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October 2012

September 2012

Mia Sarazen has taken over the cocktail program at The Churchill in Los Angeles. Her introductory menu launched last week. “The Grand Alliance” : Plymouth Gin, Carpano, Campari, Maraschino “Hyde Park Fizz" : Nolet's gin, Bonal Quina, honey, lime, cucumber, basil, soda “Thirsty in LA” : Correlejo Reposado, Aperol, Ciociaro Amaro, mezcal rinse “The Iron Mule” : Russian Standard, ginger, lime, soda, bitters “Norman’s Cable Car” : Sailor Jerry Rum, housemade curacao, lemon, cinnamon&sugar rim “The Churchill Old Fashioned” : Old Fitzgerald bourbon, house bitters, sugar “The Statesman" : Famous Grouse, apricot, lemon, baked apple bitters, sparkling “Baby’s First Bourbon”... Read more →

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

On my recent trip with the Tahona Society, we visited took ATVs into the agave fields and "helped" harvest some agave. There, Olmeca Altos tequila Master Distiller Jesus Hernandez filled me in on some details about agave I didn't know, so I thought I'd share them: The quiote, the giant asparagus-shaped sprout that shoots up from a mature agave plant in order to spread its seed, only comes from the female plant. This is nearly always cut soon after sprouting so that it doesn't drain energy from the agave heart. After the quiote sprouts, you have a year and a... Read more →

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

In my latest story for Details.com I wrote about NUVO sparkling liqueur and a couple of its modern spin-offs, the Timbaland-fronted Le SUTRA and the organic Prevu. Is Carbonated Liqueur the New Cristal? By Camper English There was really no way to predict that NUVO and its imitators would be more than a passing fad in U.S. bars and clubs. Cristal, Hennessy, Dom: Those kind of made sense when they blew up in pop culture over the years. They're luxury brands with luxury prices. The whole aspirational thing. But pink bubbly liqueur with a $30 price tag? What's more, there... Read more →

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

Well ain't I fancy! I'm happy to announce I will be one of the recipients of the Legends' Awards at San Francisco Cocktail Week on September 21. Scroll down for a big discount code to the awards ceremony. The Legends Awards Friday, September 21, 7:30-10:30 p.m. Tickets: $85 in advance (booking a block of 10 will secure a table for groups) & $95 at the door
 Location: The Swedish American Hall, San Francisco (2174 Market Street) Tickets here. The second annual Legends Awards announces the recipients of the 2012 awards, going to the true innovators, influencers, mentors and historians of... Read more →

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

If you've been following along, you know I'm in Mexico with the Tahona Society, a tequila education program sponsored by Olmeca Altos tequila. So far we had a cocktail contest and visited three distilleries plus a whole lot of bars. Today after visiting a distillery, we went to learn some Mexican history. Near the city of Teochitlan are the ruins of Guachimontones, an Indian culture dating back to a hundred years or so B.C.. Up on a hill is the place where the royalty lived and worshipped. There were circular pyramids and a restored ball court. Then we headed into... Read more →

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

Today on the Tahona Society trip to the tequila regions of Mexico we visited the distillery of Sauza. Yesterday's visit to La Fortaleza was an example of the most primitive/traditional production methods for tequila. Today at Sauza we say the most high-tech. I last visited Sauza about a year ago, and that post on Alcademics is here, and probably a bit more thorough than this one. Unfortunately we weren't allowed to take pictures in most of the distillery, so mostly text will have to do. Sauza uses what they call "soft extraction" of the sugars from agave plants. While almost... Read more →

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

Yesterday I visited the La Fortaleza distillery. This tiny distillery makes 100% tahona tequila, in the heart of the city of Tequila in the Lowlands. The distillery was rebuilt in a 100 year old distillery site by Guillermo Sauza, 5th-generation Sauza family. His grandfather sold Sauza to the company who sold it to Jim Beam. Guillermo decided to return to distilling the traditional way. The tahona is a volcanic stone wheel that is rolled in a pit to crush baked agave. Most distilleries use a diffuser, rollermill, or a combination of rollermill and tahona. The fibers are removed and the... Read more →

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

Tuesday night I helped judge the Tahona Society Cocktail Competition here in Arandas, Mexico. The competition (and the Tahona Society in general) was sponsored by Olmeca Altos tequila. My co-judges were Henry Bessant, who helped develop the Olmeca Altos brand, Charles Joly, winner of last year's competition and bar manager at The Aviary in Chicago, and Tomas Estes, owner of the Cafe Pacifico restaurants and Ocho tequila. Eighteen bartenders from eleven countries competed in the event. What I liked was that nearly every competitor brought an ingredient from their home country to make their cocktails, from a smoky Ukrainian dried... Read more →

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