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September 2007


Last night I hung out with Cameron Bogue, who was in San Francisco on part of his road trip. He's visiting small distilleries from Vancouver down into South America, seeing how they fit into the local community, inventing cocktails that blend the spirits with what he learns about the region, possibly using local ingredients, and sharing advice on some of the better bars he discovers along the way. All of this is part of a year-long motorcycle trip with some friends, you know, just for fun. He's in town for another day, but is using it to catch up on... Read more →

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Popular Singles

Roll out the single-barrel Bay Area watering holes snap up bottlings of exclusive whiskeys Camper English, Special to The Chronicle Friday, September 7, 2007 The Cigar Bar & Grill in Jackson Square in San Francisco serves a Manhattan you can't get anywhere else, as it's made with the restaurant's exclusive 10-year-old bourbon. Harris' Restaurant and Nopa have exclusive bourbon, too, as does T-Rex Barbecue in Berkeley. None of these watering holes have stills in their backyards to produce their own spirits, but they each serve a different barrel of whiskey. Most whiskeys are blends of dozens of different barrels, sometimes... Read more →

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Sake Soiree

By me, in today's SF Chronicle: Thursday you have the opportunity to taste more than 300 sakes at San Francisco's Joy of Sake event, though we strongly suggest you don't try to get through them all. The 6-8:30 p.m. event takes place at the Hilton Hotel, 333 O'Farrell St. The tasting hall is organized into sections that make gravitating toward your favorite sake categories easy. Our advice: bring a pen to make tasting notes on the program, drink plenty of water, and take a break to eat from any of the 14 restaurants serving food there as well - some... Read more →

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Wine Month vs. Bourbon Month

By me, in today's SF Chronicle: It's going to be a wet September this year. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared it California Wine Month, while the U.S. Senate calls it National Bourbon Heritage Month. The Senate may have been too busy with other matters to notice that specifying bourbon instead of American whiskey fails to recognize Jack Daniel's or even the rye whiskey made by George Washington at Mount Vernon. On the other hand, that's less liquor you'd be obligated to drink out of Californian/American pride. As a compromise between the competing beverage agendas, you may wish to use September to... Read more →

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Mixin' Whiskies

On Friday I will have a story in the San Francisco Chronicle on single-barrel whiskies. It is one of those stories that has a simple theme- single-barrel programs are getting more popular- but the research for it lead me down a rabbit hole trying to find out which distillers were doing which programs and which venues in San Francisco participated in them. And everyone was on vacation so I had make about 4 calls for every one callback. In the end I probably spent half a month working on a story that won't pay for 1/5 of my monthly expenses.... Read more →

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If you licked the magazine, you'll love the show!

CBS is hoping to give TV viewers a flavor for its new fall show, "Cane," with ads consumers can actually taste. The network is rolling out an unusual magazine ad that tastes like a lime mojito to promote its prime-time series about a powerful Cuban-American running a rum and sugar business in South Florida. The campaign, which will appear in Rolling Stone magazine this week, is a twist on a conventional liquor ad by touting Duque rum - the fictional rum brand from the series - rather than just the show. The first-of-its-kind ad features a nonalcoholic flavor strip in... Read more →

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