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December 2011

I have a short piece in Tasting Panel Magazine about the instant infusion method - using a whipped cream charger filled with nitrous oxide to infuse flavors in spirits - and Purity Vodka's promotion of the technique. The story is at this link, which opens a digital magazine reader. By the way, the original Dave Arnold post annoucing this method is here at CookingIssues.com. Read more →

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My editor at SilverKris, the inflight magazine for Singapore Airlines, emailed me something like, "I hear craft beer is becoming popular. Can you do a story on that?" "Sure," I said, knowing that boiling down everything going on with craft beer into even a feature-length story was going to be incredibly difficult. The story kind of kicked my ass but taught me a lot about beer. I have a feeling for the trends but not a lot of knowledge of the technical details behind the beer styles so this involved a lot of research. Anyway, I mushed things into categories... Read more →

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In the San Francisco Chronicle on Sunday, December 18th, I have a story on the category of fernet. Leopold Brothers has a modern formulation of fernet that should be hitting story shelves this Wednesday afternoon, and Tempus Fugit Spirits has a vintage recreation of fernet coming in the new year. (Photo by John Storey) From the story: While many people call for the bitter liqueur Fernet-Branca by the shorthand "Fernet," they should probably specify "Branca." Fernet is not a single product but a type of spirit, and its ranks are about to become more populated. Angelico Fernet, from local importers... Read more →

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The Vanguard Lounge is in old Downtown Las Vegas, accross the street from the Downtown Cocktail Room. I have never been to Downtown but with two bars that makes it worth a hop. Bar Manager Nathan Greene sent me their menu. The menu is below. CLASSIC COCKTAILS WITH A MODERN TWIST…. HOUSE JACK ROSE HOUSE INFUSED SPIKED APPLE BRANDY, SUMAC GRENADINE,MAPLE SYRUP, FRESH LIME$9 HOUSE PERFECT MANHATTAN BULLEIT RYE, DOLIN ROUGE, ST. GERMAIN,CHERRY BARK VANILLA BITTERS, SMOKED ROOBIOS CHAI TEA $10 HOUSE CORPSE REVIVER #2 PERSIMMON-INFUSED BLADE GIN, CLEMENT CREOLE SHRUBB,SMOKED THYME-INFUSED LEMON, COCCHI AMERICANO, PERNOD $10 HOUSE HOT TODDY... Read more →

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Cocktail Menu: Moonraker in Pacifica, CA

New restaurant Moonraker in Pacifica at the Best Western Lighthouse takes the place of a restaurant of the same name open there for 25 years previously. It opened for dinner on December 13, 2011. After the initial announcement of a cocktail menu that was not so good, they hired Victoria D'Amato-Moran to revamp it. The menu is below. COCKTAIL MENU Moonraker Original Moonshine White Corn Whiskey, Dolin Blanc, Grapefruit Bitters, Spiced Cherry Moonraker Sidecar Calvados, Cointreau, Lemon Juice, Spiced Sugar Rim Sol Luna Don Julio Reposado Tequila, Campari, Pineapple, Lime Smoked Paprika Rim Rockaway Breeze Vodka, Cranberry Puree, Agave, Mint,... Read more →

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Opening on Wednesday, December 21 in the former RNM space in the Lower Haight in San Francisco is Maven. (Not to be confused with Haven, the Daniel Patterson restaurant openeing in the East Bay.) Unlike RNM, this space is clearly a bar that serves food rather than a restaurant that serves drinks- the menu is 2/3 booze, 1/3 food. All the booze is meat to pair with specific dishes - you can see the full pairings on the menu at Maven's website. The cocktails were designed by Jay Bordeleau (co-owner / beverage director), with input from lead bartender Kate Bolton... Read more →

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The second outlet of restaurant Tacolicious has moved in to The Mission district in San Francisco, with tequila bar Mosto attached. It's a very strange set-up: Both Tacolicious and Mosto serve both food and drinks, yet they opperate independently with different menus. Yet you have to walk through Tacolicious to get to Mosto. The restaurant serves cocktails, while the bar serves mostly shots/sippers. (Photo of Tacolicious II by Tyler Gourley, courtesy of Tacolicious) Tacolicious is food-focussed: it's a high-volume restaurant with a large private dining/party room and an outdoor patio. They offer about 20 cocktails, most available by the glass... Read more →

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Back in the November issue of Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine I had a big story with four cocktail recipes among other information. They are: The Port Wine Pick-Me-Up, made with coffee/espresso, port, and orange liqueur. This was meant to be a dessert drink. The Grapefruit Vesper made with vodka, gin, grapefruit juice, sauvignon blanc wine, and honey (and should be served in a cocktail glass despite the picture). This was meant to be a fresh classic cocktail spin-off. The Sparkling Cinnamon Punch, made with gin, lemon juice, sugar, champagne, and cinnamon. This was meant to be a party... Read more →

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