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January 2010

This post is a continuation of this one on how to brine olives at home. My olives went from this: To this: To see the process, keep reading by selecting the link below. As you may recall from the earlier post, I was late on buying olives so the ones I ended up with were really small and a lot of them were bruised. I used the salt-and-water method to brine them, as opposed to lye. Using Karen Solomon's book I slit the olives, made brine, and covered the olives with a heavy plate to weigh them down. I checked... Read more →

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

In my latest story for San Francisco Magazine, I talk about bars opening inside other bars. Photograph by Chris Brennan Make it a doubleThese bars within bars offer patrons a choice of drinking styles. By Camper English The hottest haute cocktails require a range of syrups, bitters, fresh herbs, several types of gin, a lot of storage space, and extra time to make every drink. One way in which bar owners are handling the demand is by dividing and conquering, opening two bars in a single venue—one to promote quick service, the other for slow sipping. Until recently, the back... Read more →

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

The Great Debate Continues

You may recall a few weeks ago I wrote a piece for the San Francisco Chronicle about bartenders being less snobby that proved a bit controversial. Now a few others have taken up the conversation. My initial story had the following quote from Erick Castro of Rickhouse that touched a few nerves:"Three years ago it was OK to be rude. It used to be 'I'm not making a cosmo and you're a horrible person.' Now we say, 'I'm not making a cosmo, but I'm making you something better than a cosmo.' And if they like (the drink) they trust you... Read more →

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

Here are some drink-related things going on in San Francisco for Valentine's Day. First up, a club partnering with a hotel to rent rooms by the hour. Scandalous! Infusion Lounge and Hotel Fusion are turning the couples only holiday into a celebration of the single life. For one night only, Hotel Fusion offers a special $69 rate for guests who are looking for a short-term intimate setting. The special rate includes a standard room for up to three hours so guests can get to know each other a little better in privacy. Also included in the package are two drink... Read more →

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

This is the second post of my brief trip to Las Vegas to check out the new CityCenter. Part one is here. Our group had a big private lunch at the new Michael Mina restaurant American Fish. The food was interesting, but you don't come to Alcademics to read about meals. The drink menu at American Fish is probably the most ambitious in City Center, featuring many of my favorite classic cocktails like the Vieux Carre, Monkey Gland, East India Cocktail, Brandy Crusta, and Pegu Club. We weren't being served cocktails during lunch but I managed to sneak in one... Read more →

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

Greetings from Las Vegas! I'm here visiting the new CityCenter that is made up of the Aria casino and hotel, the Mandarin Oriental hotel, and Crystals shopping center. The place is pretty classy, but you don't come to Alcademics to read about gambling, except taking a gamble on potentially delicious cocktails. I'm staying at Aria. Here is the view from my room: I got here late yesterday, so I only had time to visit a few things. I dined at Union, a steak and lobster-centric restaurant in Aria. There are about 12 restaurants in Aria so I'll visit a few... Read more →

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

The new bar The Residence opened this past weekend in San Francisco. It's on the site of Amber and Zodiac restaurant before that. I believe they have the same owners but gave it a revamp. The biggest change is that the bar finally went non-smoking after using the owner-operated clause to have legal smoking for so many years. They changed over the entire bar in two weeks and surprisingly they got all the smoke smell out. They freshened up the place with a new paint job and furniture. The place is equally as casual and comfortable as it was as... Read more →

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

The Fifth Floor restaurant in San Francisco has rolled out (har!) their new bar cart and bar program. In the lounge bartenders will roam with a small cart serving classic cocktails like Martinis and Manhattans. The Martini is really the emphasis of the cart menu, with guests given a short menu with choices of gin and vermouth for drinkers to pick their preference. The goal of the cart program is give more of the interaction with the bartender that's not possible at the small bar that serves both the lounge and restaurant. I am actually more excited about the new... Read more →

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