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This is a mini-project looking at sweet and sour flavors, sponsored by PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur. Sour tastes are mostly produced by acids, including citric acid from fruits and acetic acid from vinegar. As with sweetness, the taste receptors for sourness are found on the taste buds on our tongues, and our initial reactions to them at birth are hard-wired. But unlike sweetness and like bitterness, we have an inherently negative natural reaction toward sourness. Evolutionarily this makes sense. Fruits are acidic both when they're unripe and when they're spoiled. But when they're ripe, the sourness is in balanced with sweetness... Read more →

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

This is a mini-project looking at sweet and sour flavors, sponsored by PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur. Looking at sweet, sour, and the balance between them, we'll now start with sweet. Sweetness is sensed on the tongue as one of the four (up to possibly six) basic tastes. We sense sugars as sweet, of course, but also some proteins and amino acids taste sweet to us. Some things we consume are both sweet and something else. An example used in the book Taste Matters is saccharin, which is both sweet and bitter. The preference for sweetness (and different reactions for sour, salty,... Read more →

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

I'm doing a mini-project looking at sweet and sour flavors, sponsored by PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur. The sweet-to-sour balance in a cocktail is crucial. I like Sam Ross' quote about it: “The sweet and sour elements in a cocktail are like the pieces of bread in a sandwich. If they’re not in balance, the whole thing falls apart.” I'm going to look at sweet and sour (plus the other basic tastes) separately, then at how they interact. Basic Tastes We all know by now that at least sweet, sour, salty, and bitter are four basic tastes, with others proposed including umami... Read more →

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

This post was sponsored by PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur but written by me. PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur plays up its versatility as a cocktail mixer, so let's do a cocktail thought experiment to see how it fits into cocktails from day to night. PAMA is a bit unique for a liqueur in that it is both sweet and sour, so you can't always swap it out 1 for 1 with another liqueur. In fact, as they recommend on the website, to add PAMA to a base cocktail that has a sweet and sour element, all you need to do is cut back... Read more →

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

This post is sponsored by Pavan. Pavan Liqueur has extended the submission deadline for The Pavan Sangria Challenge to October 25th. The Pavan Sangria Challenge invites bartenders from around the country to showcase their talents by creating original Pavan sangria recipes inspired by the dream escape destination of their choice. The winner will be rewarded with the ultimate prize of a dream trip for two anywhere in the world! The Pavan sangria creations will be judged on quality and taste, visual presentation, creativity and representation of dream destination. To enter, bartenders submit their original sangria recipes to pavan-sangria.com by October... Read more →

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

Join Papa’s Pilar, the new super-premium rum inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s spirit of adventure, at Novela on October 15th for the brand’s official San Francisco launch. The event will feature Papa’s Pilar dark and blonde signature cocktails, which are born from the finest rums of the Caribbean, Central America and the U.S.A. and then solera aged and blended in a unique process here in the states using American Oak Bourbon barrels, Port Wine casks, and Spanish Sherry casks. Guests will have the opportunity to meet Phil Greene, Papa’s Pilar brand ambassador and author of “To Have And Have Another: A... Read more →

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

This post is sponsored by PAMA pomegranate liqueur. As I write this, another class of B.A.R. (Beverage Alcohol Resource) students have finished up an intense week of studying and testing. This year PAMA pomegranate liqueur sponsored three of those students with scholarships to the program: Chad Arnholt of San Francisco, Joy Richard of Boston, and Pamela Wiznitzer of New York. These scholarships are just one part of PAMA's commitment to the mixology community, along with their Bar Star media series and "Are You Indispensable?" cocktail competition. The five-day B.A.R. program is lead by Paul Pacult, Dale DeGroff, Doug Frost, David... Read more →

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

This post was sponsored by PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur but written by me. I was thinking about the definition of a cocktail modifier recently and it inspired further thought: a modifier is defined by its use rather than what is in it. Last year I tried to come up with a definition of a modifier and here's what I decided: A modifier is a cocktail ingredient, usually alcoholic and typically a fortified wine or a liqueur, that both softens the base spirit and adds flavor to the drink. Examples of modifiers include liqueurs like triple sec and creme de menthe, and... Read more →

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