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August 2012

Texture in Cocktails

This post is sponsored by PAMA pomegranate liqueur, but written by me. Texture in Cocktails Flavor and balance are probably the most important components of cocktail quality, but it's the temperature, texture, aroma, strength, and presentation that makes for a wel-rounded drink. I pay a lot of attention to texture in both cocktails and base spirits - for some reason it plays a major role in my enjoyment of a drink. In cocktail contests, especially ones with a secret ingredient challenge, bartenders often come up with delicious flavor combinations, but the winning drink takes texture into account: maybe the drink... Read more →

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New Booze for August 2012

I write the New Booze blog over at ShakeStir.com, an online community for bartenders. I keep track of new products hitting the US market, and products reaching new distribution into new states. Here's what launched in August. The Balvenie DoubleWood 17 Year Old Glenfiddich Malt Master’s Edition Solbeso Banks 7 Golden Age Rum Plantation 3 Stars White Rum CSOA Coconut Arrack Larceny Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Dad's Hat Whiskey Now in California Atsby New York Vermouth Bunnahabhain Toiteach Single Malt Scotch Whisky Comes to the US Buffalo Trace Giant French Oak Experimental Collection Sparkle Donkey Tequila Plymouth Navy Strength Gin... Read more →

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Correct Cocktail Carbonation

In this weekend's story in the San Francisco Chronicle, I wrote about bartenders carbonating cocktails- to order, in bottles, on tap, and in one case with nitrous oxide instead of carbon dioxide. Let's look at the ways bars in the story (and a few places I didn't have room to mention) are carbonating: Citrus Starlight Room avoids fresh citrus, saying the carbonation gives it a touch of vinegar tingle, like juice going off. Jasper's Corner Tap uses fresh citrus, but makes the bottled cocktails daily. Champagne Chez Papa uses nitrous oxide to charge ingredients that will go into champagne drinks.... Read more →

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Carbonated Cocktails in the San Francisco Chronicle

My latest story for the San Francisco Chronicle is now online. I wrote about carbonated cocktails and the many, many different approaches bartenders are taking to make them. Carbonated cocktails proving popular By Camper English A little fizz can do wonders for a cocktail, making it more aromatic, lighter and a bit more dynamic.Traditionally, drinks get that fizz from mixers like ginger ale, sparkling wine or soda water. But several new carbonating devices have given bartenders the opportunity to add sparkle to almost any drink. Carbonating drinks directly "makes a more intense, more flavorful cocktail, as opposed to adding 2... Read more →

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Celebrate Failure: Buffalo Trace's Small Barrel Experiments

Buffalo Trace put out a press release that as part of their Experimental Collection series of whiskies, they declare their experiments aging whiskey in small barrels - 5, 10, and 15 gallon - to be a failure. They will not be released to the public. After years of exposure to awful-tasting white whiskies, dozens of start-up brands of whisky aged in small barrels that taste of too much wood and not enough maturity, and other experimental products from major brands that were released even when I think they should not have been, I'm happy to see a press release about... Read more →

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Cocktail Menu: Ace Restaurant in Denver

Ace Restaurant in Denver has a nice-looking cocktail menu with a whole section of highballs, bottled carbonated, liter-sized cocktails, and homemade sodas and tonic. HIGHBALLS MISSION ORANGE $8 Ace Orange Soda, Ginza No Suzume Soju, Angostura Bitters JACK BURTON $8 Ace No. 11 Cola, Flor De Cana 4yr Rum, Lemongrass PORK CHOP EXPRESS $8 Ace Ginger Soda, Old Overholt Rye Whiskey, Peychaud’s Bitters VITAMIN T $8 Ace Tonic, Milagro Silver Tequila, Thai Basil HAMMER & SPIKE $8 Ace Grapefruit Soda, Hendrick’s Gin, Mint THE GOLDEN CHILD $8 Ace Bitter Lemon Soda, Pimm’s No. 1, Lemon Peel COCKTAILS THE GIRL WITH... Read more →

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