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August 2008

Sherry everywherey

I really thought I was going to be ahead of the curve on studying sherry in cocktails. I went to Jerez, I read books, I wrote a story for Men's Book by San Francisco Magazine that will be out soon. I was going to own sherry. But no. Sherry is this year's vermouth. All the drink writers had the same idea at the same time as (okay, probably before) I did. And now the stories are popping up everywhere. I noticed that this year's Sherry Vinos de Jerez competition is getting more press than ever. Just the other night I... Read more →

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John Hansell has the lowdown on a new rye whiskey coming to market in October. Siobhan Crosby of Imbibe Magazine is growing hops in her back yard. Bill Dowd has the info on the "Urban Bourbon Trail" in Louisville, Kentucky. I'm heading there next month for the Kentucky Bourbon Festival so maybe I'll see some of these spots. Hendrick's Gin is giving away a theramin. David Wondrich's Five Best Absinthes story from Esquire is online. Read more →

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Tasting tequila terroir

Two of the tequilas I wrote about in my June story in Wine & Spirits about tequila terroir are just now available in the United States. Ocho, which is imported by Altamar Brands (Kubler absinthe, Right gin), was given a packaging facelift from the modern look it has in Europe where it was first launched to one emphasizing the terroir- "Single Estate" is right on the bottle and "terroir" and "vintage" all over the press release. The bottles are labeled with the name of the estate and year of harvest of the agave. (Click for a larger image.) The other... Read more →

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SF booze news

I just heard from Victoria Damato-Moran, who tells me she's been hired at La Mar Cebicheria, the new Peruvian place on Pier 1 1/2. She'll be holding down the day shift (the woman loves happy hour), while Enrique Sanchez of Tres Agaves will be the lead bartender at night. I don't know Enrique yet, but I know I love some pisco. The restaurant is scheduled to open mid-September, but you know how these things go. Speaking of delayed restaurants with great bartenders, Dominic Venegas says the five-or-so months-delayed Gitane on Claude Lane should also open in September. When it does,... Read more →

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On ice

When Alembic bartender Josey Packard talked about moving from San Francisco back to Boston, she was worried about getting the right job. "There's a place opening in the fall that will have a Kold Draft machine, and I think I need to work there," she said. "Otherwise I'll have to make ice at home and bring it in my backpack on my bike to work." The statement was ridiculous and made in all seriousness. And I know how she feels- I'm not a bartender but I, too, cringe when forced to use the wrong ice in a drink. I keep... Read more →

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Mackay's Workday

Jordan Mackay has a nice long piece on being a bartender in 7X7 Magazine [link via Eater]. I especially love the sidebar: What Your Drink Says About You. Some excerpts: 1. Shot of PatrĂ³n You think you know, but you have no idea. 4. Vodka Soda Marina chick (even if you're a guy). 7. Milk of Millennia You're likely from L.A. 8. Mojito European tourist who will later ask whether we know of a good disco in the area. Read more →

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