Previous month:
December 2011
Next month:
February 2012

January 2012

I advocate and try to practice drinking in moderation as the best way to avoid a hangover. That's why I nearly never write about hangover prevention/cures. Recently though I had two hangover prevention products arrive in the mail. Normally they'd just sit there but I was going on a bar-hopping vacation to New Orleans where I knew these might actually come in handy. So I brought them along for the test. First I tried Rebootizer, which is a "detox shaker" with tons of anti-oxidant ingredients. It is a water pouch with a separate compartment for a powder. You squeeze the... Read more →

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

The Ice Cream Bar opens Saturday, January 21 in San Francisco. I popped in last night for a preview. A bunch of jerks! (Soda jerks, that is.) The beverage program is run by Russell Davis, formerly of Bourbon & Branch, and the program is based around Fix the Pumps , the recent book on soda fountains by Darcy O'Neil. The menu is split into Frappes & Floats, Crushes, Malts & Milkshakes, Phosphates, Panacea (a tonic), Lactarts, and Classics. There is also a list of fountain syrups and house-made extracts to flavor sodas. The physical soda fountain is from the 1930s... Read more →

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

New Cocktail Program at Sherry-Centric Gitane in SF

Gitane restaurant has a lovely bar with a sherry-centric cocktail program. It was originally designed by Dominic Venegas and later handled by Alex Smith, who recently left to open Honor Bar in Emeryville. The new and slightly simplified menu is the work of lead barman Ramon Garcia, with some aid from Neyah White (formerly of NOPA). Vinegar lovers should be thrilled to see the Sherry Shrub back on a menu. SHERRY SHRUB barbadillo manzanilla sherry,seasonal house shrub, lemon peel BOOTHBY cava, bourbon, sweet vermouth,angostura bitters LA PERLA reposado tequila, manzanilla sherry,pear liqueur SMOKED PALOMINO crema de mezcal,amontillado sherry, grapefruit &... Read more →

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

I got it into my head that I want to see a pond or lake ice harvest, despite my contempt for winter. Commercial ice harvests changed the cocktail landscape in America in the early-mid 1800s, allowing for the creation of juleps and cobblers and the popularization of the drinking straw and the cocktail shaker. Today there is still ice harvesting on many American lakes and ponds. As far as I can tell it's more historic reenactment more than practical, with most of the places that have an ice harvest limited to a single day of the year. Most places bring... Read more →

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

How Machine Ice Is Made

These are a few ways that ice was and is made, which I learned from the awesome book Ice: The Nature, the History, and the Uses of an Astonishing Substance by Mariana Gosnell. Slushie Method The first way is just like making ice cream the old-fashioned way: snow or cold water mixed with salt can become colder than freezing. So if you put a cup full of water (or ice cream ingredients) and stir the supercooled salt/water mixture around it, the water in the cup can turn to ice. Expansion of Gases As vapor and expands into a large space... Read more →

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

Last week I finally made it to the Hotsy Totsy Club in the East Bay. I've been hearing a lot about this bar mostly from its (mostly female) bartenders who've been kicking butt in cocktail competitions in San Francisco. The bar has been around since 1939 but looks shiny and new with a pressed tin ceiling and great colored lighting. It's just one small room with a bar on one side and tall communal tables in front of it. There's a tabletop shuffleboard game and a jukebox that plays 45s. The selection was pretty random, playing punk rock and disco.... Read more →

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

East Bay bar week continues! Last week I visited Prizefighter in Emeryville. Prizefighter is a clean and casual new bar in Everyville unfortunately not very accessible via public transportation. The space is split into three open areas. There is the bar area with stools in front (and outlets beneath the bar for you to charge your phone while drinking!): A middle lounge-type room with some softer seating: And a larger room that holds a communal table and the tabletop shuffleboard game. There's also a small outdoor patio with heat lamps. As I wrote before, the main focus of this bar... Read more →

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

Honor Bar opened recently in Emeryville, California, and I stopped in for a visit. The space is a square room with an oval bar against the back side, a window into the kitchen on the far left, and seating at both communal and smaller tables. The bar top is high with a deep red surface, the color of red tabletop candles. In the room there is a pinball machine and an old Joust arcade game. The small entry room (where you'd expect to find a hostess stand if this was still a restaurant) is also filled with nicknacks. Not far... Read more →

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