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September 2010

Blogging from Bar Convent Berlin

For the next week I'll be in Germany working as one of the official bloggers of Bar Convent Berlin, sponsored by Mixology Magazine. (I'm a regular contributor to Mixology these days- for some reason I find it very cool to be translated into German.) Hopefully I'll also get to visit a few of the great bars in town as well. I'll also be speaking at this industry convention about Future Trends in the Global Bar Scene along with the wondrous Phillip Duff. (And despite what it says on the website, we will not be speaking in German.) Other speakers at... Read more →

The Cocktail Bloggers' Convention

Come join me in Portland, Oregon October 20-24. I'm speaking at and attending Drink.Write 2010, the cocktail bloggers' convention. The convention is put on by the Cocktails and Spirits Online Writers Group, a collective of some of the top cocktail bloggers internationally. More information is available here, and tickets are for sale here. The topic I'm speaking on is this one: Cocktail Blogging: Where do we go from here? Explore the evolution and future of cocktail blogs with panelists who have successfully adapted their blogs and writing to leverage social media, support their own special projects, connect with new readership... Read more →

Freezing Objects in Ice

As you know I've been making clear ice at home. I've got a lot more experimenting to do, but for now I thought I'd try freezing a bottle inside a block. I started with a mini bottle of Chambord, since it's the flashiest one I own. I tied a piece of fishing line around the neck of the bottle and suspended it in my ice-making cooler. I tied the top around a ruler to hold it above the cooler. Happily it stayed in place while freezing. I popped out the block. This block was cloudier than usual. I'm not sure... Read more →

How Long Does Sherry Last?

Sherry is a wine, albeit a fortified one, that does spoil after a certain time being open. It also typically doesn't improve once it is put into the bottle so here's how long to keep it around. According to the Consejo Regulador of Sherry, the wine should be stored for the following times: Fino or Manzanilla: in a sealed bottle it will last for 12 to 18 months. If the bottle is opened and stored in the refrigerator, it will last one week. Amontillado and Medium Sweet Sherries in a sealed bottle will last for 18 to 36 months. If... Read more →

Sherry is Not Just for Sipping

In the new issue of Fine Cooking Magazine, Tara Q. Thomas has a story on sherry with food pairings (preview mode so far- full story should appear at the link later). To pair with the feature on the FineCooking.com drink blog, I list a simple recipe for the Sherry Cobbler. Should you want more complicated recipes, I recommend stopping off at the Secret Sherry Society website for drinks from the likes of Charles Joly, Erick Castro, Danny Valdez, Thomas Waugh, and Phil Ward. Read more →

New Fall Cocktail Menus at Clock Bar and Bourbon & Branch and Rickhouse and Presidio Social Club

So many new drinks, so little time: Clock Bar, Bourbon & Branch, Rickhouse, and Presidio Social Club launched new cocktails for fall in the past week. All have a ton of good-looking drinks. Clock Bar General Manager Phillip Barcio sent me some highlights: "We are proud to be using some amazing local urban honey from Liz Murray of Sweet Thieves, from her hive on the roof of her house in Haight Ashbury. Drinkwell made a delicious lacto-fermented apple soda for us this season. It's in our Autumn Fizz. We have a cherry reduction and fresh pears from Frog Hollow Farm,... Read more →

The Savory Steakhouse Cocktail Menu

Alexander's Steakhouse was born in Silicon Valley, a land where venture capitalists can buy $135 Wagyu steaks (pdf menu) on the corporate credit card. By several accounts I've heard, it's worth the money. Last week they opened a San Francisco outpost in the former Bacar space on Brannan Street. I went in to try the cocktails. The drinks here lean heavily towards savory flavors including carrot, cucumber, cilantro, thyme, rosemary, turmeric, and other fruits and herbs. I'm glad to see it- so many San Francisco bars have moved away from the "salad in a glass" model of fresh ingredient mixology... Read more →

Breaking: Jose Cuervo is a Small Craft Distillery

I don't often pick on bad press releases, but this one made my jaw drop in its chutzpa. Apparently Maestro Dobel tequila is part of the growing trend of small-batch craft distilling. Never mind that the brand comes from NOM 1122, which is the distillery where they make such other small batch spirits as Jose Cuervo, 1800 Tequila, and Gran Centenario. Get a load of this press release that just came in (emphasis in bold mine): Craft spirits remain a tiny niche in the U.S however, consumers are always looking for exclusivity when it comes to liquors. Craft distillers, small... Read more →