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November 2010

Cognac Cocktails in the Los Angeles Times Magazine

My first story for the LA Times Magazine is now online. It is in the Sunday, December 7, 2010 print edition. (Photo by Bartholomew Cooke) The story is a brief airing of a pet peeve: Why are there so few cognac cocktails being served when we're supposedly in the midst of a classic cocktail renaissance? The article also includes four recipes from Damian Windsor of the Roger Room. Read and enjoy! Read more →

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Mile-High Mixology: Delta and United Create Same Cocktail

On one hand, it's great that airlines are getting into cocktails. On the other hand, there's not a lot to work with when you're limited to the selection of liquids already on the cart. This month both Delta and United announced their new cocktails. Delta [via jaunted via Forest]: Bourbon Breeze (Woodford Reserve Small Batch Bourbon/Cranberry & Apple Juice/Splash Orange Juice/Lime Wedge Garnish) United [via MarketWatch]: United Airlines is offering customers, beginning today, a refreshing new signature cocktail, Sunrise Sunset, on all United flights that offer beverage service. The sweet and tangy cocktail, developed by United flight attendant Tita Martin,... Read more →

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Off-Topic: Cell Phone Data Plans Abroad

I travel a lot visiting distilleries around the world. I need to check my email at least at night, but I also have fantasies of uploading pictures and video from my phone as I roam about during the day. When I'm in a place without wi-fi, I'd have to use an international data plan. So I decided to price those out for the top three US carriers. These are only the data plans, not voice roaming. I hardly use the phone for phone calls so I don't worry about that much. As far as I can tell the international phones... Read more →

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Does Refreezing Clear Air-Free Ice Result In a Large Clear Block?

This is an experiment in my ongoing project to make clear ice. I've figured out a way to do it using an Igloo cooler. This experiment is an attempt to make clear ice without one. A long time ago, I tested the theory that freezing, thawing, and refreezing water makes clear ice blocks. After 13 tries I determined that it refreezing water does not make clearer ice. However, it recently occurred to me that I could test out something else. If we take just the clear part of ice (leaving behind the cloudy, air-rich stuff), melt it and refreeze it,... Read more →

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Boozehound by Jason Wilson

I read Washinton Post cocktail columnist Jason Wilson's new book Boozehound. Here are my thoughts. If you're a regular reader of Wilson's Post column (and you should be) you'll already know a lot of his feelings on false marketing claims and made-up brand stories. In this book he gives a lot of the backstory on his experiences with magical marketing and that's where he's at his funniest- going off about St. Germain, Chartreuse, and Jagermeister. Because I know Wilson's writing and the man in person I'm used to all his ranting and raving, so what stuck with me about the... Read more →

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Cutting Blocks of Ice with an Icepick

To cut the large blocks of clear ice that I make at home using and Igloo cooler (methodology here), I have always busted out the saw I bought for that reason. However, last week I gave a talk on ice at Portland Cocktail Week with Evan Zimmerman and Jim Romdall. During the talk one of them (Evan I think) mentioned how you use an ice pick to cut apart a block of ice the easy way. I cringed thinking of all the time I'd spent sawing when this way is like 1000 times easier. I hope I can save you... Read more →

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