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August 2011

I have a big folder of tasty-looking cocktail recipes that maybe I'll get around to trying sometime. Luckily my blog at FineCooking.com gives me an excuse to try a few of them. For a recent post, I picked a recipe sent by Akvinta vodka and gave it a whirl, as I was intrigued by the vermouth and strawberry combination. As it turned out, I liked it. So the recipe is in the post over there. Read more →

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

Remember the airline drink menu page? Probably not, because I keep forgetting to update it. Except that I just did, and now I added Delta and KLM's drink menus to the page. KLM carries Bols Genever and Delta carries Wild Turkey American Honey. Finally drinks on planes are getting more interesting. Check it out. Read more →

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

I may still be figuring out the best techniques to use to dehydrate Campari and other liqueurs, but I have enough successful powder around now to start using. My first drink was the Campari & Soda, using dehydrated Campari powder. It should be essentially non-alcoholic as the alcohol burns off long before the water before it becomes solid. After a few tries to get the ratios right, here's what works.: Take a 3-4 ounce glass of soda water, add a tablespoonfull of dehydrated Campari powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of 2:1 simple syrup. I found that 1:1 added the sweetness necesary... Read more →

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

When I was last in France I had a chance to pop into the Camus Cognac visitors' center. I was familiar with the brand, having met brand owner Cyril Camus last year in San Francisco, and curious to try some of the non-US bottlings on-site. And now I have news to share from another lunch a couple of weeks ago. These things don't form a narrative, so I'll use the list format to talk about it. Camus is the 5th largest cognac house after the "big four" of Hennessy, Martell, Courvoisier, and Remy. It has only been on the US... Read more →

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

A few weeks ago I wrote about mizuwari, the whisky highball ritual sometimes performed in Japan. One thing I didn't emphasize was that most of the time these highballs are usually made with blended whisky, not single-malts. Now another company has announced the release of blended whisky made for the same purpose. Compass Box Whisky is launching a new range of blends called Great King Street. The first bottling, The Artist's Blend, will start hitting the US market in September. They're emphasizing this whisky's use in the highball. Compass Box founder/blender John Glaser said in a press release, “As well... Read more →

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

In the process of making powdered liqueurs for future use, I've been trying to figure out the best method to get liquids into solids. I'll be comparing the microwave to the oven to the food dehydrator, using Campari as my first liqueur in all of them. In today's post we'll look at using the microwave. As I learned the hard way, what you don't want to do is stick a liqueur in the microwave and turn it on high. It fizzes, splatters, and burns. So I attempted to dehydrate liqueur using a low-power setting. In the process I learned something... Read more →

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

Boy is this ever a topic I'd rather avoid! However there is no denying the historic link between sugarcane production. We were tracing the spread of sugarcane and the sugar industry from the Old World to the new. But slave labor used to harvest and process sugarcane began long before sugarcane was brought to the Caribbean. Before sugarcane made its way to the Atlantic islands off the coast of Spain and Portugal, slave labor was used in Crete, Cyprus, and Morocco. Warfare and plague had diminished the local labor force so slaves were 'needed' to harvest it. Slavery and sugar... Read more →

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

When we last left off looking at sugarcane's spread from India/Indonesia to the rest of the world, the sugar industry had shifted from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic islands of Spain and Portugal, including Madeira and the Canary islands. During this time, the powers in Europe were developing a taste for sugar. Sugar was only known in Europe after the 8th century. This is about the time that references to growing cane in the Mediterranean appear. Molasses reached England by late 1200s, coming from Sicily. King Henry III (in the 13th century) ordered three pounds of sugar “if so much... Read more →

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