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This week was the announcement that a new brand from New Zealand was hitting the market in Florida: Stolen Coffee & Cigarettes Spiced Rum. Stolen is "...infused fine Caribbean rum with natural roasted coffee beans and tobacco flavors, delivering a unique style of spiced rum." This comes on the heels of Ivanabitch vodka's two flavors: "Ivanabitch Traditional Tobacco Vodka features a bold taste of smoky vanilla blended with sweet caramel. The Menthol Tobacco Vodka features the same taste as the Traditional Tobacco Vodka with a hint of mint." One liqueur that's been on the market for a while (though I've... Read more →

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

For years, brunch bars and restaurants have offered Build Your Own Bloody Mary bars, where drinkers get a glass with vodka in it then can help themselves to the juices and mixers at a salad bar of sorts. But in this era of custom ordering cocktails, I think the concept can be extended. In a recent story for FSR Magazine, an industry publication for full service restaurants, I cover what some restaurants are doing and propose some suggestions. Various restaurants around the US are doing Build Your Own: Champagne Cocktail Bellini Boozy Lemonade Martini (your choice of bitters) Plus other... Read more →

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

As part of their "What Are You Drinking?" series, Serious Eats: Drinks asked me some questions about what I am drinking lately. I give a few thoughts on mezcal, sherry, armagnac, bars I like to visit, trend predictions, and stuff like that. Check it out over at Serious Eats. Read more →

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

image from wikipedia If you're using barrels or wood chips to make barrel-aged cocktails, be aware that they can develop 246-TCA, better known as "cork taint." Cork taint doesn't only come from corks, it turns out; it can come from barrels. One way that it forms (in part) is when chlorine bleach is used to clean corks (or barrels). Wikipedia says, "Chlorinated phenols can form chemically when hypochlorous acid (HOCl-, one of the active forms of chlorine) or chlorine radicals come in contact with wood (untreated, such as barrels or pallets.) The use of chlorine or other halogen-based sanitizing agents... Read more →

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

Earlier this week during Toronto Cocktail Week at the Drake Hotel, Joaquin Simo of Pouring Ribbons and I gave a talk about lower-alcohol cocktails called Full Flavour, Lower Proof. I attempted to make the world's ugliest PowerPoint presentation to accompany the talk, and I think I did a pretty good job. If you'd like to experience the joy and eye-ache that was the presentation, click through the images below. Read more →

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

Today's post is written by Lou Bustamante. Lou is a contributor to publications including the SF Chronicle, SF Weekly and Wine & Spirits. Just like classic cocktails endured their “dark ages,” low alcohol cocktails in San Francisco (and California) endured the era of saketinis, soju margaritas, and shochu cosmos. The way the liquor laws in the state work are that they allow a finite number of hard liquor licenses, but beer/wine licenses are much more readily available. In California it was hard not to think about low alcohol cocktails as a kind of compromise, like carob chips in cookies. But... Read more →

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

In my latest post for Details.com I wrote about how we went from 0 to 8 maple-flavored whiskies in no time flat. The piece also looks at the flavored whiskey trend in general that really kicked off with Red Stag then went through cinnamon and honey flavor phases. This fall it's all about maple though. Check out the story here. Related articles Rare Macallan Scotch You Didn't Know Existed How Column Distillation Works: Pot-Column Still Edition Read more →

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

In the industry publication FSR Magazine (as in Full Service Restaurant) I have a story about after-dinner drinks. Finessing the Grand Finale SPIRITS // CAMPER ENGLISH After-dinner drinks explore new directions On many restaurant menus, after-dinner drinks are also an after-thought. But as the cocktail renaissance continues, bartenders are rethinking the dessert and digestif menus from the ground up. Some are pairing cocktails with desserts so that the drinks are better integrated into the overall dining experience. Others are collaborating with the artisan coffee roasters to boost the buzz. Yet others have expanded their menus to include unusual after-dinner spirits,... Read more →

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