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March 2009

What will take vinegar's place as the freaky new cocktail ingredient to sweep the nation? It could be beets. A couple of years ago I had my first beet drink, at Mint and 820, the Portland, OR bars where Lucy Brennan rules the roost. Soon thereafter, Brennan's book Hip Sips came out with the recipe. The drink is merely beet-infused vodka with lemon-lime fresh sour mix. It's delicious. That was the only beet drink I'd seen until a few months ago. In October, Double Cross Vodka was promoting a set of drinks including the Borscht Martini. It is merely muddled... Read more →

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

The New Yorker has Cocktail Recipes for the Recession. Awesome. Broke & Tan Fall asleep in yard on weekday, wake up sun-burned and so dehydrated that anything tastes good. Long Island Iced 401-K Put hopes in shaker. Add dreams. Shake until dashed, then drink all the vodka, gin, tequila and rum left in liquor cabinet. More here. Read more →

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

Within the spirits industry, there is a lot of toasting, often at the beginning and end of dinner, while thanking the hosts and chefs, when greeting visitors, before taking shots, before moving to another bar or restaurant and then after arriving there, when saying goodbye, between courses, etc. It can be a bit much, but worse than that is this the notion that you have to clink glasses with everyone in the room and look your fellow toasters in the eye. Sure, it's polite, but it's not always practical, especially when you're doing it 20 times in an evening with... Read more →

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

Wow- This is a great animated website, promoting a product in cool bottles with limited edition goth-style art. It's too bad about what's in those bottles. They have the European legal maximum amount of thujone, the chemical in grand wormwood that is the supposed hallucinogenic (but isn't really unless you poison yourself with it). In the EU the limit is 35 parts per million as opposed to 10 in the USA. The thujone is placed in 25% alcohol (most vodka is 40%, most absinthe is around 65%) then made less bitter according to the text on the website. So you... Read more →

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

Glossy Booze is an occasional round-up of cocktails and spirits stories in magazines. Imbibe Magazine (March/April) has features on smoked cocktails, "coffee happenings across the globe," moonshine, beer and food pairing, drinking in Philadelphia, and Riesling. 7X7 (February) has a story on pizza-pairing with wine. Bon Appetit (March) is full o' booze this month, with a recipe for Toby Maloney's cocktail Maloney's Irish Cream, the difference between mixologist and bartender, songs for a cocktail party, recommended absinthes, a feature on vodka, and a recipe for the Orange Aperol Sun. GQ (March) has a quick mention of Averna and Riedel stemless... Read more →

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

As a bonus supplement to my story in the SF Chronicle on E Clampus Vitus, here are pictures I took of the historic plaques located around SF. I didn't get a picture of the Anchor Brewing or Molloy's Tavern in Colma, but here are the other four. Bonus: Bummer and Lazarus plaque. Read more →

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

Though we like to think the interest in classic cocktails is a recent one, the members of E Clampus Vitus have been celebrating drink history since the year 5937. That date - 1932 in our years - corresponds with the rebirth of an organization commonly called ECV, or the Clampers, whose motto, Credo Quia Absurdum, translates (though not exactly) into "I believe because it is absurd." Here is the rest of this story I wrote in today's San Francisco Chronicle about E Camplus Vitus, a drinking historical society or a historical drinking society- they can't decide which. Read more →

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