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August 2011
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October 2011

September 2011

Months ago I started to talk about my trip to Sweden with Karlsson's vodka. I only covered how to pick potatoes so far. The potatoes for this vodka all come from Cape Bjare in Sweden.To get there, we drove from Copenhagen, over the relatively new bridge that connects Denmark to Sweden with Malmo on the other side, then turned North to the Cape. The town we stayed in is called Torekov. The nearby potato farms grow little heirloom potatoes called virgin potatoes whose skin has not yet developed. For these potatoes, smaller is better, and they're served seasonally as virgin/new/fresh... Read more →

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

On October 24th, I'll be teaching a class at Bourbon & Branch's Beverage Academy! This class was scheduled previously, but foolishly on a holiday weekend so we moved the date. Not only that, we lowered the price to sixty bucks. There is going to be some excellent sherry for sipping at this seminar. I hope you'll join me. I'm really excited about it. Sherry is a big category of rather complex fortified wine, so I'll be busting out my PowerPoint ninja skills and a whole lot of tasting glasses. Here's the class description. Oh Sherry! Sherry is wide category of... Read more →

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

In the Solid Liquids Project (project index here) we are experimenting with the best methods to dehydrate liqueurs, and then putting the dehydrated liqueur to good use. This is one of those uses. I've been using a food dehydrator as one method of dehydrating liqueurs. It works well enough, though other methods are faster. In order to use it, I insert plastic trays into the dehydrator shelves so that the liquid won't pour through the holes. These trays are actually designed to make fruit leathers. The instructions on how to do so come with the tray, so I knew as... Read more →

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

Last week I helped judge the Bombay Sapphire/GQ Magazine Most Inspired Bartender Competition in Las Vegas. My fellow judges were Tony Abou-Ganim, Francesco LaFranconi, and our host Tyler Florence. This makes me look awfully good in comparison! In the first round (that I did not judge), 46 bartenders from the US and Canada were judged on a single drink in shifts. From these, the top ten were chosen to compete onstage at the XS nightclub at the Wynn Las Vegas. The challenge for the top ten bartenders was a mystery ingredient contest- bartenders had 12 minutes to come up with... Read more →

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

Gaz Regan's Annual Manual for Bartenders 2011 has a ton of amazing recipes from bartenders around the world, but unlike most cocktail books I think the additional content is where the book really stands out. The "101 best new cocktails" section contains some great recipes, most of which were tested and possibly adapted by Gaz Regan. In skimming the book, I earmarked a dozen or so of them that I feel the need to make eventually. But there is a lot more to the book than recipes. The first part of the book is the first part of Gaz' autobiography.... Read more →

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

For the most part rum is made from molasses, the byproduct of sugar production. So when we study the issue of the environmental impact of sugarcane production we need to keep in mind that molasses is the waste product of sugar production. Rum is recycling! That said, we're studying not just sugar but sugarcane production so let's look at its impact. Most of this information comes from Sugar: A Bittersweet History by Elizabeth Abbott (2008). See the references page for more information. In Cuba where they couldn’t purchase pesticides and fertilizers due to economic issues, they made their own version... Read more →

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

So far in the Solid Liquids project, I experimented with using the food dehydrator, oven, and microwave to dehydrate liqueurs into flavored sugars. The project index is here. Well, thanks to a Facebook friend, I now have a much more efficient way than all the others I've tried. Lauren Mote, co-owner of Kale & Nori Culinary Arts, wrote me to tell me the way she's made liqueur sugars. She wrote: So I have found the easiest way to do this is actually culinary and through "almost" candy making. If you cook down the spirit, and remove the water molecules, the... Read more →

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

This is just a quick post in the Solid Liquids Project (project index here) to note that you can dehydrate liqueurs in the oven in containers other than the silicone cupcake holders that I've been using. Many people have SilPat non-stick baking mats. These are great but have the problem of being flat so liquids run off them. However you can also get other silicone containers. I bought a breadpan-sized silicone pan from Amazon. It works just fine for dehydrating larger quantities of liqueurs. As you dehydrate a liqueur in the oven, a surface crust will form trapping some still-liquid... Read more →

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