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Irish Whiskey was once one of the most popular spirits in the world and declined from thousands of distilleries down to just two by the late 1900s. Sales are once again skyrocketing on the back of Jameson's success, but things were pretty grim for a while. I knew many of the causes of the decline in Irish whiskey, but learned a few more in conversation with Kilbeggan brand ambassador John Cashman. Here are reasons that he laid out. 1. The Irish Temperence Movement in the late 1830s that flared up again later in the century. 2. The invention of the... Read more →

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

I'm reading a lot of books about malaria while researching quinine and tonic water. So far, none of them have included more than a single sentence about tonic water. That's a little bit frustrating. However, the story of the curse of malaria in world history, the discovery of a natural cure in Peru, the efforts to propagate the tree elsewhere, and then the understanding of the disease and what caused it (which came much later after finding a cure) are fascinating. The tale involves all the major political powers from the 1600s forward and every hot, humid climate on earth.... Read more →

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

Cocktail History Written as Upworthy Headlines

The first three ingredients were spirit, sugar, and water. It was fourth one that changed drink history forever. The 75-millimeter M1897 was considered a dangerous weapon- until one mixologist did this. The customer wanted something stronger than his usual Americano. You won’t believe how the bartender responded. The waitress wanted a pink cocktail she heard about from a friend. What the bartender made her would change television history. They said he was getting too old to shake drinks, but in this argument it was the bartender who had the last word. He stopped in for a quick drink on the... Read more →

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

A visit to the Czech Republic means breweries, beer, more beer, and time for a single cocktail in one of Prague's best bars. Today's post is written by Lou Bustamante. Lou is a contributor to publications including the SF Chronicle, SF Weekly and Wine & Spirits. This past summer I had the opportunity to travel to the Czech Republic to explore the country’s drinking culture. Frankly I knew nothing about the place, so little in fact that I kept calling it Czechoslovakia until I was sternly corrected that the country had split into two 20 years ago. What I learned:... Read more →

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

Today's post is written by Lou Bustamante. Lou is a contributor to publications including the SF Chronicle, SF Weekly and Wine & Spirits. Anyone who is into whiskies will tell you one thing: it is a rabbit hole of knowledge and bottles. Just like with bread and cheese, a handful of ingredients can produce almost endless variations. There is always something interesting you’ve never tasted or that is historically interesting. It seems like every whisky comes with a story. I recently got a chance to try a very rare flight of Macallans from the 1940’s and was amazed by one... Read more →

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

Hello from Tales of the Cocktail on Tour in Buenos Aires! I am attending three seminars today held at the lovely Intercontinental Hotel. (Then the rest of the time I'll just be in bars.) The first seminar was a talk by David Wondrich called Drinking the Americas from Punch to Prohibition Below are notes I took in the seminar, mostly unedited, but let me know if these raise any questions and I'll try to answer them. When Columbus arrived some South American and North American peoples had localized fermented beverages but not really any trade or exchange in them. When... Read more →

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