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I was recently in London again, for two nights: one on either side of a trip to Tuscany with Bombaby Sapphire. In those two days I managed to visit the American Bar at the Savoy Hotel twice, Nightjar, and the brand new Worship Street Whistling Shop. Ahoy, Savoy! Yes, I was at the American Bar at the Savoy Hotel just one week before this visit. But that was during the daytime so it doesn't count or something. On my first night there, I stopped in for a drink at the Savoy's other bar, the Beaufort Bar [menu (PDF)]. There, there... Read more →

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

As part of the Bacardi Global Legacy Cocktail Competition, the ten competing bartenders underwent three days of education in London before flying to Barcelona for the big event. I was along for the ride. On our first day, Alex Kratena of the Artesian Bar at the Langham Hotel gave a talk on garnish. They have an extraordinary program that he shared with us. But since we all love ice here on Alcademics (see index of all of the ice experiments on Alcademics here), we'll start with that geekery first. At the Artesian they have two kinds of ice that are... Read more →

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

Another two days in London meant another bunch of bars visited. Here's a brief summary. We stopped into the American Bar at the Savoy Hotel for a sampling of many of their classics. The drinks we tried were simple, elegant, and of course expertly crafted by Erik Lorincz and his team. The American Bar has an odd L shape, with the bar the small part of the L so only part of it is visible from the main seating area. From a bar as famous as this one, you'd think it would be all TA-DA front and center but I... Read more →

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

Yesterday in London I hit three spots. We had an afternoon lunch at the Paramount Club which is on I think the 32nd floor of a building with 360 degree views like this one. I don't know what it's like at night but I liked being there during the day. Later that night, we had dinner at Cottons, rum ambassador Ian Burrell's restaurant. The place oozes comfort and good vibes, with a soul singer near the front door, several rooms for dining, and of course a huge rum selection. Funnily enough I ordered a dish that came with roti, the... Read more →

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

The Artesian is the bar at the Langham Hotel in London. I went there last night. As jetlag has me awake early, I thought I'd share notes on my first bar visit. (Cask Mai Tai) The bar menu is here in PDF format. This bar and its bartenders are a class act. Every movement has a little touch of style but isn't so showy that you'd call it flair. Bar nerds like us just sat and watched Alex Kratena and his fellow bartenders do their work, winding up a bottle of bitters or syrup with a swirling upside down motion... Read more →

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

My latest post on FineCooking.com is about the Breakfast Martini, the modern classic created by Salvatore Calabrese. Marmalade, jams, jellies, syrups, shrubs, sherbets, etc.: It always comes back to preserves. One of these days I'll start learning how to make my own. Calabrese will soon be opening a new bar, Salvatore's at the Playboy Club in London. I'll be in London twice in the next three weeks so I'm hoping it opens, like nowish. Anyway, that story on the Breakfast Martini is here. Breakfast Martini Adapted from Salvatore Calabrese 2 fl. oz. Gin .75 fl. oz. Cointreau .75 fl. oz.... Read more →

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

Last week I had the pleasure of hanging out with Erik Lorincz, Head Bartender of the American Bar at the Savoy Hotel in London. Lorincz was in town to give a short bartending presentation at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. (The Savoy is Fairmont Hotel.) We also ended up doing a bar tour of many of SF's top bars two nights in a row. (Somehow, I always end up giving bar tours of SF's top bars. I should get my official tour guide certification.) Lorincz is only 31 and has one of the most enviable positions in the industry,... Read more →

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

Here is the new cocktail menu from Nightjar in London. It has some great looking drinks on it: Galliano balsamic float on a shrub, absinthe smoke, barrel-aged Pina Colada and a bottle-aged Bloody Mary, prune and truffle liqueur, etc. COCKTAILS THE FOLLOWING PAGES LIST OUR WIDE RANGE OF RARE, REVIVED AND ORIGINAL COCKTAILS. OUR LIST IS DIVIDED INTO FOUR SECTIONS, SPANNING THE GLORIOUS HISTORY OF THE COCKTAIL: PRE-PROHIBITION, PROHIBITION, POST-WAR AND NIGHTJAR SIGNATURES. OUR BAR STAFF WILL HAPPILY MAKE ANY CLASSIC OR MIX YOU A COCKTAIL TO ORDER. PRE-PROHIBITION - 1600-1918 ANCIENT RECIPES AS WELL AS EARLY CLASSICS FROM THE... Read more →

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