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September 2007
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November 2007

October 2007

Cachaca: Bonus Blog Post

My Chronicle story on cachaca was too long (I tend to go on and on and on and on), so here is some extra info that didn't make it into the paper: Like boutique vodka, cachaca can be purchased in bulk from a major distiller and then aged, diluted or flavored to achieve the desired final taste profile and marketing message. Sagatiba and Cabana brand cachacas have placed ads in national magazines, though these products have not yet rolled out in the Bay Area. Anheuser-Busch has filed a trademark application on a cachaca named Luzia. Rio-D produces flavored cachacas, and... Read more →

Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF is now available for sale.

The Zagat guide to Diageo-approved restaurants

By me, in today's SF Chronicle: (yes, I wrote most of the Wine Section today) Zagat Survey launched the iDrinkWell.com Web site this week as a "guide to finding restaurants that not only serve great food but are also dedicated to serving you the highest quality drinks." Though not currently advertised on the site (iDrinkWell forwards to a Zagat microsite), iDrinkWell is a collaboration between Zagat Survey and international liquor company Diageo. The venues chosen for the site (61 in the entire Bay Area) must be Zagat-rated and must have participated in a Diageo-sponsored training program. No cocktail bars make... Read more →

Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF is now available for sale.

Good things come in small batches

By me, in today's SF Chronicle: Oct. 13 is the first Independent Spirits Fest, a big tasting event focused on small producers. Unlike most single-topic spirits bonanzas, this one has a bit of everything: cachaca, single-malt Scotch, liqueurs, flavored vodka, eau de vie, bourbon and more. Most of the Bay Area-based distillers (Charbay, Anchor, St. George, Osocalis) will present so you can support the home teams or try something from farther afield. Spirits are available for ordering on site, allowing you to get a jump on your holiday shopping. For added entertainment, "Cocktails on the Fly" Internet cocktail show host... Read more →

Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF is now available for sale.

Roshambo!

By me, in today's SF Chronicle: While most wineries sponsor genteel sports like croquet and polo, Roshambo stages a battle of fists. At high noon this Saturday, the fifth annual RockPaperScissors Championship gets under way. Competitors, who must register in advance ($20 at roshambowinery.com), come dressed for battle in opponent-concentration-breaking costumes like blue wigs and wrestling gear. The winner of the event takes home $2,500, which buys a lot of wine and better outfits in which to defend the title in 2008. Tickets for spectators (spectating costumes also encouraged) go for $10 in advance or $15 at the door. Noon-6... Read more →

Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF is now available for sale.

Cachaca in the Chron

Here's today's story in the SF Chronicle on the state of cachaca: A wave of artisan cachaca hits local bars Camper English, Special to The Chronicle Friday, October 5, 2007 Nipping at the mojito's heels, the caipirinha is poised to become the next Latin cocktail of the moment. With just three ingredients - a muddled half of lime, sugar and cachaca (kah-SHAH-sah), a Brazilian spirit - a caipirinha is easy enough to make. If a bar or restaurant has a muddler, there is a fair chance the bartender can make a caipirinha. With so few ingredients in the drink, the... Read more →

Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF is now available for sale.

A bitter exchange

...or rather, a Bitters Exchange! (See how I did that? Don't try it at home. I'm a professional.) Mr. Jimmy Patrick is organizing a bitters make-n-swap program. This makes good sense, as most recipes have you creating gallons of the stuff and that doesn't get used up so fast three drops at a time. I guess he'll work out the specifics later but he's already got four people signed up. Go join the fun. Labels: bitters Read more →

Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF is now available for sale.

Putting on the Ritz, putting Camper in the poorhouse

I'll be in Paris next week and have an entire afternoon free. As all my travel revolves around booze as well as my free time, I decided I should probably check out one of the world's most famous cocktail bars while I'm there, the Hemingway Bar in the Ritz Paris. A quick look at the menu tells me that I won't be visiting for more than one drink. The cocktails cost 23 Euros, which is more than 32 bucks American. Damn! I'll have to have a t-shirt made that says, "I went to Paris and all I ate was garnish."... Read more →

Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF is now available for sale.

WhiskyFest To-Do List

Amy Westlake from WhiskyFest (October 23 in SF, October 30 NY, Chicago April 4, 2008) sent me an email with the new bottlings available for tasting at the event this year. So take it as what's new in whisky or an ad for WhiskyFest. Whatevs-I wish every industry would list the new launches for each season. Aberlour 16yr. Benromach Organic Bowmore 18 yr. Several new Bruichladdichs The New Buffalo Trace 2007 Antique Collection Compass Box Flaming Heart Deanston 30 year old New release of Evan Williams Single Barrel, not going into circulation until 2008 New Glenmorangie finishes Hazelburn Lagavulin and... Read more →

Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF is now available for sale.