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June 2013

Here are some new spirits launching. The text is taken from these brands' press releases. Berentzen Wild Cherry Liqueur Berentzen announces the introduction of Berentzen Wild Cherry Liqueur, a light fruit liqueur with the flavor of wild cherries. Made with fresh, all-natural ingredients, Wild Cherry joins Berentzen Apple and Berentzen Pear. Berentzen, founded in Germany in 1758, has been producing high quality liqueurs for more than 250 years. The core of every Berentzen flavor comes from 100% winter wheat. All natural flavors are then added. Berentzen Wild Cherry (16% Alc./Vol.) is available nationally. Available in 750ml and 1L sizes, Wild... Read more →

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

In my previous experiments with making colored ice balls, I found that the color from food coloring in water didn't evenly distribute, even though it made pretty patterns. But when I visited the new MKT Bar at the Four Seasons in San Francisco, I had a drink with an ice ball with well-distributed color. It was made of cranberry juice. Surprised, I froze some of my own ice balls by filling the molds with juice - I tried grape juice, cranberry juice, and Vitamin Water. All had nice and even color distribution. So this is a good trick for adding... Read more →

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

In researching water in both both distilled spirits and at serving, I came across Martin Riese, a water sommelier. He is the General Manager at Ray's & Stark, a restaurant located at the LA County Museum of Art (LACMA). He is developing a water program for the restaurant, and has his own water brand, hilariously called Beverly Hills 9OH2O. I asked him for an email interview and he kindly consented. The interview is below, slightly modified in some places for clarity. How did you become a water sommelier? I had in 2005 the idea to create a water menu in... Read more →

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

Back in April I visited the Fernet-Branca distillery outside of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Some of you may remember me tweeting about it. Well, it's about time I gave it the formal write-up. Fernet-Branca owns two distilleries: the main one in Milan, Italy, and this one in Buenos Aires. In past years there used to be many Branca distilleries in different countries (including the US), but as global shipping has become easier this model makes the most sense. Production began in Argentina around 1905 or 1908 and has continued ever since. The current distillery was built in 2000 and it already... Read more →

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

This is some seriously cool stuff! A few weeks ago I tasted waters sourced from Scotland's Highlands, Speyside, and Islay regions and noticed how they brought out different flavors in scotch whisky. Bowmore's master blender Rachel Barrie recently performed a similar experiment, though she didn't name the source of the waters. But it turns out they were pretty similar to the waters I tasted, and her results echoed my own. I love not being totally wrong. But the truly exciting thing is if we combine the results of her tasting with what I've learned about regional waters of Scotland, we... Read more →

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

The Four Seasons hotel in San Francisco completely changed their bar in restaurant to be more casual, communal, and I'd say gastropubesque. It's now called MKT. Four Seasons bars around the globe have been doing 100-mile cocktail programs in which ingredients are sourced locally, which is very difficult in some parts of the world and super easy in San Francisco. So while other bars may have one locally-sourced cocktail on the menu, MKT has tons of them. In fact, it is the focus of the entire cocktail program. Oliver Lee, who is also the General Manager of the restaurant, also... Read more →

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

This blog post contains more information from Michael Mascha's book Fine Waters and website FineWaters.com. Previously I looked at How to Classify Bottled Waters and How to Properly Serve Bottle Water. Today we'll look at pairing water with food. You can read the full description of it on the FineWaters website. Basically, Mascha says you match the food or you contrast it, much like any other pairing. However, you're largely not pairing with flavor, you're pairing with texture. Mascha says 75 percent of the pairing importance should be about the mouthfeel of the water, as measured by the carbonation. Big... Read more →

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

The book Fine Waters and the accompanying website have been real eye-openers for me. In another post I wrote about how the author Michael Mascha categorizes bottled waters. In this post I'll talk about how he recommends serving bottled waters. And in another post I'll share his advice on pairing water with food and wine. Ice Mascha would prefer that you didn't. He says, "Ice is the natural enemy of bottled water." He prefers serving water at the proper temperature (see below) and avoiding ice altogether. But if you must, make ice cubes with the same water you're serving. For... Read more →

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