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In the Water Project I'm studying water in spirits in cocktails, from the source water for fermentation through to the sparkling water we use to dilute drinks. As part of the latter research, I'm looking into deconstructing and reconstructing mineral water. Much of the work on this has been done by other people and I'll just be reproducing it here. In short, the mineral content of mineral waters is publicly available, so you can add minerals to your own water to recreate your favorite brand. You can either start with your tap water, taking into account its mineral content, and... Read more →

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

I am excited to announce the launch of the Water Project on Alcademics, which will run for at least the next four months. I'll be researching such topics as: Water basics, types of natural water and its properties Water in fermentation and distillation Water sources used in distillation around the world Tap and bottled waters Dilution of spirits with water to bottle strength Dilution at serving time and the Bourbon and Branch concept Carbonated water (both natural and man made) Mineral waters and how to make them at home Water in cocktails such as Whisky Highballs And much, much more.... Read more →

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

We all know that grenadine is supposed to be a syrup made of pomegranate juice and sugar, often with orange flower water added in. But most commercial grenadines are little more than red food coloring and sweetener. We might think that artificially-flavored cocktail ingredients like grenadine all came to be in the post-war 1940s and 50s, or in the disco-drink 1970s, but it turns out that grenadine has been an artificially flavored syrup for over 100 years. As we read in a previous post, pomegranates were brought to California by the Spanish in the late 1700s, and grown commercially before... Read more →

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

When was grenadine first used in cocktails? I thought this would be a simple question to answer, but not so much. Along the way to figuring this out, I've had to split up this one blog post into several. First we'll look at the cocktail books from 1862 - 1930 and see where grenadine is called for in recipes. Then we'll try to draw some conclusions from that. And then we'll look into what the grenadine that bartenders were using really was: made from fresh pomegranate or artificially-flavored? So let's get busy. From Nowhere to Everywhere In Jerry Thomas' How... Read more →

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

For the month of December I'll be looking at the pomegranate and its use in cocktails, including in grenadine and in PAMA pomegranate liqueur, the sponsor of the project. Check out the information developed just for bartenders at PamaPros.com. How to Remove Pomegranate Seeds It seems there are a few ways to remove the seeds from a pomegranate, a process that can leave one covered in clothing-staining red juice from head to toe. The hard way seems to be manually as below. From what other people have said, using the bowl of water saves a lot of the mess. The... Read more →

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

For the month of December I'll be looking at the pomegranate and its use in cocktails, including in grenadine and in PAMA pomegranate liqueur, the sponsor of the project. Check out the information developed just for bartenders at PamaPros.com. What the heck is a pomegranate? The name "pomegranate" comes from two Latin words for "seeded" and "apple", which makes a lot of sense, given that a pomegranate looks like and apple and is full of seeds. (Fun fact: The word "grenade" was inspired by the pomegranate.) The pomegranate fruit grows on a small tree or shrub. The tree is native... Read more →

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

As an ongoing part of my Solid Liquids Project, I have dehydrated various liqueurs into flavored powders and am now experimenting with new ways to use them. In yesterday's post I described how I bought a pill press to make tablets out of the liqueurs. I started with Angostura bitters, but then made additional "flavor pills" out of Campari, Midori, and Aperol. I was thinking that these would be fun flavor enhancers for drinks, especially champagne drinks. A cool presentation might be to give a guest a glass of champagne and a variety of flavor enhancers from which to choose.... Read more →

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

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I wanted to find some more uses for the dehydrated liqueurs I spent a few months developing. The index to that experimentation is here. Yesterday I tried putting dehydrated liqueurs into pill capsules, but these did not readily dissolve in any of the drinks I put them in. So I went online and bought a pill press. You'll find them online often called a "pollen press" to make some sort of pollen pills (and I get the impression that they're also used in vaporizers with marijuana). Anyway, the one I bought was this simple... Read more →

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