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October 2012

Book Review: Destination Cocktails

The new book Destination Cocktails by James Teitelbaum features reviews of 350 bars in 40 countries. It's amazingly up-to-date, and even lists some bars surely to be on the radar that weren't open yet when the book came out, like Portland's Hale Pele, or that still haven't opened yet, like San Francisco's Trick Dog. As I wrote in my FineCooking.com column: The book would certainly be of interest to any cocktail fan planning to do a bit of traveling (unlike bar reviews on the internet, the book sticks to just the best places) in the US or abroad, or to... Read more →

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How Cognac D'USSE is Made

While I was in Cognac with Grey Goose, I made a quick trip to the Chateau de Cognac where they make cognac Baron Otard in addition to the new product for the US market, D'USSE. I previously visited this chateau to learn about Baron Otard, which was then just called Otard. Baron Otard is the sixth largest cognac brand. D'USSE is also made here, so I wanted to learn what makes it different. I met with Philippe Jouhaud, Sales and Marketing Director of Chateau de Cognac. Production Jouhaud described the ways that the cognacs here are different from other brands.... Read more →

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How Grey Goose is Made

This September I visited Cognac, France to judge a competition for Grey Goose vodka. While there, I learned about the production process. I'm sorry I don't have pictures of all this to share- you like reading, right? Grey Goose is made in two parts: in Picardy, in the north of France, where the wheat is grown and distilled; and Cognac, France, where the wheat spirit and water are filtered and bottled. Picardy, France. Image from Wikipedia The Wheat Grey Goose is made from soft winter wheat grown in Picardy. In that region they grow tons of wheat for France (and... Read more →

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The Grey Goose 10 Cocktail Competition

Last week near Cognac, France I helped judge the first international Grey Goose 10 cocktail competition. My co-judges were Dimi Lezinska, Global Brand Ambassador for Grey Goose, and Francois Thibault, the Maitre de Chai (basically, the dude in charge of production) of the brand. This year the ten bartenders from around the globe were hand-picked by their local brand teams. Many of them have worked with Bacardi in some capacity in the past. Next year, I believe the plans is to hold regional cocktail competitions to choose the 10. The competition took place poolside at the Logis du Fresne, an... Read more →

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New Liquor Launches in September 2012

Over at ShakeStir.com, I write the New Booze blog about new spirits products launching. Let's see what launched in September: Berg & Hauck's Fine Food and Cocktail Flavorings High West American Prairie Reserve Bourbon Hillrock Solera Aged Bourbon Four Roses 2012 Limited Edition Small Batch Bourbon Blue Ice G Vodka Shellback Rum Pumpkin Face Rum Buffalo Trace 2012 Antique Collection Courvoisier Gold 2012 Parker’s Heritage Collection “Master Distiller’s Blend of Mashbills” Art in the Age SAGE Montelobos Mezcal Joven 2012 Old Forester Birthday Bourbon Broken Shaker Vodka Read all about them over at ShakeStir.com. Read more →

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Modifiers in Cocktails

This post is sponsored by PAMA pomegranate liqueur, but written by me. Cocktail Modifiers Though I think most bartenders agree on what a cocktail modifier is, finding a definition of the term was tougher than expected. Defining Modifiers in Cocktails The first book I picked up to look for a written definition was David Embury's The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks, from 1948. Embury is the king of categorizing cocktails (as is Gary Regan in his book The Joy of Mixology, but I don't think he addressed modifiers) so I figured he might have something to say. Unfortunately though, I... Read more →

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