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June 2009

In this past weekend's Wall Street Journal, Eric Felten looks at Rock and Rye, a supposedly-medicinal pre-mixed cocktail. I was just starting to look into the history of the Rock and Rye when Greg Lindgren of the bar Rye in San Francisco send me some information about it, but now Greg's concoction is mentioned here and Felten did my research for me. Thanks! At Rye in SF, they serve a Rock and Rye Manhattan and in the winter use it in a Hot Toddy. One thing that Lindgren mentioned is that he thought Southern Comfort might have been a Rock... Read more →

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

I wrote a story in this weekend's San Francisco Chronicle about Charles H. Baker's cocktails and their popularity, centering around the program at Heaven's Dog in San Francisco. "A hazy memory of a night in Havana during the unpleasantnesses of 1933, when each swallow was punctuated with bombs going off on the Prado..." This line by Charles H. Baker Jr. introduces not an account of Cuban rebellion but the cocktail Remember the Maine, which he was drinking there while it took place. Baker wrote about drinks from his travels around the world in the early 1900s, mostly during Prohibition, when... Read more →

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

Juan Contreras is the son of Don Pilar, the guy whose name is on the bottle. He's also the brand ambassador and marketing director. I met him at Zazil for some tequila. But really the story is all about Don Pilar. Contreras said his father had an agave ranch in Mexico, but moved to the US years ago and worked his way up from fruit picker to multi-restaurant owner. The tequila brand was launched in 2008 with just one product- an anejo. Currently the second batch is on shelves, and Contreras says it's better than the first. The estate-grown agave... Read more →

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

Chesterfield Browne has an awesome name and a pretty awesome job as the International Brand Ambassador for Mount Gay Rum. We met up for drinks at Absinthe a few months ago. (As you can tell, I'm catching up on some long-overdue Drinks With blog posts.) Mount Gay is made by blending some flavorful pot still rum into column distilled more neutral rum. The flagship product of the brand is the Eclipse (with 2-7 year rums inside), a slightly dark rum great for mixing. The Silver Eclipse is a newer product, and clear. Browne tells me Bajans don't usually drink clear... Read more →

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

About two weeks after I met up with Hamish Torrie of Ardbeg, Paul Neep, Chief Executive at The Glenmorangie Company (of which Ardbeg is part) came into town to talk Glenmorangie. Unfortunately we picked the Redwood Room to do so- they only carried two of Glenmo's line and discontinued the flights they had previously offered. That was too bad because I have a hankering to try the Astar, a no-age-statement, cask-strength, non-chill-filtered whisky that's all about the wood: slow-growth, north-facing trees are air-dried for the barrels. It was an experiment in using the best barrels possible for scotch. Neep also... Read more →

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

SF Event: Leopold Ginner

I've been meaning to visit Camino for quite a while. If you're in the same boat, check it: They're hosting a Leopold Brothers' dinner. Leopold Brothers make gin, absinthe, peach whiskey, liqueurs, plus some other spirits. Drinks will be mixed by Thad Vogler, and all of it with dinner is $65. Not a bad price. Master Distiller Todd Leopold will also be in attendance. See you there? Details are here. Read more →

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

The organic vodkas continue to hit store shelves. Hopefully this trend will continue to the point at which the organic part won't be the selling point anymore, and you'll have the option of organic spirits or regular in everything, just like at the grocery store. Recently I found three new organic vodkas in my mouth: Blue Ice Organic: Though their other (tasty, bargain) vodka is made from non-organic Idaho potatoes, the new Blue Ice Organic is "made from 100%, locally harvested, organic winter wheat and pristine Idaho water." Shadow Spirits Organic Vodka: I found this at the American Distilling Institute... Read more →

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