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March 2010

February 2010

Ilegal Infusions: The Word Gets Out

For the past month or so, San Francisco bars have been in a panic as the ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Control) decided to crack down on a few bars for having infusions. These, it turns out, are technically illegal in California, as are homemade bitters, tinctures, and liqueurs like limoncello. I decided it was best not to share this information with too many people, as maybe it's best the ABC doesn't know that half the bars in the city- including all the best ones- have some form of rectified spirits on the menu. But today the Chronicle put forth the news... Read more →

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Both the limited edition Absolut Los Angeles and the new permanent flavor Absolut Berri Acai contain pomegranate, blueberry, and acai flavors. Are they the same flavor or different? I asked PR representative Alison McGlone of Ketchum PR. She responded: ABSOLUT Berri Acai is a blend of Pomegranate, Blueberry and Acai whereas ABSOLUT LA was Acai, Acerola, Pomegranate and Blueberry. Thus, the difference is acerola, whatever that is. I would suspect that this is just a labeling difference, but McGlone says no: Despite the similar fruits, their aroma and taste are quite different and mix better with different ingredients as well. Read more →

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

42Below Vodka held a regional cocktail competition at the Regency Center in San Francisco. The winners of this event will fly to New York for the national competition, then those winners will fly to New Zealand for the international competition. The surprisingly hot ingredient of the night was fennel, which was used in three drinks out of ten entered, including the two winning drinks. Josh Harris used homemade fennel syrup, Chase Williamson used 42Below infused with fennel seeds, and Michael Callahan used fresh diced fennel root. To see more photos and the winners of the competition, click the link below.The... Read more →

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

First, they came for our bitters. Then they outlawed our egg whites and our infusions. What more could go wrong for bartenders this year? I'll tell you what: Chartreuse now costs $11 more per bottle. The wonderfully complex liqueur made by monks has been a favorite of bartenders who mix it into cocktails like the Chartreuse Swizzle and Laphroaig Project at work and consume chilled shots of the stuff when not on the clock. Now those fancy cocktails are going to cost a little bit more. I spoke with Antoinnette Cattani of Cattani Imports, the Chartreuse broker for the California... Read more →

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

The 11th annual Whiskies of the World event in San Francisco is March 27th, 2010 at the Hotel Nikko. I will be giving away three pair of VIP admission tickets to folks on the Alcademics A-Plus email list. Sign up now for your chance to win! If you don't win the giveaway, tickets are available for $110 general admission (6PM), or for an extra ten bucks, VIP tickets will get you in at 5:15PM and with access to some special whiskies poured only during this time. (Totally worth the upgrade.) All tickets include a buffet dinner, bands, and a lot... Read more →

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

Leblon cachaca threw a heck of a party at Rickhouse last night. Here are some photos. To see the rest, click below! Camper English and beverage PR superstar Debbie Rizzo Musical guests Diego's Umbrella. Super fun music. Guest bartender Phil Ward from Mayahuel in NYC Guest bartender Misty Kalkofen of Drink in Boston, and Rickhouse bartender Owen Westman Cocktail server and bartender Keli (sp?) of Rickhouse and Bourbon & Branch Doctor (of tequila) Vince Lund of Beretta Debbie Rizzo and bartender Tony Devencenzi Read more →

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

I stumbled across two cocktails made with sweet potatoes in one week. The first one I actually tried. It was served at Beso, Eva Longoria-Parker's restaurant that recently opened in Las Vegas. It was surprisingly drinkable. The Jimador Spice contains Chinaco Reposado tequila, Orange Curacao, Sweet Potato Puree, Lime Juice, Maple Syrup, and Angostura Bitters, with a Cinnamon Sugar Rim. The second was a contest winner for Benedictine, created by Daniel Victory of New Orleans. If you know how to make sweet potato au jus and have unflavored pop rocks sitting around, the rest is a cinch. Daniel Victory –... Read more →

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

Fernet-Branca is not the only fernet in the world. I hadn't tried any others but recently I received a bottle of R. Jelinek Fernet. The bottle says, "Product of the Czech Republic. This digestive beverage was created during the period of the Hapsburg dynasty in the latter part of the 19th century in the region of central Europe near the famous health spa town of Luhacovice, Czech Republic." The nose of it is clove-prune-mint (not in a bad way). In the mouth, the clove part dominates, with mint and raisin in the background. It's got a bitter finish but not... Read more →

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