mixed drinks can be used for any occasion.  The Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon cocktails featuring the Holiday Spice, the Bourbon Ball and the Candy Cane infusion are easy to make and holiday tasty.



1 oz. Woodford Reserve®
1 oz. Chocolate liqueur
1 oz. Coffee liqueur
Heavy shake of Cayenne
Heavy shake of Cinnamon
Heavy splash of Half and half
Shake and strain into a cocktail glass
rimmed with graham cracker crumbs.
Garnish with a cinnamon stick.


woodford reserve holiday cocktails 257x300 Woodford Reserve Holiday Cocktails: Holiday Spice, Bourbon Ball & Candy Cane Infusion CocktailsWOODFORD RESERVE BOURBON BALL

2 oz. Woodford Reserve®
1 oz. White créme de cacao
¼ oz. Hazelnut liqueur
Stir well with cracked ice,
then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with a rolled chocolate curl.



1 liter Woodford Reserve®
3 Candy canes
Recipe Ideas
Serve 2 oz. candy cane infusion in cordial glass or chilled martini glass.
Pour 2 oz. candy cane infusion over ice in rocks glass. Garnish with a mint sprig.
Combine 1 ½ oz. candy cane infusion with 4 oz. hot chocolate.
Garnish with whipped cream and a candy cane.
Combine 1 ½ oz. candy cane infusion with 4 oz. hot coffee. Garnish with whipped cream.
Pour 1 ½ oz. candy cane infusion over ice in rocks glass. Fill with eggnog and stir.
Garnish with whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg.
Pour 1 ½ oz. candy cane infusion over ice in rocks glass. Fill with cola and stir.
Drizzle 1 T. candy cane infusion over 2 scoops vanilla ice cream.
Garnish with whipped cream and crushed candy canes.




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Hanukkah Cocktails: The Basil Hayden’s Spinning Driedel Bourbon Pomegranate

Basil Hayden Spinning Dreidel Cocktail 196x300 Hanukkah Cocktails: The Basil Hayden’s Spinning Driedel Bourbon Pomegranate Recipe by Max Toast

Celebrate the eight crazy nights with a classic bourbon and the perfect Hanukkah cocktail.  With Basil Hayden’s small batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon by Jim Beam, this beautifully sipping bourbon makes a great cocktail.  With pomegranate, fig and lemon, the mix of fruit with the bourbon creates a refreshing mixed drink that will light your menorah!  Check out the cocktail recipe below and let us know what you think.


2 parts Basil Hayden’s® Bourbon

1 part Pomegranate Juice

1 tablespoon Fig Preserve

1 bar spoon Fresh Lemon Juice

2 dashes Angostura® Aromatic Bitters


1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well.

2. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

3. Garnish with a lemon peel.




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New HBO Series Luck: Dustin Hoffman as Organized Crime Figure Chester “Ace” Bernstein

HBOs Luck Dustin Hoffman New HBO Series Luck: Dustin Hoffman as Organized Crime Figure Chester “Ace” BernsteinHoffman’s First Role as a Gangster

By Matt Goldstein

HBO’s new highly produced series, Luck, premiered a sneak episode on Sunday after the season finale of Boardwalk Empire.  With acclaimed director Michael Mann and Deadwood creator David Milch, Luck brings one of the best casts in the history of television.  Leading that cast is Dustin Hoffman playing the corrupt racetrack businessman, Chester “Ace” Bernstein.  At the start of the show, Ace is getting out of prison and has ownership of a race horse in which his friend played by Dennis Farina is the fronting owner.  Ace’s plan for when he gets out of prison?  Vengeance!  Ace is out for vengeance against the people who put him in prison and vengeance against those who got rich at the track while he protected them and took the fall.  Ace is going to look at putting a casino inside the track but will have to do it quietly as the recent paroled felon and organized crime figure cannot legally be on the books of the deal.  The first episode focused on life at the race track from all angles, from the horses, the owners, jockeys and trainers, gamblers, security guards and beautiful cinematic scenes of horse racing.  HBO’s Luck is most likely the best new show on TV.  “I don’t trust anyone, not even myself.”  — Chester Ace Bernstein

The series premiere will officially be on January 29th of 2012 with HBO most likely playing the first two episodes back to back.  The all star cast is as follows: Dustin Hoffman, Dennis Farina, John Ortiz, Richard Kind, Ian Hart, Kevin Dunn, Ritchie Coster, Jason Gedrick, Jill Hennessy, Tom Payne, Kerry Condon, Gary Stevens and Nick Nolte.




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HBO’s Boardwalk Empire Season 2 Fact or Fiction: The Conspiracy against Nucky Thompson

nucky thompson 16001 300x225 HBO’s Boardwalk Empire Season 2 Fact or Fiction: The Conspiracy against Nucky ThompsonThe Death of the Commodore and the Death of Jimmy Darmody

By Matt Goldstein

In HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, season 2 certainly didn’t disappoint in the air of drama, but how do we know the real characters are being portrayed on the screen accurately.  From murder and corruption, bootlegging and drug dealing, the historical characters driving the backdrop of the series such as Lucky Luciano, Arnold Rothstein, Al Capone, Meyer Lansky and Waxey Gordon certainly leave a lot of speculation with business deals and gangland politics.

Did Meyer Lansky & Lucky Luciano Break Mafia Rules and Deal Heroin?

Absolutely.  In fact, it was so profitable that Lansky and Luciano began shying away from alcohol towards the end of prohibition.  Because of heroin, Lansky and Luciano went on to become the richest gangsters in the history of the world and most of that money was because of heroin.  Drugs’ being against mob rules is merely a myth.  Most mafia families shied away from drugs simply because it brought to much heat and marginalized political connections.

jimmy darmody boardwalk empire HBO’s Boardwalk Empire Season 2 Fact or Fiction: The Conspiracy against Nucky ThompsonWas Jimmy Darmody based on the real life Jimmy Boyd? 

No.  The real life Jimmy Boyd was just a small time political operative for Nucky Johnson and Boyd never went to Princeton, never served in WWI and never had anything to do with bootlegging.  The name Jimmy seems to be the only thing they had in common.  Jimmy Boyd lived and worked in politics until 1974 while Boardwalk Empire’s Jimmy Darmody only lived until what seems to be about 1922.

Was Nucky Thompson a cold blooded killer? 

Although Boardwalk Empire portrays Nucky Thompson a murderer, executioner and conspirator, there are no actual links to the real life Nucky Johnson killing anyone.  While Nucky did business with Capone, Lansky, Rothstein, Luciano and an array of other mobsters, Nucky Johnson might have actually controlled his criminal power in a political fashion.

arnold rothstein boardwalk empire 300x199 HBO’s Boardwalk Empire Season 2 Fact or Fiction: The Conspiracy against Nucky ThompsonDid Nucky Thompson & Arnold Rothstein use the most expensive Jewish Laywer from NYC?

Who knows, but they certainly should have.  You can’t ever go wrong with a Jew lawyer, they’re very effective.

Did the Commodore Really Conspire against Nucky Thompson?

No.  Commodore actually embraced Nucky as the boss of the city when he returned from prison rather than conspire against him.  The real life Commodore Khuenle didn’t father any children and died of natural causes in 1934.

Did Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano operate under the protection of Arnold Rothstein?

Absolutely.  Not only did Rothstein protect the two prodigies, Arnold Rothstein gave Lansky and Luciano the gangland connections they needed to take over the entire country, including a business relationship with Nucky.





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The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook: Gourmet Eats & Cocktails

Mad Men Cookbook The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook: Gourmet Eats & Cocktails Dine like Draper and Drink like Sterling with Mad Men Era Recipes

Mad Men may not be back until March 2012, but this December fans can have a taste of the show with The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook: Inside the Kitchens, Bars, and Restaurants of Mad Men, by veteran cookbook author Judy Gelman and writer Peter Zheutlin. It’s the fans entrée to the culinary world of Mad Men-era New York, available just in time for the holiday and entertaining season.

The book serves up more than 70 recipes for and commentary on the food and drink featured in Mad Men, from a gazpacho like the one Betty would have served at her Around the World Dinner, to the steak tartar Don orders at Sardi’s while flirting with Bobbi Barrett, to the whiskey sour Don and Lane enjoy at the Playboy Club. Packed with period detail—why is Joan’s choice of a Blue Hawaii on New Year’s so era-appropriate? How did the avocado become popular in America in the sixties, and how did Jackie Kennedy increase the fruit’s visibility?—The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook provides invaluable historical and cultural context, tips on throwing a successful ’60s cocktail party, and a guide to favored Mad Men hangouts that will appeal to history buffs and fans planning Mad Men-inspired diner parties alike.


The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook includes a full color 16-page insert with photos of the food from the recipes inside, plus additional black and white photos, food-related advertising material, and other images from the 1960s. It also includes recipes from the bars and restaurants that appear on the show.


About the Authors

Judy Gelman is co-author of The Book Club Cookbook (Penguin, 2004), The Kids’ Book Club Book (Penguin, 2007), and Table of Contents (Adams, 2010). She speaks about cooking, food, and reading to book and food enthusiasts across the country.  Peter Zheutlin is the author of Around the World on Two Wheels: Annie Londonderry’s Extraordinary Ride (Citadel Press, 2007) and the co-author of several other non-fiction titles. Mr. Zheutlin has also written for The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, The Los Angeles Times, The New England Quarterly and numerous other publications in the U.S. and abroad.



Book Details:

Title: The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook: Inside the Kitchens, Bars and Restaurants of Mad Men

Authors: Judy Gelman and Peter Zheutlin

Publisher: Smart Pop, an imprint of BenBella Books; distributed by Perseus Distribution

Publication: December 2011, $16.95 (CAN $19.50), Paper, ISBN: 978-1-936661-41-1

Cooking, 288 pages, 7 x 9




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Boardwalk Empire Profile: Meyer Lansky Timeline


lansky1 300x161 Boardwalk Empire Profile: Meyer Lansky TimelineThe Most Powerful and Wealthiest Jewish Gangster of All Time!

By Matt Goldstein

Meyer Lansky took the reigns of power during prohibition and was the mastermind behind the National Syndicate, also known as the Commission.  The National Syndicate brought together the most powerful crime leaders in the country in which the mob bosses of all the major Italian mafia families worked in partnership to augment a criminal empire of staggering proportions.  Up to that point, most mafia families went to battle for territory and the consequences riddled the streets with bodies.  The Commission was the first and last major collaboration of organized crime outfits and will most likely never be seen again. 

1902 – Maier Suchowljansky A.K.A. Meyer Lansky is born in Grodno Russia.

1914 – Meyer begins getting involved in corner crap games and street gangs.  

1918 – Charlie Lucky Luciano tries to shakedown Meyer Lansky and his gang for protection money.  Meyer refuses and incites a brawl.  Luciano is so impressed with Lansky that he recruits him and the two end up becoming close friends and lifetime business partners. 

1918  – Meyer Lansky meets Bugsy Siegel and the two become close friends.  Siegel also becomes a high ranking enforcer with Lansky and Luciano. 

1919 – Prohibition

1920’s – Lansky, Luciano and Siegel establish a booze smuggling racquet where they specialize in stealing loads and being hired to protect them. 

1931 – Meyer and Luciano orchestrate the assassination of mob boss Salvatore Maranzano.  

1931 – Meyer orchestrates the National Syndicate with longtime friend and partner, Lucky Luciano as the head. 

1930’s – Lansky runs one of the biggest illegal gambling operations in the world.

WWII – Lansky works with the U.S. government to protect the ports in NYC, a possible target of the Nazis.  The mob’s control of the dock workers helped provide naval intelligence and national security.      

1947 – Bugsy Siegel is murdered after the investment money for the Flamingo hotel in Las Vegas goes missing.  Lansky tries to stop the murder of Siegel to no avail.    

1940’s & 50’s – Lansky and Luciano create a heroin empire even bigger than their prohibition booze smuggling and gambling racquets.  The drug dealing is what makes Lansky and Luciano the richest gangsters in history.  None of today’s mobsters even come close to their riches without even counting inflation.

1957 – Meyer Lansky opens the Riviera Hotel & Casino in Cuba.  It’s the first hotel in Cuba with air conditioning. 

1959 – The Fidel Castro communist revolution destroys the mobs stronghold in Cuba and Lansky’s ownership in any and all Cuban assets is dissolved. 

1974 – Lansky was acquitted of tax evasion charges

1983 – Meyer Lansky dies of heart failure after living his quiet uneventful golden years in Miami beach.   


Boardwalk Empire Profile: Al Capone Timeline

The Downfall of Al Capone

Boardwalk Empire Fact or Fiction: Nucky Thompson, Arnold Rothstein, Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky and Al Capone

Boardwalk Empire Profile: Nucky Thompson Timeline

Boardwalk Empire Profile: Arnold Rothstein Timeline

Top 10 Gangsters of Prohibition:  Boardwalk Empire Edition

Boardwalk Empire: The Downfall of Nucky Thomspon




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A Single Malt’s Range: Great Glenfiddich Party Cocktails

glenfiddich logo A Single Malts Range: Great Glenfiddich Party CocktailsWho Said Scotch Can’t be Used for Cocktails?

By Mixologist Leah Matoney

Glenfiddich Single Malt Scotch is the #1 selling single malt scotch in the world.  Glenfiddich is also the most award winning scotch in the world.  Perfect for sipping neat or on the rocks, Glenfiddich is also great for refreshing cocktails.  Who said scotch can’t be used for cocktails?  These modern but classic cocktails feature Glenfiddich single malt blended perfectly with fruits and spices and turn classic scotch into a refreshing party drink.  Below are cocktail recipes for the Gaelic Pear, the Loch Ness Cocktail, Sweet Robbie Dhu,  Autumn in the Highlands.


glenfiddich cocktails A Single Malts Range: Great Glenfiddich Party CocktailsGaelic Pear

1.5oz Glenfiddich 12yr

2oz Pear Juice

.5 oz Agave Nectar

1oz Lemon Juice


Rxs Glass

Lemon garnish


Loch Ness Cocktail

1.5 oz. Glenfiddich 12yr

.5oz Licor 43

Orange Juice

Splash Sweet Vermouth


Rxs Glass

No garnish


Sweet Robbie Dhu

2 oz Glenfiddich 12yr

.5 oz Carpano Antica

.5oz Pomegranate Molasses

Dash Plum bitters

Shake Vigorously

Martini Glass

Pomegranate seed garnish (seeds will sink)


Autumn in the Highlands

1.5oz Glenfiddich 12yr

2 oz Pressed Apple cider

Fill with Ginger Ale

Dash Orange Bitters

Rxs glass

Orange twist garnish




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Classic Holiday Cocktails by Morton’s Steakhouse: Holiday Punch, Egg Nog & Pomegranate Prosecco Punch

egg nog holiday cocktail Classic Holiday Cocktails by Mortons Steakhouse: Holiday Punch, Egg Nog & Pomegranate Prosecco PunchBy Morton’s Sommelier and Mixologits Sara Fasolino

For holiday libations, there are two things to keep in mind: cost and time.  Both food and beverage costs have increased quite a bit, so I could talk for days about super high-end, expensive, hard-to-find “wow” items.  Or I can dig a little deeper and talk about something accessible and easy to find, something that’s more of a budget-worthy “wow.”  Aren’t those usually the best anyway?  And when we’re talking time, who wants to man (or woman) a bar all night and be bartender…besides me, of course.  The easiest thing to do is have something self-serve so you don’t have to keep an eye on peoples’ drinks all night.  As the host, you have enough to worry about.  So, what can we do to make things inexpensive and easy? Plan and prep. With just a few ingredients, you can create several different cocktails…something for everyone…and make it a great party.  Punches are always a great option, because they are easy to make and are self-serve. Keep in mind when you are mixing alcohol with a bunch of other ingredients that you don’t necessarily have to use the super high-end stuff.  Also keep in mind that you should prepare for 1-2 drinks per person, per hour.


prosecco punch cocktail Classic Holiday Cocktails by Mortons Steakhouse: Holiday Punch, Egg Nog & Pomegranate Prosecco PunchHoliday Punch

This recipe serves 15 – 20, so you can adjust the quantities to suit your needs. If you want to make a non-alcoholic version for guests and kids, just omit the Bourbon…and make sure the punch bowls are labeled clearly!

1 gallon Apple Cider

6 Star Anise

6 cnnamon sticks (plus garnish)

6 cloves

1 zest of orange peel

32 ounces bourbon (such as Maker’s Mark)

Combine cider, anise, cinnamon, clove and zest in a pot and simmer for 30-40 minutes.

Strain into punch bowl, add bourbon and serve warm or over ice.


Egg Nog

This recipe also serves about 15-20 and is meant to be used in one day. This is a cooked version, just in case you are nervous about eating raw eggs.

6 eggs, separated

3/4 cup sugar

1 quart milk

1 pint cream

16 ounces bourbon

Grated nutmeg


Beat the yolks until they are light in color and gradually mix in 1/2 cup of the sugar.

Combine milk, cream and nutmeg in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and slowly add the yolks to the warm mixture, being careful to not add too quickly…or you’ll get scrambled eggs.

Return to heat and bring to 160 F. Add bourbon and place in bowl in refrigerator to cool.

While cooling, beat the egg whites with the remaining sugar until they form stiff peaks. Fold into the bourbon mixture, grate fresh nutmeg over the concoction and serve.


Pomegranate Prosecco Punch

This is a lighter option, in case your guests don’t want mixed cocktails or hard liquor.  Prosecco is so popular right now, and you don’t need to spend very much to get a nice bottle.  This recipe makes 12 drinks.

1 bottle Prosecco

2 cups orange juice

2 cups limeade

1 quart pomegranate juice

Orange slices

Pomegranate seeds


Mix Prosecco, orange juice, limeade and pomegranate juice into a punch bowl.

Add orange slices and pomegranate seeds for garnish.

Serve in glasses over ice (don’t add ice to the punch bowl or you will water it down).

These three punches are all easy to make, and they won’t break your bank.  And you may not even need to go out and buy each and every ingredient if you already have some of them for your holiday cooking.  Not to mention the fact that no one goes to a party empty-handed these days, so you can ask your guests to bring locally-brewed seasonal beers or their favorite wine.  The point is, you can mix it up AND not go over budget AND create cocktail “WOWs” for your guests!




Sara Fasolino

Beverage Manager/Certified Sommelier and Mixologist

Morton’s The Steakhouse




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Boardwalk Empire Gangsters: Al Capone Timeline

al capone 1024 300x168 Boardwalk Empire Gangsters: Al Capone TimelineBy Matt Goldstein 

In HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, Al Capone is the young muscle under Johnny Torrio as their attempting to establish territory in Chicago’s bootlegging trade.  At the very onset of prohibition, Torrio has boss Jim Colosimo murdered as the Colosimo is apprehensive about the booze trade.  Al Capone’s rise to power is as violent as they come.  In the HBO drama, Capone is portrayed as brutish, pigheaded and sometimes a little stupid.  But to build the biggest bootlegging empire in history, one couldn’t be too naïve to the ways of the world.    One of the first nationally recognized gangsters and the most legendary bootleg booze smuggler in history, Al Capone was extremely wealthy and a brutal murderer. At one point in the 1920’s Capone was allegedly pulling in more than $60 million a year off of booze alone and another $40 million in racketeering, prostitution and gambling.

1899 – Alphonse Capone is born in Garden City NY to Gabriel and Teresa.

1914 – Johnny Torrio becomes a mentor to Al Capone. 

1917 – Working for mob boss Frankie Yale, Capone was involved in a knife fight and slashed in the face.  Hence the name Scarface. 

1920 – Frankie Yale sends Al Capone to Chicago because of a rival gang war.  Capone becomes the under study of Johnny Torrio.

1923 – Al Capone moves his gang outside of Chicago city limits because of political and police pressure. 

1924 – Capone’s brother is killed by police. 

al capone 111 223x300 Boardwalk Empire Gangsters: Al Capone Timeline1925 – Johnny Torrio steps down and appoints Capone as the boss.  Torrio still advises Capone and Capone goes to war with any gang that won’t cooperate.

1926 – Rivals Bugs Moran and Hymie Weiss fail at an assassination attempt on Capone, spraying a hotel eatery with Thompson machine guns and shotguns.

1926 – Capone has Hymie Weiss assassinated in broad daylight on the street with machines guns and shotguns. 

1928 – Capone buys a 14 room mansion in Palm Island Florida. 

1929 – The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre becomes the most infamous gangland murders in history.  On February 14th, Capone’s men disguise themselves as police and enter the Bugs Moran warehouse headquarters.  Seven members of the North Side Gang are lined up against the wall and executed. 

 1929 – Capone is arrested in Philadelphia on weapons charges and jailed in the legendary Eastern State Penitentiary for 9 months. 

1929 – Elliot Ness and prohibition agents begin chipping away at the Capone empire by seizing shipments, and shutting down bars and speakeasies.  Enormous federal pressure is an after effect of the St Valentine’s massacre. 

1931 – Capone is convicted on Tax Evasion charges and sentenced to 11 years. 

1939 – Capone is paroled and released from Alcatraz. 

1947 –  Capone dies from complications of syphilis. 


The Downfall of Al Capone

Boardwalk Empire Fact or Fiction: Nucky Thompson, Arnold Rothstein, Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky and Al Capone

Boardwalk Empire Profile: Nucky Thompson Timeline

Boardwalk Empire Profile: Arnold Rothstein Timeline

Top 10 Gangsters of Prohibition:  Boardwalk Empire Edition

Boardwalk Empire: The Downfall of Nucky Thomspon





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Best Fall Bourbon Cocktails: Basil Hayden’s Autumn Harvest

Basil Haydens Bourbon Autumn Harvest Cocktail 277x300 Best Fall Bourbon Cocktails: Basil Hayden’s Autumn HarvestRecipe by Charles Joly – Chicago, IL

What better way to enjoy the fall and the holidays with a beautiful bourbon cocktail to warm you up.  Try a Basil Hayden’s Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Cocktail with a little bit of milk stout, some cherry liqueur, and bitters.  And if you don’t have all the ingredients, a Basil Hayden’s straight or on the rocks is pretty damn good too.  Bourbon is as Bourbon does.


2 Parts Basil Hayden’s Bourbon®

¾ parts Heering® Cherry Liquor

1 dash Fee Brothers® Old Fashioned Aromatic Bitters

2 parts Milk Stout Beer

Fresh Nutmeg


1. Combine Basil Hayden’s, cherry liquor and bitters in a mixing glass.

2. Add ice and shake.

3. Roll in the milk stout beer.

4. Strain into an old fashioned glass with ice.

5. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg and cherry on top.




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