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March 2012

February 2012

Dushan Zaric, and owner of New York's Employees Only and Macao Trading Co., gave a talk at Tales of the Cocktail Vancouver about spirits that were made for mixing in cocktails. Zaric compared bartending to being a musician, using spirits as instruments and doing a ‘repetitive creative practice’ while making drinks behind the bar each night. He used the analogy in many ways, also noting that recipes are like reading music and can be performed differently by bartenders without deviating from what's written. He noted that as brand materials are written by marketing departments, it's not okay to just go... Read more →

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

Hello from Vancouver! I'm up here for the two-day Tales of the Cocktail festival. In one of the tasting rooms yesterday, Eddie Russell, Associate Distiller and son of Master Distiller Jimmy Russel, was on hand to pass out samples and information. In Canada and in some parts of the US there is a Wild Turkey 80, while recently they launched Wild Tukey 81. One proof degree difference? I asked Eddie Russell about it. The Wild Tukey 80 is actually discontinued. The product was a four year old bourbon. Wild Turkey 81 is made with 6-8 year old whiskies. I believe... Read more →

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

In last week's FineCooking.com post, I put up a recipe from Daniel Boulud Cocktails & Amuse Bouches. The book is actually a set of two small books, cocktails for Him & Her. The Mayfair Sour is a nice drink from the book. Soft and gentle. This photo is not from the book. The book is pretty. Mayfair Sour By Xavier Herit 1 fl. oz. Plymouth Gin .75 fl. oz. Benedictine Liqueur .75 fl. oz. Apricot Liqueur .75 fl. oz. Lemon Juice 1 Egg White 5 Drops Peach Bitters In a shaker, combine all ingredients except bitters and shake once without... Read more →

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

The latest music video from Madonna "Give Me All Your Luvin'" includes some product placement luvin' for Smirnoff vodka. It's far enough in the background that it's not entirely clear what the brand is, unless of course one is already familiar with these things. The full video is below. Smirnoff and Madonna did some work together this fall in a promotion called the Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange Project, in which dancers auditioned to go on tour with Madonna. So I guess it shouldn't be a surprise. Of course, it's not unusual for pop stars to put liquor in their music videos,... Read more →

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

About twice each week, I'm asked by people visiting San Francisco which bars to hit while they're here. From now on I have an easy answer: Those are all in my app module for iPhones, now available on iTunes. The app is called Know What. It's basically a framework with more than 400 "essential" spots to visit (between San Francisco and Los Angeles) as picked by experts like me, on top of which you purchase individual guides depending on your interests. The Know What Essentials costs $2.99. My module, The City's Best Cocktail Spots, costs an additional $1.99. The City's... Read more →

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

Joel Baker, formerly a bar manager at Bourbon & Branch and Burritt Room, will be taking over the bar program at Tres Tequila Lounge & Mexican Kitchen in San Francisco, the bar/restaurant formerly known as Tres Agaves. Image stolen from Tres website Most of the plans are still a bit nebulous and we shouldn't expect to see any changes until early March, but Baker told me he'd look into expanding the tequila program into other agave spirits including adding more mezcal and sotol. They'll begin serving tequila shots with a choice of sangrita chasers in red or green as well.... Read more →

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

One difficulty with the Igloo Cooler method of making clear ice is that you get a great big block of ice at the end and have to cut it up into usable cubes yourself. I developed an ice cube tray using plastic boxes that gets the ice into long rectangles, and that's a bit closer to ideal. But if the desired result is round clear ice balls, we need to either produce a mold that fits inside the cooler, or else carve out ice balls afterwards. Well, it turns out that someone produced such a mold to make clear ice... Read more →

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

ZU vodka, known in the rest of the world as Zubrowka, is starting to appear in more serious drinks than just mixed with the usual apple juice. Oddly enough, in each of these better drinks in which I've seen ZU used, it has been used in concert with Cocchi Americano. At Providence in Los Angeles: Ellis Island ZU Bison Grass Vodka, Cocchi Americano, Gruner Vetliner wine, and celery bitters At AQ restaurant in San Francisco: Bison Rose Zubroska Bison Grass Vodka, Cocchi Americano, Meyer Lemon, Rosemary Shrub At Blackbird in San Francisco: Golden Glove Zu vodka, Cocchi Americano, Apple Juice,... Read more →

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