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December 2009

November 2009

Once upon a time, premium vodkas were premium enough. Then along came a little brand called Grey Goose that convinced everyone that they should pay more for vodka. It took several years for other brands to react to this, but eventually they did, releasing new and more expensive versions of their vodkas. From this era we received Stolichnaya Elit, Level vodka from Absolut, Skyy 90, and I just read about something called Belvedere Intense. Several of these vodkas have an increased alcohol percentage that helps explain their price increases. Others have taller bottles. Now Van Gogh Vodka has launched a... Read more →

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

Vodka is getting weirder, which makes it more interesting in my book. Vodka can be distilled from anything that ferments and is already made from wheat, rye, corn, sugar beets, molasses, potatoes, maple syrup, and other ingredients. Now it's also made from oranges. 4 Orange Vodka is "distilled from 100% orange spirits derived from four unique Florida orange varieties - the Hamlin, Parson Brown, Temple and Valencia." The website say 4 Orange Vodka it's initially only available in Florida, retailing for $24.99. 360 Vodka, an organic vodka made in the midwest, has launched a new flavor: Cola. The company suggests... Read more →

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

Another Clue to Ice Clarity: Slow Freezing Like a Japanese Pond

The other night a friend of mine told me that she read something about clear ice, which as you may recall is a topic of interest of this blog. Naturally I forgot what she said (we were at a bar, remember) but the next day I found the following email I had sent to myself: "Clear ice old japan sawdust" The amazing thing is that when you put that into Google the very first story it comes up with is what I assume is the exact thing my friend was talking about. In this story on natural ice (popsicles) in... Read more →

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

Here's a new edition in my ongoing ice experiments. So far, there experiments have been: Distilled vs. Tap Water Melting and refreezing water Hot Water vs. Cold Water Carbonated Water vs. Still Water Horizontal vs. Vertical Container Shapes With successes in: Releasing Air Trapped in Ice Cutting Corners to Make Clear Ice So far my conclusions have been that (at least with my San Francisco water), temperature and filtering have less of an effect than trapped air that migrates to the center of the freezing cube. Thus I am trying to minimize this effect. In this experiment I froze ice... Read more →

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

Smuggler's Cove, the new San Francisco tiki bar in the former Jade bar space, run by "Shoeless" Martin Cate formerly of Forbidden Island, will open December 8th to much fanfare. The word on the scene is that the rum selection is going to be ridiculously large. The staff are in training now to make the probably very long menu of undoubtedly complicated and delicious tiki drinks. They've already announced they have a rum, and wine, and a beer made exclusively for the bar. And it keeps getting better- I just got word on the staff. The Smuggler's Cove rumshakers will... Read more →

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

Hey, there's another 100% agave tequila on the market. El Grado tequila is available in California, Arizona, and Texas so far. The tequila is made at Productos Regionales de Atotonilco, a distillery where they also produce brands El Rincon, Los Kikirikis, and Sol De Mexico, according to Tequila.net. Atotonilco is the town where they make Don Julio and Siete Leguas, so lots of good stuff comes from there. The press release is rather vague on production details. The agave is from the Highlands,they use ex-Tennessee whiskey barrels for aging, and the picture of the still looks like it's tiny and... Read more →

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

Oxley is a new gin just launched in NYC, SF, LA, and Vegas. The interesting thing about this product is that it's made through "cold distillation." The theory is that the high temperatures used in traditional gin distillation to boil alcohol (to separate it from water and the infused botanicals in the still) can impart 'cooked' notes or lose desirable flavors in gin. However, the press release didn't go into what cold distillation is. One option could be freeze distillation, where you put out a jug of wine outside your front door in the winter to let it freeze. You... Read more →

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