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Come See Camper Speak at Tales of the Cocktail

I'll be giving three talks at Tales of the Cocktail this year, and tickets are now on sale. The seminars are: 

Advanced Sherry: Secrets, Lies, and Solera
Thursday July 18 12:30pm — 2:00pm La Nouvelle Orleans Ballroom, Hotel Monteleone

Sherry is a popular cocktail ingredient, but how much do you really know about it? In this seminar, we’ll go far beyond the basic types and tastes of sherry (though we’ll certainly cover them) and into the production parameters and little-known secrets of this fortified wine. We’ll examine biological and oxidative of aging practices, paying particular attention to the orphan wine of both: palo cortado. We’ll look at the manifestations of terroir between fino and manzanilla sherries, which are otherwise the same thing. We’ll also take a deeper look at the solera system and see not only how the math works, but how it is used (and abused) in other alcoholic beverages. We’ll cover a few of the commonly-told fibs and shortcuts in sherry production, as well as the wonders of the hard-to-find anada sherries, non-solera vintage-dated sherries, and unfiltered “en rama” selections. Finally, we’ll talk about sherry in cocktails, including info that will help bartenders pick the best bottles for particular cocktails.

 

Water World: Water in Spirits and Cocktails
Friday July 19 3:30pm — 5:00pm Grand Ballroom North, Royal Sonesta

Both the human body and most bottles of liquor are comprised of sixty percent water: Coincidence? Yes, but it’s just one of zillions of fun facts and practical bits of info you’ll learn in this seminar devoted to the study of good old H2O. We’ll study water in distillation: Does the pure, local, soft, limestone-enriched water that distillers brag about really make a difference to the flavor of the final product after you distill it, or is that just marketing? We’ll also talk about the purified water used to dilute spirits to bottle strength, and types of filtration used to clean water in industrial settings, for bar ice machines, and at home. We’ll follow along as water turns into ice and learn what causes its clouding. Then we’ll study water used in drinks- are certain mineral waters better than others to enhance flavor when diluting whisky, and why does dilution increase aromatics in a distilled spirit in the first place? Finally we’ll get bubbly examining carbonated water, both in nature and in bottles; studying pressure and bubble size, home/bar carbonation, DIY mineral water, and which water makes the best whisky highball.

The Column Still: Pretty on the Inside 
Saturday 3:00pm — 4:30pm Riverview Room, Hotel Monteleone

Copper pot stills are shiny and old-fashioned and romantic and easy to understand, but column stills do all the heavy lifting in this industry and produce the vast majority of spirits we consume. Let’s give them their due and get a deeper understanding of their inner workings. We’ll study the original column still design and the differences between today’s models, shapes, and sizes, and take a thorough look inside each of them to understand exactly how they run. We’ll then study the different ways column stills are used in spirits: to make nearly-neutral alcohol like vodka and rum (and fuel) in industrial settings, run at lower proof but continuously to make bourbon, set atop a pot still to run discontinuously at many small craft distilleries that produce brandy and gin, and so on. Attendees will leave with a better understanding-and hopefully a new appreciation- for the science as well as the art of column distillation. Panelists will be three distillers TBD.

Follow those links to buy your tickets. They tend to sell out!

 

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

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