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June 2009

May 2009

This is the first installment of Drinks With, a new Alcademics category where I talk about what I talked about when having drinks with persons in the cocktails and spirits industry. Frequently I meet with brand ambassadors, bartenders, distillers, and other folks. I may learn a single bit of information or I may learn a lot. Drink With is the category in which I'll place my meeting notes. In May I met with Hamish Torrie, Brands Director at The Glenmorangie Company. Torrie works closely with Ardbeg, which is part of Glenmo (as we call it) and LVMH. We met for... Read more →

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

Alcohol Abstinence Education

Recently in the news, a 16 year old kid apparently died of excessive alcohol consumption at a party. (The autopsy is not complete, could have been other things in his system.) First the police locked up the party host who threw the event while his parents were away. Now they're trying to find who purchased the alcohol to prosecute that person as well. While I agree the alcohol-purchasing person should probably be fined, chances are he or she will be charged with involuntary manslaughter or something else awful. Personal responsibility be damned, let's blame someone else. I think that the... Read more →

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

Recently my book club chose the book Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky . Naturally I read it with an eye toward any reference to booze. Items of interest: The Celts invented the barrel. I'd always heard that it was the Romans, but the Romans conquered the Gauls, who were a Celtic tribe. I'm going to wait for confirmation on this one. Before corks, the Romans salted their wine to preserve it in a mixture called defrutum. Peat, as we know, is still used to impart smoke flavors to whisky. In northern Holland and southern Denmark it was also... Read more →

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

Starting last summer, bartenders all over the country were playing with smoke in cocktails. Currently, many are playing with the smoky flavors of Islay whisky and mescal in drinks. The savory cocktail trends has been going on for a couple years. And now a few distillers are putting spicy and saucy flavors directly into the bottle. Hangar One's Chipotle Vodka is in its second year of (limited-release) production, and as I've said, getting some interesting use in cocktails. Chicago's North Shore Distillery also released a spicy spirit (they're not calling it vodka but it's an infused neutral spirit) in a... Read more →

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

Cocktails for the Lazy: Saratoga

My favorite cocktails to make at home have a few things in common: - Not many ingredients. If I want a fancy complicated drink, I'll go to a bar and be served by a professional. - Easy-to-remember proportions so I don't have to look up the recipe. When I'm pulling out books to make drinks, it feels like work. - No fresh ingredients. I have nothing against fresh ingredients, it's just that I tend to run out of them. Even citrus, which I can purchase on a two-minute walk from my front door. But that would mean I would have... Read more →

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

What You are Doing on August 7th

On August 7th, 2009, you are attending my talk called Cocktails Get in the Mix, as part of the SF Chefs.Food.Wine extravaganza happening in Union Square on San Francisco. The talk is at 10:30 AM. It's me and Duggan McDonnell from Cantina and Thad Vogler from Bar Agricole. Cocktails Get in the Mix: Camper English (editor, Alcademics), Duggan McDonnell (Cantina), and Thad Vogler (Bar Agricole) discuss cocktail traditions and trends. The idea is to talk about the styles of cocktails present in San Francisco today. It's a lot like this piece I wrote, except with slides! Read more →

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