Previous month:
August 2011
Next month:
October 2011

September 2011

John C. Burton runs the Santa Rosa Bartending School and is an avid collector of local and Californian bar tools and vintage cocktail books. His latest book, Bartending Basics: Everything You Need to Know to be a Working Bartender is a manual for new bartenders. The book contains 100 pages of recipes and about 150 pages of instruction and definitions. It is most defnitely not a book for home mixologists, but for people with a first bar job. It has lots of infomation on bar set-up and practical matters such as changing out kegs, washing glasses in different kind of... Read more →

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

In studying sugar and sugarcane (go here for the project index) we need to study the sugar beet; sugarcane's competitor. Here we'll look at the sugar beet's early history. Sugar beets were not economically important as a source of sucrose until the mid-1800s. In 1774 a German scientist discovered the sugar from beets was the same as from cane. Napoleon, due to the economic and real war with England, bet big on sugar beets. In 1811 he supported vast increase in sugar beet production. Within 2 years they built 334 factories and produced 35,000 tons of sugar. To process sugar... Read more →

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

GMO-Free Liquor? Not As Far As You Know

So the TTB released the little bombshell below. Basically, you can't put "GMO-free" or something similar on an alcoholic beverage label, even if the product is. For the most part if you're drinking anything made from corn in the US (all bourbon, some vodkas) you're drinking genetically modified corn. Spirits from other crops too. In many (most? all?) export markets, however, you can't use this. Thus many (all?) bourbons make a GMO-free version for export. Because most of Four Roses bourbon is sold in Japan, however, their product is GMO-free, even in the US. However, distiller Jim Rutledge said he... Read more →

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

Great Seminars at SF Cocktail Week

The full schedule of seminars for San Francisco Cocktail Week were just announced, and there are some really great-sounding ones. I didn't know we had so many people coming in from out of town for this. The full seminar descriptions are here. I just want to highlight the out-of-town guests who will be coming in to give talks. Don Lee, one of the biggest drink nerds in America, will be talking on The Nerdy Aspects of Gin Cocktails. Kirsten Amann, a founding member of LUPEC from Boston, will be part of a talk with scientists called The Science of Taste.... Read more →

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

In the last post in the Solid Liquids project, I used dehydrated Campari to make a non-alcoholic Campari & Soda. Then it occurred to me that for that purpose there was no need to dehydrate the liqueur completely. I could just burn off the alcohol and have a non-alcoholic syrup. So that's what I did. I filled a pot with Campari and took its temperature with a candy thermometer when heating it. Alcohol boils at 172F as opposed to 212F for water, so I tried to keep the temperature between the two. It started to bubble around 175 and I... Read more →

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

In studying sugarcane and sugar, we've looked at its biology, origins, spread to the West, association with forced labor, how it was processed in the olden days, and how the English developed a taste for it. (Go here for the project index.) Now we'll look at sugar in America. Again I have used these resources for my facts and understanding of history, as I'm certainly no expert and I welcome your comments. Jamestown, Virginia was founded in 1607. Sugarcane was brought there by 1619, but the colonists couldn't make it grow. As it was a new country, the United States... Read more →

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

I hit a snag in the Solid Liquids Project (project index here) as I can get some liqueurs to dehydrate into a powdered sugar, but not others. In the last two posts, I think I've identified a commonality in the liqueurs that did not crystallize: they are probably sweetened with something other than (or possibly in addition to) cane/beet sugar. I believe (but am not certain) that X Rated Fusion, Hypnotiq, and Courvoisier Rose are sweetened with fruit juice. Wild Turkey American Honey and Irish Mist are sweetened at least partially with honey. None of these crystallize when heated in... Read more →

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

In studying sugarcane and sugar, we've looked at its biology, origins, spread to the West, its previous association with forced labor, and how it was processed in the olden days. (Go here for the project index.) Now we'll look at how people in England developed a taste for sugar. Much of this information comes from the book Sweetness and Power (resources list here) by Sidney Mintz. Naturally the British taste for sugar not only drove the taste of the citizens of its colonies for sugar, but also determined how its sugar-growing colonies were used. In 1000 AD, few Europeans knew... Read more →

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