industry news Feed

I chose and polled most of the judges for this list of the 50 best bars in the world. It's the cover story for Drinks International, an industry magazine based in the UK. The rules were that the judges had to have visited the bar within the past two years and couldn't have a financial stake in them (so, no voting for your own bar). Each judge chose their top three bars and we averaged them together. I think when you see the list of judges (not online yet) you'll agree that it's a very fair poll. For the most... Read more →

Get Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF.


There are now two newish options for bartenders to get health insurance. 1. USBG The United States Bartenders' Guild now offers full insurance plans (previously they only had discount health plans that are not the same thing) through Custom Benefit Consultants. 2. RBA I also just leared of the Responsible Bartenders' Association, another bartender (and related professions such as servers) that offers health and other insurance through a company called HLP. What they did was partner with TIPS (Training for Intervention ProcedureS) to show that their member bartenders take responsibility seriously, which helped them negotiate insurance discounts. Thus you need... Read more →

Get Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF.


The Big Switch At Captain Morgan

For years, Captain Morgan rum has been produced at the Distileria Serralles (DonQ Rum) distillery in Puerto Rico. Production is moving in 2012 to a new distillery St. Croix owned by Diageo. This makes a huge difference in revenues to Puerto Rico and St. Croix. I'll explain it as I understand the situation, and if your understanding is better/different I hope you will correct me in the comments. The US government has a tax rebate plan to bring revenue to US territories based on a business incentive. All of the rum sold in the US is taxed (no matter where... Read more →

Get Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF.


GMO-Free Liquor? Not As Far As You Know

So the TTB released the little bombshell below. Basically, you can't put "GMO-free" or something similar on an alcoholic beverage label, even if the product is. For the most part if you're drinking anything made from corn in the US (all bourbon, some vodkas) you're drinking genetically modified corn. Spirits from other crops too. In many (most? all?) export markets, however, you can't use this. Thus many (all?) bourbons make a GMO-free version for export. Because most of Four Roses bourbon is sold in Japan, however, their product is GMO-free, even in the US. However, distiller Jim Rutledge said he... Read more →

Get Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF.


When I was last in France I had a chance to pop into the Camus Cognac visitors' center. I was familiar with the brand, having met brand owner Cyril Camus last year in San Francisco, and curious to try some of the non-US bottlings on-site. And now I have news to share from another lunch a couple of weeks ago. These things don't form a narrative, so I'll use the list format to talk about it. Camus is the 5th largest cognac house after the "big four" of Hennessy, Martell, Courvoisier, and Remy. It has only been on the US... Read more →

Get Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF.


A few weeks ago I wrote about mizuwari, the whisky highball ritual sometimes performed in Japan. One thing I didn't emphasize was that most of the time these highballs are usually made with blended whisky, not single-malts. Now another company has announced the release of blended whisky made for the same purpose. Compass Box Whisky is launching a new range of blends called Great King Street. The first bottling, The Artist's Blend, will start hitting the US market in September. They're emphasizing this whisky's use in the highball. Compass Box founder/blender John Glaser said in a press release, “As well... Read more →

Get Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF.


I learned lots of stuff in the August issue of the Tasting Panel Magazine. I write for this magazine but didn't have a story in the current issue. Anyway: Isle of Jura has a 200th Anniversary Edition, a 21 year old single malt aged in an ex-sherry cask. The Don Julio Anejo Claro that someone gave me a sip of at Tales is a real thing. For the 70th anniversary of the Don Julio being in the tequila business, they are releasing an anejo tequila that is filtere to make it clear, which supposedly will "bring back the bold agave... Read more →

Get Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF.


Infusions: Now Officially Legal in California

*Update* California State Senate Bill SB 32 has been passed and signed into law, taking effect immediately. Thanks to the people who worked hard to make it happen. This bill was introduced in response to a sudden crackdown by the ABC (Alcholic Beverage Control) on infusions, homemade bitters and tinctures, sangria, and other 'rectified' drinks at cocktail bars in San Francisco. Most bar owners did not know that these common practices were illegal and the crackdown set off a bit of a panic. My take on the issue from February 2010 is here. (I can't believe it's been that long... Read more →

Get Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF.