bitters Feed

If you hadn't heard, your host Camper English is the Contributing Drinks Editor at Saveur Magazine now. Hooray! The current January issue is the annual Saveur 100: "Our favorite places, tools, ingredients, cookbooks, recipes, restaurants, and more." I have two small bits in the magazine. The first is on Amari (plural of Amaro) and cocktails to use them in. Read the story with tasting notes here and the cocktail recipes are in slideshow format here. For the cocktail recipes, I sourced them from: Max Grecco of Vasco in Sydney, Australia Renato “Tato” Giovannoni of Florerèa Atlántico in Buenos Aires Jackson... Read more →

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The Ice Cream Bar in San Francisco, a real soda bar with shakes and sodas made of things like candy cap mushrooms, sassafras root beer, and chicory coffee, has been granted a beer and wine license. This Friday August 24th they'll debut the new menu with some boozy drinks. Below is the menu. The drinks will be in the $9-$14 dollar range. Menu consultant Russell Davis says with the big pour of bitters in the Angostura Phosphate, he's hoping they'll become the top Angostura account in the city. “REMEDIES” For those 21 and over - these fountain sodas contain alcohol... Read more →

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As an ongoing part of my Solid Liquids Project, I have dehydrated various liqueurs into flavored powders and am now experimenting with new ways to use them. In yesterday's post I described how I bought a pill press to make tablets out of the liqueurs. I started with Angostura bitters, but then made additional "flavor pills" out of Campari, Midori, and Aperol. I was thinking that these would be fun flavor enhancers for drinks, especially champagne drinks. A cool presentation might be to give a guest a glass of champagne and a variety of flavor enhancers from which to choose.... Read more →

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As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I wanted to find some more uses for the dehydrated liqueurs I spent a few months developing. The index to that experimentation is here. Yesterday I tried putting dehydrated liqueurs into pill capsules, but these did not readily dissolve in any of the drinks I put them in. So I went online and bought a pill press. You'll find them online often called a "pollen press" to make some sort of pollen pills (and I get the impression that they're also used in vaporizers with marijuana). Anyway, the one I bought was this simple... Read more →

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In the San Francisco Chronicle on Sunday, December 18th, I have a story on the category of fernet. Leopold Brothers has a modern formulation of fernet that should be hitting story shelves this Wednesday afternoon, and Tempus Fugit Spirits has a vintage recreation of fernet coming in the new year. (Photo by John Storey) From the story: While many people call for the bitter liqueur Fernet-Branca by the shorthand "Fernet," they should probably specify "Branca." Fernet is not a single product but a type of spirit, and its ranks are about to become more populated. Angelico Fernet, from local importers... Read more →

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Last night I went to sample a few of the new cocktails at the Starlight Room in San Francisco. One of them is the Pitch Black Amsterdam, made with brandy, genever, ROOT liqueur, and a splash of Frangelico. Bar Manager Joel Teitelbaum tops it with a vanilla foam (vanilla, eggwhite, lemon juice) and then brulees that with Angostura bitters lit on fire. (You may remember this technique from Jeffrey Morgenthaler.) Here is a video of that at the Starlight Room. We tried that drink (good, but mostly notable for the pyrotechnics), the Prize Pumpkin made with both pumpkin liqueur and... Read more →

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This is a review of the new book Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All, with Cocktails, Recipes, and Formulas by Brad Thomas Parsons. It contains pretty much just what you want out of a bitters book - the history of bitters, recipes for bitters, and recipes for cocktails that use bitters. It first delves into the history of bitters as cure-all medicines before the were regulated by the Pure Food & Drug act of 1906. It's not a huge discussion and I'm fairly up on my history of bitters so I can't say I learned much that I... Read more →

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Here are some random pictures and notes from my trip to Rome and the Amalfi Coast with Pallini Limoncello. Rome is a very, very crowded city, especially around tourist attractions. On our second day there we had a guide who was amazing and knew all the ways around the lines. That's the only way to do it. I had a gelato at San Crispino, supposedly the best in the world. I can't vouch for that, but my two flavors - whisky and honey- were delicious. The view from the King Victor Emmanual II memorial is great. (Look kids, it's the... Read more →

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