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November 2010

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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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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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 →

Get Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF.


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 →

Get Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF.


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 →

Get Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF.