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December 2010
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February 2011

January 2011

In September 2010 I visited several sherry bodegas. Here are pictures and a few notes from Bodegas Gonzalez Byass. (The grounds of the bodega have grape vines covering the streets to provide shade.) (A train takes people on a tour around the bodega.) (One of the rooms for special events.) (A barrel signed by Picasso.) (Some Tio Pepe out of the cask. You can see the flor broken up in the glass.) Make Tio Pepe Over 200,000 visitors per year to bodega Tio Pepe grapes are and will always be collected by hand, not machine Higher vineyards considered better –... Read more →

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

Cocktail Menu: Chapel Tavern in Reno, Nevada

Well I guess I know where to drink in Reno now. T. Duncan Mitchell of Chapel Tavern sent me the seasonal cocktail menu. I want to point out two things: 1. They serve the Laphraoig Project 2. It only costs eight bucks! Cocktails $8 each Dealer’s Choice Let the bartender choose a cocktail for you. Name your base spirit preference if you like. Corpse Reviver #1 Cognac, Apple Brandy, Sweet Vermouth (To be taken before 11a.m., or whenever steam and energy are needed.) The Laphroaig Project Islay Whiskey, Green Chartreuse, Yellow Chartreuse, Marischino, Lemon, Peach Bitters(Bourbon and Branch Origanal) Milk... Read more →

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

In November I visited seven tequila distilleries in Mexico. Here are some pictures and notes from my visit to the Don Julio distillery in the town of Atotonilco. (Cutting up the pinas before baking.) (Now when I see pinas, I get thirsty.) (Fermenting agave.) (Stainless steel pot stills.) (We had a cocktail contest after the distillery visit. My team of writers won, of course.) Don Julio uses all estate-grown agaves Has a widerspacing between agaves than average They have 18 furnaces, each of which holds 25 tons Fermentation takes 24-30 hours Their agave is larger than industry standards, with a... Read more →

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

Cocktail Menu: Haddingtons in Austin, Texas

The just-opened restaurant Haddingtons in Austin, Texas has a cocktail menu that makes me thirsty. The drinks are by head bartender Bill Norris, formerly of Fino. -house cocktails- The Waldorf #2: straight apple brandy, nocino, celery bitters, stirred, over ice $11 Dover to Calais*: navy strength rum, green chartreuse, orgeat, lime, peychaud’s bitters, up and frothy $11 Fox Room Swizzle: vodka, falernum, lime, mole bitters, jägermeister, icy cold, crushed ice $10 Apple Orchard: bourbon, orgeat, apple shrub, peychaud’s bitters stirred, up. $10 Duck Fat Sazerac: duck fat infused rye, peychaud’s bitters, absinthe rinse, served cold and neat. $9 Smoking Jacket:... Read more →

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

Cocktail Menu: 25 Lusk in San Francisco

The newish San Francisco restaurant 25 Lusk has a cocktail menu, and it is below. Some of the drinks look good but to me it reads as a bit too accessible. Know what I mean? 1/7/11 Update - They already updated and improved the menu - see below. BAHIA MAR plymouth gin, dolin blanc vermouth,el maestro sierra fino sherry, caperberry LITTLE AVA drouin blanche de normandie,cointreau, lemon, simple syrup,lemon-thyme-verbena-absinthe spritz BLUEBERRY BEE skyy vodka, blueberry honey,lemon, fresh blueberries HENDRICK’S MARGARITA hendrick’s gin, lime,cointreau, simple syrup, cucumber, salt INTERNATIONAL ORANGE sailor jerry spiced rum,clément créole shrubb, lemon, cane syrup,fernet branca, bitters... 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 Williams & Humbert. (The bodega is absolutely enormous.) (There's a horse show inside the bodega for visitors.) (For barrel tasting, the venenciador (in this case, the chief oenologist) inserts the venencia into the barrel to pull out a cup of liquid, then pours above a glass to aerate.) (From a high perch in the bodega, you can see nearly the whole thing. Center in the picture is a tour group.) They make Dry Sack - actually a medium sweetness sherry Huge tourist visitor... Read more →

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

A bunch of years ago I tried to sell a book on infusions, because there weren't any at the time. In some ways I'm glad it didn't sell, because my cocktail knowledge and abilities are so much better now that I would have been embarrassed by many of the cocktail recipes you were supposed to use after the infusions were done. But I did do enough recipe development that I learned the timing for a lot of infusions. In my latest post for FineCooking.com, I list the quantities of spicy things like pepperonchini, peppercorn, chili peppers, and horseradish to make... Read more →

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