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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.

Today's post is written by Lou Bustamante. Lou is a contributor to publications including the SF Chronicle, SF Weekly and Wine & Spirits. A partially batched cocktail at Rickhouse If the popularization of craft cocktails has a negative side effect it’s that it has set our expectations for a good cocktail pretty high. We want a great cocktail EVERYWHERE we go; not just the high end bars. The baseline even for a decent cocktail is not what it used to be. Just go into any airport or hotel bar and watch them make you a $20 cocktail with sweet and... Read more →

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

Today Beefeater annouced the launch of Burrough's Reserve, a gin aged in Lillet barrels. It comes as part of a larger trend of reversing the traditional aging times of spirits and cocktails. White whiskies have been a huge trend for several years, mostly led by the craft distilling movement. The small batch distillers couldn't afford to wait for their whiskies to fully mature before selling them, so they all started selling young, barely, or not-at-all-aged spirit. The trend became so big that the major brands couldn't ignore it. Even Jack Daniels and Jim Beam released young/unaged whiskies at the end... Read more →

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

In my latest post for Details.com, I talk about the interesting trend of leafy green salad vegetables making their way into cocktails. Shut Up and Drink Your Salad: Cocktails Embrace Spinach, Kale, and Arugula By Camper English The West Coast style of cocktail in which bartenders muddle a cornucopia of fruits and herbs in their drinks has long been known as a "salad in a glass," but that term is taking on a whole new meaning as mixologists move to mashing leafy greens like spinach, kale, and arugula into drinks this spring. Check it out on Details.com. Read more →

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

During Hawaii Cocktail Week, I attended a seminar called LA Confidential, held at Thirtyninehotel. Panelists were Julian Cox, Paul Sanguinetti & Cherish Mumme, all of Los Angeles. The talk was meant to illuminate trends and techniques popular in Los Angeles today. Here are a few notes I took. LA has more molecular cocktail programs - and more people accepting of them- than other cities. Examples include The Bazaar by Jose Andres and Ink by Michael Voltaggio. A good place to buy molecular mixology/gastronomy supplies is Modernist Pantry. Using goofy names for cocktails makes them less intimidating to guests. Julian Cox... Read more →

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

Someone wrote on Facebook that a trend they'd like to see is smaller cocktails so they could enjoy a larger range of drinks over an evening. I also think that would be pretty cool, so I asked PR folks and Facebook folks if they knew of any. If your bar is doing mini cocktails, feel free to add them in the comments! Pic from Vessel in Seattle. They don't really serve them this small. Canon in Seattle The Negroni Experiment is three Negronis: Original, Boulvardier, Right Hand L2O in Chicago Mixologist: Allison Frey L2O’s Sazerac, served in a 4 ounce... Read more →

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