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January 2012

A First Look at The New Easy Bar in Oakland

Last week, together with Lou Bustamonte of the SF Weekly and Virginia Miller of the SF Bay Guardian, I took a tour of four bars in the East Bay. One of those stops was to The New Easy. The bar was formerly known as The Easy Lounge and was recently renovated and just opened after the new year. The space is one long room with very high ceilings. Along one side is the copper top bar then an open kitchen space further down. Along the other side is some seating and a set of picnic-like tables and chairs. There is... Read more →

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A Couple of Cocktails

On my FineCooking.com cocktail blog, I've listed two wintry cocktails over the last two weeks. The first was created by Willie Shine for 1534. It's a simple cognac-based tropical style drink using Disarrono where orgeat might normally go. That recipe is here. The second one is from David Delaney Jr. of Worcester, Massachusetts. It was a finalist in this year's Angostura cocktail challenge, and contains a bunch of things that seem like it would taste like pie: cherry, cinnamon, allspice, apple, and maple syrup. (Photo by CJ Foeckler) On Second Thought By David Delaney Jr. of Still & Stir 1.5... Read more →

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Carbonation Science

I was lucky enough to get a sample of the Perlini cocktail carbonating system, but before I even got around to using it I was fascinated by carbonation information the instruction manual. Note: Yes, I read the instruction manuals. Pretty much always. The Perlini is basically a cocktail shaker than you fill with carbon dioxide (CO2), then shake and pour. The manual comes with tips both for using the shaker, and also about carbonation in general. So here are some things I learned: - The amount of CO2 that will go into solution is controlled by pressure and temperature. The... Read more →

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How Water Freezes

This post is about how a lake freezes, but it should be more or less the same for how an insulated container freezes in a freezer. The information is from the excellent book, Ice: The Nature, the History, and the Uses of an Astonishing Substance by Mariana Gosnell. Turnover As temperatures lower, the water in a lake "turns over." The top layer of water is heated by the sun during the day and is therefore warmer and lighter than the layers below it. At night without the sun, the cool air above the lake cools the top layer of water,... Read more →

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2011: My Year in Cocktail Writing

Looking over the year (read: sending invoices) for 2011, it turns out that I managed to get a lot of work done in between all the trips. This year I contributed to: FineCooking.com as the weekly cocktail blogger Mixology Magazine in Germany The LA Times Magazine Caviar Affair Magazine SilverKris (Singapore Airlines) Penthouse Magazine The San Francisco Chronicle 7x7 Magazine Tasting Panel Magazine TastingTable.com Drink Magazine (China) Sunset Magazine Every Day with Rachael Ray Magazine DiffordsGuide/ CLASS Magazine ShakeStir.com Drinks International The Bold Italic Plus, I blogged every day here on Alcademics.com and worked on both the Solid Liquids Project... Read more →

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2011: A Year of Spirituous Travel

In 2011, I traveled to 12 foreign countries not counting repeats on 22 different trips, flying 156,000 miles to do so. I had a mere 80 nights in hotel rooms and one or two hangovers. My trips this year were: Vino 2011 in NYC Jameson Irish Whiskey in Ireland Casa Noble Tequila in Mexico Angostura Bitters/Rum in Trinidad Pioneers of Mixology in Los Angeles Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America in Orlando Bacardi Global Legacy Cocktail Competition in London and Spain Bombay Sapphire Botanicals in London and Italy Karlsson's Vodka in Sweden G'Vine Gin Connoisseur Competition in France Diageo World... Read more →

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