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December 2010

In November I visited seven tequila distilleries in Mexico. Here are some pictures and notes from my visit to the Sauza distillery in the town of Tequila. (First we visited the agave nursery. Sauza is unique in that they propagate their agave not by using baby plants but by... fancier scientific means.) (This is what an agave looks like if allowed to propagate.) (You can see close-up that instead of producing seeds, the mother plant produces little baby plants.) (We had a lecture about plant propagation.) (I just like this picture from the distillery.) (This is the diffuser. Super clean... Read more →

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2010: The Year That Was

Looking back through my 2010 calendar, the year's theme was HUSTLE. In 2010 I visited 23 distilleries, bodegas, and blending houses. I traveled to Vegas twice, New York twice, Guatemala, New Zealand, Scotland twice, New Orleans, Spain, Germany, Portland, Kentucky, and Mexico twice. I had stories published for the first time in Wired, Penthouse, Executive Travel, 7x7, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, Mixology, and Tasting Table. I continued to have articles published in the San Francisco Chronicle, Tasting Panel, Beverage Media, Caviar Affair, SilverKris, and Fine Cooking. On top of all that, I blogged here on Alcademics almost every day... Read more →

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

Hey, I have a recipe in the new book The Cocktail Collective ! It was edited by Jacob Grier and it includes my Perudriver. I've been cited in a few books, but this is the first time I've had a recipe in one. (Grier assures us that there are no actual blue drinks in the book.) As I haven't seen the book in person yet, I'll let Jacob do it. The info below is pasted from his website: The guide includes more than 200 cocktail recipes in chapters devoted to brandy, gin, rum, tequila, vodka, whiskey, and assorted spirits like... Read more →

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

In September 2010 I visited several sherry bodegas. Here are pictures and a few notes from Bodegas Sanchez Romate. (Our guide used a barrel as a chalkboard.) (Our host.) (The bodega is relatively small and sort of goth.) (We signed a barrel.) Not a touristy bodega- don’t do tours Fino has more oxidation than manzanilla because the flor dies in winter and summer in Jerez. Delicious amontillado 5 years under flor Muscatel was like blueberry pie filling with curry Brandy Cardenal Mendoza top selling brandy de Jerez in US Read more →

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

I recently received a review copy of Champagne Cocktails by Jared Brown & Anistatia Miller. The book was first published in 1999 and they've just released a 2010 edition. The book's description is: Fancy the classic Champagne Cocktail that Esquire magazine called one of the "Ten Best Cocktails of 1934"? Lean toward something more daring like the creamy, frothy Soyer au Champagne crafted by 1840s celebrity chef Alexis Benoit Soyer? Looking for a modern elderflower-scented sparkler like the Waterloo Sunset or a Negroni Sbagliato? Or are you simply an unrepentant sipper of the bubbly in any way shape or form?... Read more →

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

(Image courtesy of Cherry Heering.) In my latest blog post at FineCooking.com, I introduce the Blood and Sand. The cocktail was almost certainly created in honor of the 1922 silent movie of the same name, staring Rudolph Valentino. I've also written a long story about all the different ways bartenders are changing this drink, but that's going in an upcoming issue of Mixology Magazine so unless you read German you're out of luck on that one. I will say, though, that should you decide to watch the movie on which the drink is based, the 1941 version with Rita Hayworth... Read more →

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

Here is the new cocktail menu from Nightjar in London. It has some great looking drinks on it: Galliano balsamic float on a shrub, absinthe smoke, barrel-aged Pina Colada and a bottle-aged Bloody Mary, prune and truffle liqueur, etc. COCKTAILS THE FOLLOWING PAGES LIST OUR WIDE RANGE OF RARE, REVIVED AND ORIGINAL COCKTAILS. OUR LIST IS DIVIDED INTO FOUR SECTIONS, SPANNING THE GLORIOUS HISTORY OF THE COCKTAIL: PRE-PROHIBITION, PROHIBITION, POST-WAR AND NIGHTJAR SIGNATURES. OUR BAR STAFF WILL HAPPILY MAKE ANY CLASSIC OR MIX YOU A COCKTAIL TO ORDER. PRE-PROHIBITION - 1600-1918 ANCIENT RECIPES AS WELL AS EARLY CLASSICS FROM THE... Read more →

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

Cocktail Menu: Red Medicine in Los Angeles

Red Medicine is a new restaurant/lounge in Beverly Hills run by some Michael Mina alums, including group beverage director Noah Ellis. When I look at this menu, all I can see is "Chili-Anise Shrub" and "Chinchon Anis." Sound delicious. Here is the drink menu, pasted from their website. #11 Pimm’s No. 1, Apricot “Brandy”, Lemon,Egg White, Purple Basil, Splash of Soda Shaken well and served in a fizz glass without ice #18 Krome Vodka, Chili-Anise Shrub, Lime,Grapefruit, Peychaud’s Bitters, Thai Basil,Ginger Beer Shaken and rolled into a tall glass Inspired by Scott Beattie’s ‘Irian Jaya’ #22 Red Wine, Sparkling Lemonade... Read more →

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