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November 2011

October 2011

New Bar Alert: Prizefighter in Emeryville

Opening in mid-November from Jon Santer and Dylan O'Brien: Prizefighter. You'll know Jon Santer from all over San Francisco over the last decade: Bruno's, Tres Agaves, Range, Bourbon & Branch, Beretta, and most recently the brand ambassador for Hendrick's Gin. He's since retired from that position to open the bar, along with Dylan O'Brien, co-owner of Bloodhound in SOMA and Churchill at Church and Market. The space is the former Kitty's in Emeryville. You might think the name comes from that bar's fisticuffial reputation: a 180-person bar brawl that happened there in February. Nope. Nor is it a boxing-themed bar.... Read more →

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

This summer I went to Sweden (twice this year!) with Purity vodka. Purity is located not far from Malmo, across the water from Copenhagen, in a building on the estate of Ellinge Castle. Now, Ellinge doesn't look like a typical castle, but there has been one in some form here since the early 14th century when the area belonged to Denmark. The building changed a lot over the years, but it still has a moat. Currently the castle owners live in a big house also on the property, but rent out the castle itself for weddings and other events. I... Read more →

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

The Auchentoshan Switch Contest Finalists

The Auchentoshan Switch, a cocktail contest in which the winner will get a 2-week stint working at 69 Colebrooke Row in London, takes place on October 26th. I'll be there in Las Vegas to help judge it. They've announced the 20 finalists who will be flown to Las Vegas for the event: - Jeff Bell from PDT, New York City - Amber Berry from Ward III, New York City - Gina Chersevani from PS7’s, Washington, DC - David Curiel from Dalva Hideout, San Francisco - Michael Flannery from Michaels, New York City - Abigail Gullo from The Beagle, New York... Read more →

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

The Big Switch At Captain Morgan

For years, Captain Morgan rum has been produced at the Distileria Serralles (DonQ Rum) distillery in Puerto Rico. Production is moving in 2012 to a new distillery St. Croix owned by Diageo. This makes a huge difference in revenues to Puerto Rico and St. Croix. I'll explain it as I understand the situation, and if your understanding is better/different I hope you will correct me in the comments. The US government has a tax rebate plan to bring revenue to US territories based on a business incentive. All of the rum sold in the US is taxed (no matter where... Read more →

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

This summer I visited the Destileria Serralles Puerto Rico, the home of DonQ Rum. DonQ is distilled in the southern part of Puerto Rico, in Ponce. The distillery has been on the same site since 1865. As with most rum distilleries, it was once the site of a sugar refinery and the distillery was a small part of the overall operation. Puerto Rico stopped producing sugar in the 1980s and the distillery became the important business. As with distilleries in the United States, during Prohibition Destileria Serralles was closed. After Prohibition ended, they rebuilt the distillery, this time with column... Read more →

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

I read the new book America Walks Into A Bar: A Spirited History of Taverns and Saloons, Speakeasies and Grog Shops by Christine Sismondo. The book covers American history that took place in bars and our often-conflicted feelings about the bars themselves. The stories begin with the Pilgrims and continues on through the Salem Witch Trials, American Revolution, machine politics, Civil War, racism and nativism and the Underground Railroad, political corruption, Carry Nation and the Anti-Saloon League and Prohibition, the women's liberation and gay liberation movements. She finds a bar involved in most important events in American history. Also interesting... Read more →

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

On my trip with ZU Vodka to Poland, I also had a little time to check out Warsaw. I was last in Warsaw about four years ago for all of 1.5 days, so for this trip I came in a day early. That evening a few us us went to see what the nightlife in Warsaw was all about. Warsaw has a lot of nightclubs for a city of 1.7 million. On my last visit, we popped in to two or three of them. This time we hit five clubs, one bar, and one late-night restaurant on the first night.... Read more →

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

No bison were harmed in the writing of this blog post. This summer I flew to Warsaw with ZU vodka, known in the rest of the world as Zubrowka. Zubrowka is bison grass vodka; vodka flavored with grass. The stuff tastes like caramel and jasmine and hay, and makes apple juice taste like apple pie. Unfortunately, that delicious flavor comes from coumarin, a naturally-occurring compound that is banned as a food additive in the US. It is also in the tonka bean, which is why we can't have a historically-accurate recreation of Abbot's Bitters in the US either. (See this... Read more →

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