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July 2010

June 2010

After nearly a year of no notable cocktail programs launching in San Francisco, they're coming fast and furious these days, with the Comstock Saloon, Burritt Room, Scott Beattie's program at Spoonbar in Healdsburg, Brooke Arthur's menu at Prospect, and The Bon Vivants at Wayfare Tavern. What's that, you say? Didn't you just read in the Eater interview with Tyler Florence about his restaurant Wayfare Tavern that he won't have fancy cocktails? Yes you did: Can we talk about the bar program? You know, there are some amazing consultants in the city, but I don't know if we're necessarily going to... Read more →

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

Last week I visited the Isle of Jura, The Dalmore, and Fettercairn distilleries in Scotland. These brands are all owned by White & Mackay. This post is about visiting the Fettercairn distillery. (Fettercairn marked with red pin. Map made with Google Maps) From The Dalmore distillery we went on yet another gorgeous drive over two mountain ranges to reach Fettercairn, a distillery named after the town where it is located. As you can see on the map below, after you come down from the mountains where much of the vegetation is heather (brown at this time of year) like low... Read more →

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

Last week I visited the Isle of Jura, The Dalmore, and Fettercairn distilleries in Scotland. These brands are all owned by White & Mackay. This post is about visiting The Dalmore distillery. (The Dalmore distillery indicated by red dot. Map from Google Maps.) From Jura, we took a boat to the mainland and then drove diagonally northeast to reach The Dalmore. It was a long and gorgeous drive into the Highlands that took the better part of a day. (The Dalmore distillery) There are many things that make up the final flavor profile of a single-malt scotch, including the variety... Read more →

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

Last week I visited my 50th distillery/blending house at the Isle of Jura. What made it extra special is that we hit it at 1:30 in the morning. Though the Isle of Jura is closer to mainland Scotland than Islay, to reach it you take either a plane or ferry to Islay then another quick ferry to Jura. (Jura is the red dot on the map below. Islay is the island to its left.) (Map produced using Google Maps.) Jura has far fewer inhabitants than Islay- I think around 200 compared with Islay's 3500- and just one distillery compared with... Read more →

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

Opening July 1 in Healdsburg, CA will be the H2Hotel, the sister property to the Hotel Healdsburg. At the adjoining casual restaurant Spoonbar, the one and only Scott Beattie will be back behind the bar four nights each week. Beattie worked in several San Francisco bars, but really made his name at Cyrus, also in Healdsburg, and published a book of drink recipes from the bar called Artisinal Cocktails. His drinks are typically in the California style; calling for fresh, seasonal, sometimes personally-grown ingredients. I got a sneak peek of the new menu for Spoonbar and it is very much... Read more →

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

The last time I was in Glasgow Scotland, actually just a month ago, I hit all the cocktail bars I meant to except one. I returned to Glasgow on another scotch trip last week (I know!), this time with Isle of Jura and The Dalmore, and luckily I got a second chance. The bar is at the Blythswood Square Hotel and I think was previously a Royal Air Force club of some sorts. The bar program is directed by Head Bartender Mal Spence. Spence was previously in Edinburgh and hired his own staff locally and from Edinburgh to work here.... Read more →

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

No, I'm not 50 years old, but I visited my 50th distillery/blending house here in Scotland at the Isle of Jura distillery. I'm lucky to have seen so many places around the world and look forward to seeing many more. I'll post more information about the trip later, but here's the glamour (note European spelling) shot. Read more →

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