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July 2007

Eau my goodness

By me in today's SF Chronicle: St. George Spirits, the Alameda distillers behind Hangar One Vodka and several eaux-de-vie, liqueurs and one whiskey, have launched another small bottling with big flavor. Aqua Perfecta Basil Eau de Vie is made with Thai and other varieties of basil, soaked in unaged California grape brandy and redistilled. The product, which sells for $50 at the distillery (and in a few other venues soon) was launched July 14 and is a "refined accompaniment to caviar" according to the press release. The bold basil flavor is rather potent right out of the bottle and should... Read more →

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Tales of the Cocktail 3 - Day 3

Day 3 Recap: On Thursday I attended a lot more seminars: Organic and local cocktails- Alison Evanow of Square One organic vodka says, "Vodka is like butter." There are some really interesting non-profit healthy food programs happening in New Orleans post-Katrina. The future of mixology, with bar stars Todd Thrasher, James Meehan, and John Kinder. One of them said, "We've all been claiming gin is going to be the next big thing for years now and it just hasn't happened." The effects of Prohibition on cocktails- This was a casual, hilarious conversation between booze historians. John K. Hall of 40... Read more →

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Tales of the Cocktail 2 - So far, sooooo good

It's day two of Tales of the Cocktail and I'm still going strong. Currently I'm skipping the "spirited dinners" drinks-and-food pairing dinners happening all over town because as a vegetarian they don't make these things for me. ("Can you pair this vermouth with a salad?") So I had my own beer and pizza pairing at a microbrewery chain. It was good until they brought the "pizza," which was like a salty Boboli bread with sweet pasta sauce and uncooked tomatoes on top. Yeah, not so great. So far I've attended seminars on: Cocktail history ("I didn't bring any ice tools... Read more →

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More malty goodness in San Francisco and shameless people to drink it

Yesterday I met with John Hansell (publisher/editor) and Amy Westlake (event director) of Malt Advocate Magazine and Whiskyfest. This year they're expanding Whiskyfest to San Francisco and are in town for a week of drinking and eating with local boozers in an effort to spread the word. (The event is October 23rd.) It occurred to me after our conversation that whiskey drinkers, for all the fluff and pomp and price points of whiskey culture, have very little shame. It's a lot of begging to get your hands on the good stuff, and then bragging about how low you sunk afterwards.... Read more →

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Book delays

Last December I ordered a reproduction copy of the The Bartender's Guide from 1862 by Jerry Thomas, put out by a publisher called New Day Publishing. They also have a reproduction of The Stork Club Bar Book and the Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book. Every couple of months, I get an email saying that my order has been delayed and that it will be available in a another month. Today I received an email stating it's now delayed until December of this year. Amazon has marked it as "currently unavailable." I tried to reach New Day Publishing for a story I... Read more →

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