drinks with Feed

Drinks With... is an Alcademics category in which I share what I've learned when meeting with industry notables. This July I had a group dinner and drinks at Tres Agaves with Gaston Martinez of Milagro Tequila. Milagro has two lines of tequila- a "core" and "select" line. I've always liked Milagro as a good-priced mixing tequila but had never tried the reserve line. Milagro is triple-distilled. Traditionally when we talk about 100% agave tequila, we think of double-pot-distilled, but lately more and more brands have been releasing triple distilled products. But the more you distill, the more flavor you take... Read more →

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

Drinks With... is an Alcademics category in which I share what I've learned when meeting with industry notables. Recently I went to an event for Grand Marnier hosted by Steven Olson and Andy Seymour, both of B.A.R. and akaWineGeek. I've been to a few Grand Marnier events before, but at this one I felt I learned a lot more. We were able to taste not just the three bottlings (the standard, 100 year anniversary and 150 year anniversary) but also the unflavored base cognacs used in those bottlings. Grand Marnier has only three ingredients- cognac, sugar, and orange peels, says... Read more →

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

Juan Contreras is the son of Don Pilar, the guy whose name is on the bottle. He's also the brand ambassador and marketing director. I met him at Zazil for some tequila. But really the story is all about Don Pilar. Contreras said his father had an agave ranch in Mexico, but moved to the US years ago and worked his way up from fruit picker to multi-restaurant owner. The tequila brand was launched in 2008 with just one product- an anejo. Currently the second batch is on shelves, and Contreras says it's better than the first. The estate-grown agave... Read more →

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

Chesterfield Browne has an awesome name and a pretty awesome job as the International Brand Ambassador for Mount Gay Rum. We met up for drinks at Absinthe a few months ago. (As you can tell, I'm catching up on some long-overdue Drinks With blog posts.) Mount Gay is made by blending some flavorful pot still rum into column distilled more neutral rum. The flagship product of the brand is the Eclipse (with 2-7 year rums inside), a slightly dark rum great for mixing. The Silver Eclipse is a newer product, and clear. Browne tells me Bajans don't usually drink clear... Read more →

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

About two weeks after I met up with Hamish Torrie of Ardbeg, Paul Neep, Chief Executive at The Glenmorangie Company (of which Ardbeg is part) came into town to talk Glenmorangie. Unfortunately we picked the Redwood Room to do so- they only carried two of Glenmo's line and discontinued the flights they had previously offered. That was too bad because I have a hankering to try the Astar, a no-age-statement, cask-strength, non-chill-filtered whisky that's all about the wood: slow-growth, north-facing trees are air-dried for the barrels. It was an experiment in using the best barrels possible for scotch. Neep also... Read more →

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

This May I sat down for a quick bite of breakfast at Level III with Rob Samuels, Director of Global Brand Development for Maker's Mark bourbon. As tends to be the case in the bourbon industry, Samuels is related to someone else in the company- his father Bill Samuels Jr, the president of Maker's and himself the son of the company's founder. Maker's doesn't buy or sell whisky to other distilleries. It is also the only bourbon distillery to air dry all of the wood for its barrels, says Samuels. Maker's Mark is big in Japan. This is because 25... Read more →

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

This is the first installment of Drinks With, a new Alcademics category where I talk about what I talked about when having drinks with persons in the cocktails and spirits industry. Frequently I meet with brand ambassadors, bartenders, distillers, and other folks. I may learn a single bit of information or I may learn a lot. Drink With is the category in which I'll place my meeting notes. In May I met with Hamish Torrie, Brands Director at The Glenmorangie Company. Torrie works closely with Ardbeg, which is part of Glenmo (as we call it) and LVMH. We met for... Read more →

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