mixers Feed

I was tasting some ginger beers for a story and noticed that a lot of them taste like dried pizza flakes in the finish -probably a sign that they added capsaicin or other pepper heat to the recipe. So I've listed the ingredients from the labels here and will add more as time goes on. (Or feel free to add them yourself in the comments if you have something handy.) Crabbies Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer - Malt beverage without ingredients listed except for natural flavors and caramel color. Bruce Cost Ginger Ale - Carbonated water, sugar, fresh ginger, citric acid... Read more →

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


I received the new cocktail menu from Brandon Wise of Imperial in Portland, Oregon and noticed that it has the following drink on it: Slings and Arrows: Dewars blended scotch, Lemonhart Demerara rum, Lemon, Mulled pinot noir syrup, Tony's homemade switchel. The last ingredient was described as, "House-made switchel, also known as swizzle or haymaker’s punch. A long forgotten ingredient, Wise’s nostalgic resurrection of this carbonated cross between sweet tea and apple cider is an appreciated addition to Imperial’s ingredient list." So, a switchel sounds a lot like a shrub, a (usually) fruit-and-vinegar syrup. I followed up with Wise to... Read more →

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


This spring I went to Avery Island, Louisiana, to see how Tabasco pepper sauce is made. Avery Island isn't really an island, but more of a dry mound (a salt dome) surrounded by wetlands. It's about 165 feet high and that makes it the tallest point in the Gulf Coast. The island is owned entirely by the Avery family, of which the McIlhennys form a branch. The first of them on the island was a man named Marsh, who built the Marsh House in 1818 that is still used for family weddings and other gatherings. Marsh wasn't a pepper sauce... Read more →

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


Last week I took a shrub-making class, lead by Jennifer Colliau of Small Hand Foods and Aaron Gregory of 15 Romolo. (Blueberry-Raspberry-Thyme Shrub Ready for Vinegar) The class was co-hosted by CUESA, Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture, who puts on the Ferry Building Farmer's Market, farm tours, and educational events and Urban Kitchen, a group that hosts affordable, single-purpose classes and workshops themed around the DIY Slow Food concept. (Jennifer Colliau and Aaron Gregory) Here is what I learned: The word shrub comes from a Persian word for a syrup with citrus and fruit in it, which is... Read more →

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


(Photo courtesy of That's My Jamm) David Ruiz of Mr. Smith's makes jams and preserves just for cocktails. I wrote about it with a quick note about jam in cocktails historically, and in which bar you can find a mezcal drink with strawberry-raspberry-jabanero jam. Yumz. Read about That's My Jamm on Tasting Table. The story is here. Read more →

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


I have been tracking how different not-obvious products and categories have been entering the world of cocktails, as I think this is a good indicator of how culturally important cocktails have become. Everyone wants a piece of the action. (Related: I got a ridiculous pitch today for cocktails made with the neon-colored Alize liqueurs that are somehow supposed to be era-appropriate for Mad Men. This says a lot about the cultural impact of Mad Men, and also a thing or two about the people marketing Alize...) I've tracked before how cruise lines, airlines, tourism boards, the National Peanut Board, a... Read more →

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


(Craig Lee / Special to The Chronicle) My latest story from this Sunday's San Francisco Chronicle is now online. Quest for best orange liqueur comes full circle Camper English, Special to The Chronicle Friday, July 9, 2010 When a critic complained that the orange liqueur in the margarita at Tacolicious had an "off flavor," owner Joe Hargrave decided to do something about it. The margarita is the Marina district restaurant's top-selling cocktail. "After I was finished being (ticked) off, I decided we should see if this has merit," he said. Hargrave arranged a blind tasting of margaritas with different orange... Read more →

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


A Treasure Trove of Todd Thrasher Recipes

Todd Thrasher of PX in Alexandria, VA is known for making all of his bar's mixers, from sodas to tonic water to bitters and tinctures. In a story this week in the Washington Post, Jason Wilson gathered up many of Thrasher's recipes. I can't wait to try the cranberry juice, which is so simple it's embarrassing. The story is here. Recipes: My Tahitian Dream Winter Tonic Water Jack Mauve Provincial Homemade Cranberry Juice Cold Buttered Rum Spiced Rum Homemade Grenadine Candied Key Limes & Lime Syrup Hibiscus-Vanilla Liqueur Read more →

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