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March 2009

Fine Scotch Whisky, Not for Drinking

Usually when a whisky company releases a rare scotch, they pretend it's for drinking when they know it's going to sit on the shelf for 20 years in some rich person's collection. An exception to this is The Last Drop, a rare blended whisky costing $2000. It was sold with a standard-sized bottle to keep closed and a mini of the same stuff to taste. Now Jim Beam brands have released two scotches in the US that they're not even suggesting you drink. Laphroaig 25 year, which sells for $500, and Ardmore 30 year, which goes for $450. I've had... Read more →

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Gentleman's Information

I had always wondered about the composition of Charles H. Baker's two-volume set , The Gentleman's Companion. I own a reprint called Jigger, Beaker and Glass: Drinking Around the World with just drink recipes in it, but wasn't sure from what parts of the originals it came. Luckily I belong to a private library that has both volumes of the book in perfect condition so I checked them out to see. It turns out the two books have slightly different titles: The Gentleman's Companion Volume I: Being and Exotic Cookery Book or, Around the World with Knife Fork and Spoon... Read more →

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Send More Chipotle

As I was saying in the last post, I had a stunningly delicious drink made by Neyah White of Nopa- one of the best cocktails I've had so far this year. The Escondido Romano is made with maraschino liqueur, Cynar (artichoke) amaro, Hangar One's new limited-edition Chipotle flavored vodka, and sparkling wine. Please note that the picture to the right is not an actual photograph, but an artist's rendering of the drink. It is amazingly original and complex and smoky and perfect. I suggest asking for it at Nopa- but you'd better hurry. Neyah says that they were only allocated... Read more →

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SF Pairing Battle: Recap and Next Round

I was finally able to attend one of the Three on Five beverage pairing contests held at the Fifth Floor Restaurant in San Francisco. Information on previous battles is here: Round 1, Round 2, Round 3, Round 4, Round 5. This one was an all-vegetarian meal and battle, with Emily Wines pairing wines, Beth Whalen of City Beer Store pairing beer, and Neyah White of Nopa pairing cocktails. The event was just as much fun as I'd heard, with the judges explaining their pairing decisions before each course and the audience nerding out and comparing notes throughout the meal. And... Read more →

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Camper Wins with Pisco

Every Thursday there is an incredibly awesome nerdy online event called Thursday Drink Night at the Mixoloseum chat room. It starts at 4PM West Coast time. Each week there is a theme. Sometimes it's a concept (rinses) sometimes a recipe variation (Long Island Iced Tea, Zombie), and sometimes it's a particular product. Last week was Tuaca night, and tonight is Beefeater gin. In the chat, someone proposes a drink recipe and a bunch of people make the drink to see if they like it. There is much interactive tweaking of the recipes and fun commentary all around. Then we move... Read more →

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New Booze in the SFBG

Run screaming to your local newsstand to pick up today's San Francisco Bay Guardian for *two* articles by your favorite drink writer. (Hint: Me.) One is on "Outrageous Cocktails!" found in San Francisco bars, including drinks that are big, have weird ingredients, are expensive, or just have outrageous names, like Glenda's Hot Pink Oz-mopolitan offered at the Grand Cafe. The other is a new installment of New Booze. As the story was about liquor with a new spin (new flavor, category, production technique, etc.) they did the photography by spinning the bottles. Fun. The story is below after the break. Read more →

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