Tales of the Cocktail Feed

At the Tales of the Cocktail convention this year, I moderated a panel with three distillers who run column stills; one 5-column rum still, one continuous bourbon still, and one pot-column hybrid. John Jeffrey is the Head Distiller for Death's Door Spirits. He makes vodka, rum, and white whiskey and will be releasing aged whiskey in the future. The below information is what I learned from John and on my visits to other distilleries. They run what I've been calling a pot-column hybrid still, though I'm sure there must be a better name for it. There is a pot on... Read more →

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At the Tales of the Cocktail convention this year, I moderated a panel with three distillers who run column stills; one 5-column rum still, one continuous bourbon still, and one pot-column hybrid. Kevin Curtis is the Distillery Operations Manager for Michter's Whiskey. This company is building a new distillery with a continuous column still. He filled me (and the audience) in on how bourbon stills work. The below post is a combination of information gleaned from distillery visits, books, and Kevin's information at Tales. The Purpose of a Bourbon Still As opposed to some other types of stills, for bourbon... Read more →

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


During Tales of the Cocktail this July in New Orleans, I helped judge the Merlet Sidecar Competition, along with Audrey Saunders of the Pegu Club, Chad Solomon of Cuff & Buttons, and last year's winner Mike Yen of San Diego. I was excited for the competition, as the Sidecar has always been a problematic cocktail for me, tasting flat and flabby most of the time. In my opinion, it could use some freshening. And that's just what it had. The finalists were: Nicholas Bennet of Booker & Dax - New York Lucinda Sterling of Middle Branch - New York Monroe... Read more →

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Today, Friday July 12, is the last day to purchase online tickets for Tales of the Cocktail seminars. There are still plenty of seats in my Water World: Water in Spirits and Drinks seminar, and I encourage you to attend. It's going to blow your mouth. In previous posts, we've seen that different mineral waters affect the taste of scotch whisky, bringing out flavors such as sweetness, grains, and briney notes. These can be regional Scottish waters, or just different brands of bottled water. In today's post I will go over what we'll taste in my seminar. 1. Bowmore 12... Read more →

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Join Camper English at Tales of the Cocktail

This year at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans in July I'll be involved in five events. Come join me! The Bowmore event is free, as is the Merlet Sidecar competition (with wristband). The other three are ticketed seminars, and I think anyone who enjoys this website will really enjoy these educational sessions. The Taste of Islay: Bowmore, Bivalves, and Blindfolds Arnaud’s 813 Rue Bienville, New Orleans Tues, July 16, 2013 5:30pm – 7:30pm Please RSVP to BowmoreTales@savonacommunications.com. Include your full name, number of guests and company affiliation. Let’s go to Islay! Journey with us to the enchanting Scottish... Read more →

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Here at Tales of the Cocktail in Buenos Aires, taking place at the Intercontinental Hotel, I have attended three seminars on one day. The last one was about the science of cocktails. Below are my notes- these are hard to translate from science slides to text, but here goes: The Science of Cocktails: Ice, Infusions, and Insight by Don Lee and Mike Ryan In cocktails being precise is more important than being accurate - it's better to have all drinks be exactly the same than have the occasional one be perfect. That's an argument for measurement in cocktails. Don Lee... Read more →

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


Hello again from Tales of the Cocktail live in the Intercontinental Hotel in Buenos Aires! I just attended Beachbum Berry's seminar: Tiki Drinks from A to Zombie, and below are my notes. Please forgive any spelling errors - I was typing live. The golden age of tiki was from the end of Prohibition to the beginning of Disco. The 40 year drink trend inspired cultural trends in clothing, design, architecture, and music, rather than those things inspiring cocktails. Tiki palaces were fine dining restaurants- the most expensive nights out. Big tiki restaurants were often designed by Hollywood art directors, had... Read more →

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Hello from Tales of the Cocktail on Tour in Buenos Aires! I am attending three seminars today held at the lovely Intercontinental Hotel. (Then the rest of the time I'll just be in bars.) The first seminar was a talk by David Wondrich called Drinking the Americas from Punch to Prohibition Below are notes I took in the seminar, mostly unedited, but let me know if these raise any questions and I'll try to answer them. When Columbus arrived some South American and North American peoples had localized fermented beverages but not really any trade or exchange in them. When... Read more →

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