Yesterday I went to Finnishing School, an event put on by Finlandia vodka lead by Dale De Groff and Tony Abou Ganim. They do this program around the country every now and then, but this was my first time attending. For those of us aware that fresh ingredients are important in cocktails it wasn't a huge awakening, but I did pick up a few tidbits of information- to keep a bunch of mint fresh, store it upside down in a bucket of cold water, canned lychees are easier to work with and not much worse tasting than fresh ones, and... Read more →
By me, in Friday's SF Chronicle: A few bars and restaurants around San Francisco are putting extra effort into making your Halloween more spirited with cocktail specials. Luna Park is serving the Dr. Moreau's Island, a rum punch poured into a bowl with dry ice for the fog machine effect. 694 Valencia St. (near 18th Street), S.F; (415) 553-8584, lunaparksf.com. Another rum bar, Forbidden Island in Alameda, is serving two drinks without rum for the night: the Hawaiian Hemoglobin, a blood-red hibiscus liqueur and sparkling wine drink, and the Hellfire with mango, tamarind, Hangar One chipotle vodka, and cayenne pepper.... Read more →
...several blog posts, including: -A trip to Barbados with Mount Gay Rum, or, Quest for Falernum -Molecular mixology seminar in San Francisco, or, Chemistry for Drunks -Dinner with Joy Spence of Appleton rum, or, the Master Blender who has her own handler to keep her from giving away all the booze -WhiskyFest San Francisco report, or, I don't know yet because I'm about to go there Watch this space for exciting updates, or, this is a blog post about not posting Labels: travel, writing_life Read more →
By me, in Friday's SF Chronicle: For the past few years, cocktail consultant Jacques Bezuidenhout has been sneaking maple syrup into the drinks he invents for the Starlight Room and special events, and perhaps it's finally caught on, because now we see it on several menus about town. At Bar Drake, downstairs from the Starlight Room, Bezuidenhout put maple syrup in the lobby bar's signature cocktail: the Bar Drake Manhattan. It contains Woodford Reserve bourbon, Port, Angostura bitters and maple syrup. 450 Powell St. (at Sutter), San Francisco; (415) 392-7755, Ext. 226, bardrake.com. Across town at the Presidio Social Club,... Read more →
Okay, last post about WhiskyFest until I go there: Here is the mention of the event in Friday's SF Chronicle: Lessons in whisky Malt Advocate magazine's WhiskyFest, which has been running annually for years in New York and Chicago, makes its debut in San Francisco on Tuesday. It's a one-stop whisk(e)y workshop, with lectures, tastings of more than 250 Scotch, Irish, Canadian, Japanese, and American whiskeys, and food to keep you from getting overwhelmed by it all. Some of the special guests and/or speakers this year are Jimmy Bedford, master distiller at Jack Daniel's, Fred Noe, Jim Beam's great grandson,... Read more →
Here's my big fat lost ingredients cover story in today's SF Chronicle Wine Section. Resurrecting spirits Camper English, Special to The Chronicle Friday, October 19, 2007 Last year, Erik Ellestad, a cocktail aficionado and systems administrator at UCSF, decided to drink his way through a classic recipe book. Though he initially considered "The Old Waldorf Astoria Bar Book," he found a cocktail every couple pages that required an obscure or unavailable ingredient, so he chose the easier-seeming "Savoy Cocktail Book" from 1930. On his path to making the book's 750 drinks, he hit his first snag at the second recipe:... Read more →
I just heard through the grapevine (read: just got the weekly email blast) that Diego Loret de Mola will be leading a Pisco tasting at Elixir in San Francisco on Thursday during their weekly Cocktail Club. I went to Diego's pisco presentation at Tales of the Cocktail this summer, and it was great. He had us all make our own pisco sours, though I doubt there is room for all that shaking at Elixir. Labels: events, pisco, SanFrancisco Read more →
Camper English is a cocktails and spirits writer for publications including Saveur (Contributing Drinks Editor), Details.com (Cocktail Columnist), FSR Magazine (Spirits Editor), Whisky Advocate, PopSci.com, Mixology, Drinks International, and many more. Learn about Camper and Alcademics, or read clips of his published work.