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August 2013

There aren’t very many books on sherry written in English. The most classic one is Sherry by Julian Jeffs, written in 1961 and most recently updated in 2004 but seems to be currently out of print. That book is very detailed and quite dense, though also very thorough. However a lot has changed since it was written. The 2012 book Sherry, Manzanilla, & Montilla: A Guide to the Traditional Wines of Andalucia by Peter Liem and Jesus Barquin is quite a different thing. For starters, they don’t dwell too much on history- that section is about 15 pages long. But... Read more →

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

While in Buenos Aires earlier this year, I reviewed a dozen bars for DiffordsGuide.com. They were: Pony Line at the Four Seasons Gran Bar Danzon Oak Bar at the Park Hyatt Palacio Duhau Floreria Atlantico Basa Basement Bar & Restaurant Dill & Drinks Milion 878 Frank's Bar Isabel Rey de Copas Alvear Palace Hotel bar Unfortunately I didn't make it to Doppelganger, which apparently is quite good and features classic cocktails. I guess I'll have to return for that one... Read all twelve reviews of Buenos Aires' best bars here. Related articles Newish Bars in San Francisco Batching a Plan:... Read more →

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

These were some cool Martini vermouth ads in the museum that I saw on my recent visit. The same extra dry vermouth that makes marvelous martinis is something special on the rocks. Great straight...on the rocks. Martini & Rossi imported vermouth is so nice on ice! Easy to make, easy to take, it's the drink for sophisticated people. Martini & Rossi sweet vermouth is a mustissimo for Manhattans, too. Mmmmm! Related articles How Martini & Rossi Vermouth is Made: A Trip to Pessione, Italy Celebrating Martini Vermouth's 150th Anniversary and New Visitors' Center (Re)Introducing Noilly Prat Extra Dry Vermouth Read more →

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

This summer I visited Turin and Pessione Italy with Martini vermouth. The distillery hosts the Martini visitors' center and museum, and in this post you can read about how Martini vermouths are made. On one particularly lovely day, our group piled into cars and drove around the countryside to see the local herbs used to make the vermouth. We turned off into one field where we saw many local herbs growing: a few varieties of wormwood, chamomille, cilantro, and the very aromatic local peppermint. Then we stopped into a farm cooperative where Martini sources many of the botanicals for the... Read more →

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

This summer I took a trip to Pessione, Italy, the home of Martini vermouth. Pessione is a small town just outside of the city of Turin, in the northwestern part of Italy. The distillery site was chosen as it is close the the railroad, though it is also close to both wine-growing and herb-growing regions. At the distillery, they produce not just vermouths, but also a range of sparkling wines. They also produce more than that: 17 wine-based products and 12 spirits are made at the distillery altogether. But we were there to talk about vermouth. Luckily, a series of... Read more →

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

In my talk on sherry at Tales of the Cocktail, I was trying to summarize sherry in a way that makes it easy to understand what is in the bottles you find on shelves. I think the three slides below get us pretty close (though I had 90 slides during the talk!). The last chart is the most important one if you want to skip ahead. Sherry is aged in three ways: With a layer of yeast called flor that floats on top of the wine in the barrel. This is biological aging. This sherry usually tastes yeasty, light, and... Read more →

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

This post is brought to you by Alexander & James. Alexander & James is an online site and store for luxury spirits that you can learn about, purchase for yourself, and buy as gifts for friends, family, and associates. The website has a strong focus on rare scotch whisky and exclusive gift sets to go with all kinds of spirits. Whisky treats include Johnnie Walker Odyssey, Talisker 57 North, Knockando 25 Year Old Year Old, and Caol Ila Cask Strength. Distiller's Editions of many brands of single-malt scotch are also on offer. Most of the gift and glassware sets available... Read more →

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

In this post we'll look at commercial brands of bottled water that resemble water from the Speyside, Highlands, and Islay regions of Scotland. We saw before that different waters bring out different properties in scotch whisky. We can then look at properties of bottled water from Scotland. Thanks to UisgeSource, we can look at the properties of Highland, Speyside, and Islay water that they collected. See this post for more details. But as this water isn't available everywhere yet, we can look at their water analysis and try to find other bottled water that is somewhat close in pH level... Read more →

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