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November 2008

Bartender Mentors

St. John Frizell has a story in Edible Manhattan about bartender mentoring, and the passing of knowledge from Dale DeGroff to Audrey Saunders to Jim Meehan to his staff. Go read it. I wrote a long post about how San Francisco is more of a collaborative environment than a mentoring one, with the overall quality of drinks throughout the city increasing more than in just the superstar venues as in NYC, but then I realized I was just thinking out loud. Drinks are good, y'all! Read more →

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Sherry Seminar

Steve Olson is a consultant and spokesperson for the Wines from Spain, a group of Spanish wine producers. We met at B44 on Belden Lane for a Spanish lunch and big sherry tasting with 14 really fine examples. Sherry is a particularly difficult wine to understand, for reasons explained below. Last year I attended a two-day training at the Sandeman bodega in Jerez, and I learned a huge amount about the terroir, production, legality, and flavor of sherry. They really tried to make it easy for us. But then came the hard part- the tasting. It's not hard because it's... Read more →

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The New DeGroff

The Craft of the Cocktail by Dale DeGroff is one of my go-to books for drink recipes. Come to think of it, for actual drinks I'm going to make around the house, it's probably the first place I look. Now he's released a second book, called The Essential Cocktail: The Art of Mixing Perfect Drinks . While Craft has 500 recipes, this book has 100 recipes, plus 100 variations on each. I attended Dale's book launch party in San Francisco at Level III, and asked him a few questions. What's the difference between this book at Craft of the Cocktail?... Read more →

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Home Celebrity Invasion

Check out this big charity auction from Woodbridge Wines. There are bunch of food things to bid on, but some good booze ones too. You can make Tony Abou-Ganim come to your party and serve drinks! Also Waterford decanter and wine glasses. A bag of Wine Spectator swag. And right now there is a bargain bid price on the Sunset Headquarters lunch and tour. The HQ sounds kinds of glam. Someone go bid on that and take me as your guest. A lot of the prices are too low and the auction ends on the 23rd so go and bid. Read more →

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Of all the competitions between all the spirits brands, there is no more heated battle than the one for dominance of the cachaca market. Cachaca, Brazilian rum made from sugar cane (instead of molasses) is the ingredient in the Caipirinha, the drink many people are banking on to become the "next Mojito." But first there are some problems. Though there are thousands of cachacas in Brazil, and most Americans don't know what cachaca is, what it's supposed to taste like, or how to pronounce it. Thus, brands trying to gain market share in America have to do a lot of... Read more →

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