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September 2011

August 2011

In last week's Fine Cooking post, I listed a simple and easy recipe for a watermelon drink from H. Joseph Ehrmann of Elixir. The recipe is just cucumber vodka, St. Germain, watermelon, mint, lime, and agave nectar. It's pretty easy for you to make, and even easier for me to make. I can just walk 400 feet or so from my front door and have a bartender at Elixir make one for me. Also easy are the ways to adapt it. The post contains a non-alcoholic version and lists several spirit substitutions. Please go read it. Read more →

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

On Thursday, I rode around to a bunch of bars in San Francisco with Nick Kosevich, co-owner of Bittercube and Bombay Sapphire ambassador. He was judging bartenders for the San Francisco leg of the Bombay Sapphire and GQ Most Inspired Bartender competition. I figured I should see how it went as I am juding the national competition in Las Vegas on September 11-13. The competing bartenders were Victoria D' Amato-Moran, Matt Gunderson, Rosalind Holm, Michelle Lester, Joe Wyre, Brandon Clements, Evans Horn, Ronaldo Colli, Edgar Tamayo, Priscilla Young, H. Joseph Ehrmann (represented by Shea), Brandon Reim, Trip Hosley, Carlo Splendorini,... 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 oven. Following the suggestion of Don Lee on this eGullet thread, I purchased silicone cupcake cups to experiment with. They can be used in the microwave or oven and are easy to clean. In all of my oven experiments, the procedure was the same. I filled... 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. For now let's talk about the food dehydrator. I have a Nesco food dehydrator, which has a heating element and a fan in the lid. The racks in it are perforated for drying solid material, so I purchased additional solid-bottom racks made for making fruit rolls. I poured 8 oz of Campari in one... Read more →

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

In the last post we looked at what sugarcane is. Now we'll see where it came from and how it traveled around the world. Sugarcane is a tall grass native to the region of the India and Southeast Asia. It was first domesticated in New Guinea, perhaps independently in Indonesia. In 325 BC Alexander the Great’s general Nearchus said, “A reed in India brings forth honey without the help of bees, from which an intoxicating drink is made though the plant bears no fruit.” Around the same time, sugar was referred to as khanda, from which we probably derive the... Read more →

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

I wrote a story for Drink, a very cool high-gloss magazine published in China. My story was on the history and categorization of liqueurs, published in a nice four-page spread. Though I wrote the story quite a while ago, it was published a few months later, and then I had to wait until I was in the same country with one of the staff to get a copy. I wound up running into pal Theo Watt at the World Class contest in India for the handoff. The magazine is written in English and Chinese, so my story was translated. Seeing... Read more →

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

In what should be my final post about the Diageo World Class Global Finals, I wanted to mention a few cool tricks I saw from bartenders that might be fun to experiment with. (A bubbling dry ice drink from Heinz Kaiser) Henning Neufeld of Switzerland used vodka and ice, instead of water and ice, to cool his cocktail glasses. He said this was because vodka freezes at a lower temperature than water, you could get the glasses colder. Other bartenders used dry ice for this same purpose, but there was a lot of dry ice around. Heinz Kaiser of Austria... Read more →

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

I learned lots of stuff in the August issue of the Tasting Panel Magazine. I write for this magazine but didn't have a story in the current issue. Anyway: Isle of Jura has a 200th Anniversary Edition, a 21 year old single malt aged in an ex-sherry cask. The Don Julio Anejo Claro that someone gave me a sip of at Tales is a real thing. For the 70th anniversary of the Don Julio being in the tequila business, they are releasing an anejo tequila that is filtere to make it clear, which supposedly will "bring back the bold agave... Read more →

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