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August 2009

July 2009

Remember when I trained for and passed the BARSmarts Advanced course? Well now they've opened up the course to non-bartenders (and press). The new BARSmarts Wired program goes live on Saturday, August 1. You sign up and pay $45 that gets you not just the course workbook but also the bag of bar tools like shaker, strainers, muddler, etc. The course was developed by the folks from the B.A.R., some of the biggest names in the industry- Doug Frost, Steve Olson, David Wondrich, Dale DeGroff, Andy Seymour, and Paul Pacult. Unlike the BARSmarts Advanced that I took, the Wired version... Read more →

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

It's tomato season and all the local restaurants are rolling out the tomato carts and tomato specialty dinners. The bartenders are getting in on the action too. At Range, Carlos Yturria's famous Sungold Zinger is back on the menu, made with Sungold Zinger cherry tomatoes, No. 209 gin, lemon, agave syrup, and salt. The bartenders at Range restaurant in San Francisco have started two blogs, by the way. Cocktail of the Day lists the daily cocktail served at the restaurant, and Inside the Blood Bank (from which I stole the picture) is a more general bartender and drink blog. Elsewhere... Read more →

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

In August, both Details and GQ did big tequila stories. Yum. In Details tequila piece, they recommend El Tesoro Anejo, Siete Legua Blanco, El Jimador Reposado, and Sombra Mezcal. They also write about Phil Ward's bar Mayahuel (using the spelling mezcal), Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Cocktail Bitters, and list drink recipes for classic and improved versions of the Paloma, plus a strawberry drink called La Vida Rosa and a mezcal-beer cocktail called A Beer and a Smoke. The entire story is online here. Let's compare that with Esquire, where they did their own big tequila story. In this one they have... Read more →

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

Glossy Booze is a regular Alcademics feature in which I talk about the alcohol coverage in magazines. Gourmet (July) has a ton of liquor content this month: an essay on cocktail parties, a Negroni recipe, a brief mention of big ice, a recipe for Fresh Tomato Bloody Marys in a brunch story, Fresh Mint Juleps in an American party story, a Black and Tan recipe in an afternoon meal story, and several recipes for cocktail-flavored ice pops. (More ice pop recipes here.) Saveur (July) has six drink recipes on one page: Book Club Sangria, Kentucky Club Margarita, Michelada, Longhorn Bull... Read more →

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

What Would You Ask Cuervo's Maestro Tequilero?

Alcademics has very intelligent readers. Oh yes you are! And I am lucky to have access to some top distillers, brand ambassadors, and other industry people and meet up with tons of them when they come into town. So I thought I would see if Alcademics readers had questions for industry folks I am meeting. I'll take your questions to my meetings and get responses to post here. This could be an ongoing series if it works out. On Thursday (July 30, 2009) I am meeting Francicso Hanal Alfaro, Cuervo's Maestro Tequilero and Araceli Ramos, Director at La RojeƱa, the... Read more →

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

It may surprise anyone who knows me to learn that I've recently become a property owner. It's true! I certainly couldn't afford to buy property on a freelance writer's pay- I can't even afford basic cable. And no rich relative died and left property to me, as I don't have any rich relatives. Thankfully, the good people of Laphroaig single-malt scotch whisky bequeathed to me one square foot of Islay, near the distillery. You get this when you sign up for their customer loyalty program, Friends of Laphroaig. When you sign up, you get a certificate mailed. It says they'll... Read more →

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

My latest story in the San Francisco Chronicle (from Sunday's paper) went online today. Read it here. Ginger beer gives a buck more bang Camper English, Special to The Chronicle Friday, July 24, 2009 When ginger ale or beer is mixed with citrus in a drink, it is - or more accurately, was - known as a buck. Early cocktail books list recipes for the gin buck or London buck cocktail, and variations of rum bucks were called the Shanghai buck, Jamaica buck or Barbados buck, depending on the type of rum used. If you squeeze your lime garnish into... Read more →

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

Technique vs. Terroir

My wine knowledge is... limited, so maybe this happens all the time: A group of five winemakers in Oregon took grapes from five vineyards and each made wine from it. Now those wines are ready for release and you can buy them as a set (for $1250). The experiment explores the technique of the wine maker versus the terroir of the vineyard as each winemaker puts his stamp on the same set of grapes. Cool stuff, says me. Willamette Valley, Oregon (July 22, 2009) - Five renowned Oregon winemakers have tapped five Willamette Valley vineyards to create 25 unique expressions... Read more →

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