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I was researching some cocktail bars and came across the website for Scoma's, an old San Francisco seafood restaurant near Fisherman's Wharf. Looking for the cocktail menu I found the page below (click to enlarge). And I saw the Children's Wine List. "CHILDREN'S WINE LIST? THAT'S FANTASTIC!" I said to myself. (I always talk to myself in capslock.) But it turns out that those are two different links for the children's menu and the wine list. Oh well. Still I love the idea of having a children's wine list (purple grape juice, white grape juice), a kids' beer list (root... Read more →

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

For some reason I thought it would be fun and interesting to make dehydrated olives. It turns out that not only are they ugly, they also taste disgusting, like a savory salt lick. And they don't get any prettier when you put them in a drink. I also dehydrated some maraschino cherries and they came out sort of okay. They taste like candy, basically, and are very sticky. So now I just have to figure out what to do with them. Ideas? Read more →

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

The Olive Centipede was created by Dr. Heiner, a disturbed German bartender formerly famous for his flair garnishing techniques. The evil Dr. Heiner decided to create a garnish centipede, made from sewing three olives together along the olives' digestive tracks, pit-to-pimento. Read more →

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

This post is a continuation of this one on how to brine olives at home. My olives went from this: To this: To see the process, keep reading by selecting the link below. As you may recall from the earlier post, I was late on buying olives so the ones I ended up with were really small and a lot of them were bruised. I used the salt-and-water method to brine them, as opposed to lye. Using Karen Solomon's book I slit the olives, made brine, and covered the olives with a heavy plate to weigh them down. I checked... Read more →

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

For some reason, the San Francisco Chronicle didn't choose the above title for my story that comes out Sunday August 30th. I can't think of why. More bars growing own cocktail ingredients Camper English, Special to The ChronicleFriday, August 28, 2009 Victoria D'Amato-Moran grows tomatoes, Asian pears, Fuji apples, blackberries, roses and many herbs in her South San Francisco garden. Sooner or later, everything in it winds up in her cocktails. "Except the zucchinis," she says. "I haven't figured out how to use those yet." The Bay Area has long been home to the farm-forward cocktail movement - initially personified... Read more →

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

Recently my book club chose the book Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky . Naturally I read it with an eye toward any reference to booze. Items of interest: The Celts invented the barrel. I'd always heard that it was the Romans, but the Romans conquered the Gauls, who were a Celtic tribe. I'm going to wait for confirmation on this one. Before corks, the Romans salted their wine to preserve it in a mixture called defrutum. Peat, as we know, is still used to impart smoke flavors to whisky. In northern Holland and southern Denmark it was also... Read more →

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