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December 2010

Fall Fun with Spiced Rum

My latest feature for the San Francisco Chronicle was in this Sunday (December 12, 2010)'s paper. The story is on spiced rum: both the proliferation of new brands and how some bartenders use it for its fall flavors. Read it here. ("When the Leaves Fall" cocktail as seen in San Francisco, California, on December 7, 2010. Drink styled by Lindsay Patterson. Photo: Craig Lee / Special to The Chronicle) The story features quotes and recipes from Clock Bar, the Burritt Room, and the Redwood Room, and includes quotes from Martin Cate, Kevin Diedrich, and Tommy Quimby. The story is here. Read more →

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Cerveza Adventure Part Three: Out in Playa Del Carmen

Read Part I Read Part II After a full day of jungle adventure, we hit the town of Playa Del Carmen on the last night of the Dos Equis Cargo Hunt winners' trip. Playa Del Carmen is a smaller city than nearby Cancun, near a long set of resorts down what they're calling the Mayan or Mexican Riviera. We started with dinner at a restaurant that specializes in flambe dishes. For dessert, some folks ordered the Mayan Coffee, made with coffee, Kahlua, Xtabentun (a local liqueur with anise and honey on a rum base), and sugar. First one waiter lit... Read more →

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Cerveza Adventure, Part Two

Read Part I When we last spoke, I was telling the tales of my trip to Playa Del Carmen with the winners of the Dos Equis Cargo Hunt. At the end of the first big day, we had dinner on the beach outside the hotel with a drum show and fresh hand-rolled rolled cigars. Fun fact: apparently one doesn't inhale cigars, unlike cigarettes, which is why other people don't get horribly barfy when they smoke them. The more you know. In the morning, we were off to a second epic day of adventure. We began at Rio Secreto, a series... Read more →

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Cerveza Adventure in Mexico

Hello from Mexico! Yes I was just in Kentucky yesterday morning but now I'm in mostly-sunny Playa Del Carmen, near Cancun. I'm hear on a trip with winners of the Dos Equis Cargo Hunt. They competed in an online treasure hunt to help The Most Interesting Man in the World (for the media shy of you, that's a very successful ad campaign) recover his lost items. I, on the other hand, am just a hanger-on traveling in the entourage. We're not visiting the Dos Equis distillery on this trip, so it's all about jungle adventure for these two days. Our... Read more →

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Four Roses Bourbon Distillery Visit

This week I was in Kentucky for a quick visit to the Four Roses distillery. For some history on this brand, see this post a I wrote a few years ago. In short, Four Roses was only a bourbon in Japan for many years, and has recently come back to the US market. They use two mashbills (grain makeup) and five strains of yeast to make ten recipes of bourbon. The ten recipes blended together ensure a consistent bourbon from batch to batch. Another way they help do this is by having single-story rickhouses. While other brands have several floors... Read more →

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Sherry Bodega Visit: Bodegas Tradicion

In September 2010 I visited several sherry bodegas. Here are pictures and a few notes from Bodegas Tradicion. (The small and beautiful bodega.) (Drinking out of the barrel.) (Criadera refers to the level of the barrel in the solera system. The 1/18 refers to the number of the barrel and the total of the set. ) (They also have an art gallery in the bodega. I call this painting "Laserdove".) Bodega only started in 1998 Only produce old sherries - VOS, VORS. They buy them from other bodegas already aged and put them into their solera system. To my palate,... Read more →

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