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January 2013

Cocktail Menu: Hi Lo in San Francisco by Scott Beattie and Michael Lazar

From the owners of Hog & Rocks comes the San Francisco BBQ restaurant Hi Lo, where the drinks are also conceived and executed by Scott Beattie and Michael Lazar. Lazar says, “The operative concept for the whole program is to provision large refreshing beverages that complement the flavors of the food (i.e. are not competing for attention with it). Portions will be generous and served in an unpretentious manner. And I think it's important to make it clear HiLo is not a bar with food, it's a restaurant with great beverages. We'll also be providing a selection of lighter style... Read more →

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Wine and Spirits (in the Same Bottle)

I'm not exactly sure what brought on this trend, but over the past year multiple brands have begun combining their spirits with wine. Here's what I know about so far. Absolut Tune Is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region of New Zealand and Absolut vodka. It's 14 percent alcohol. Courvoisier Gold Courvoisier Gold is a blend of Moscato wine from the South of France and Courvoisier cognac. The product is 18 percent alcohol. Courvoisier Rose This is a blend of Courvoisier cognac and French red wine grapes. It's 18 percent alcohol. Exclusiv Rose Exclusiv Rosé Vodka merges... Read more →

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A Sampling of Sugars from Asia

Last year at Tales of the Cocktail I gave a talk along, with David Cid of Bacardi, about sugar, syrups, and rum. A detailed write-up of that talk is on the blog Commercial Free Cocktail. As part of that talk, I passed around a ton of samples of sugars to taste. Most of these sugars were purchased in Singapore by Michael Callahan, bar manager of 28 HongKong Street. He carried a full suitcase of them for me, so he is awesome. Many of the sugars were taken home by seminar attendees (I encouraged it), or were no longer transportable, but... Read more →

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2012: My Year in Boozy Travel

I decided to add up all the trips I took in 2012 and compare it to last year's travel, and it appears this year I was a total slacker. I took a mere 17 trips this year (22 last year), and flew only 90,000 miles in the air, compared with 150,000 last year. I visited only 5 foreign countries this year (not counting repeats) as opposed to 12 last year. I feel so lazy. In 2012 I visited: New Orleans (twice), once for Tales of the Cocktail and once for vacation Vancouver for Tales of the Cocktail Seattle for 12... Read more →

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