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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 →

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


In researching water in both both distilled spirits and at serving, I came across Martin Riese, a water sommelier. He is the General Manager at Ray's & Stark, a restaurant located at the LA County Museum of Art (LACMA). He is developing a water program for the restaurant, and has his own water brand, hilariously called Beverly Hills 9OH2O. I asked him for an email interview and he kindly consented. The interview is below, slightly modified in some places for clarity. How did you become a water sommelier? I had in 2005 the idea to create a water menu in... Read more →

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


This is some seriously cool stuff! A few weeks ago I tasted waters sourced from Scotland's Highlands, Speyside, and Islay regions and noticed how they brought out different flavors in scotch whisky. Bowmore's master blender Rachel Barrie recently performed a similar experiment, though she didn't name the source of the waters. But it turns out they were pretty similar to the waters I tasted, and her results echoed my own. I love not being totally wrong. But the truly exciting thing is if we combine the results of her tasting with what I've learned about regional waters of Scotland, we... Read more →

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


This blog post contains more information from Michael Mascha's book Fine Waters and website FineWaters.com. Previously I looked at How to Classify Bottled Waters and How to Properly Serve Bottle Water. Today we'll look at pairing water with food. You can read the full description of it on the FineWaters website. Basically, Mascha says you match the food or you contrast it, much like any other pairing. However, you're largely not pairing with flavor, you're pairing with texture. Mascha says 75 percent of the pairing importance should be about the mouthfeel of the water, as measured by the carbonation. Big... Read more →

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


The book Fine Waters and the accompanying website have been real eye-openers for me. In another post I wrote about how the author Michael Mascha categorizes bottled waters. In this post I'll talk about how he recommends serving bottled waters. And in another post I'll share his advice on pairing water with food and wine. Ice Mascha would prefer that you didn't. He says, "Ice is the natural enemy of bottled water." He prefers serving water at the proper temperature (see below) and avoiding ice altogether. But if you must, make ice cubes with the same water you're serving. For... Read more →

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


Below are some of the sources I've been using in the Water Project here on Alcademics. I'll update this page as I use more resources and read more books. Fix the Pumps. This book by Darcy O'Neil about vintage soda fountains also has information about mineral waters, which were once made-to-order. It includes practical information about how to keg soda waters, and list some not-so-practical recipes for commercial soda waters (as they're 20 liter+ batches), but there is good information about how to properly get minerals into solution with carbonation. Khymos. This blog has an amazing resource - a list... Read more →

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


Most books about bottled water seem to trace the history and environmental impact of the industry, but Fine Waters by Michael Mascha is quite a different book from that. Mascha is a water sommelier and runs the website FineWaters.com, which contains pretty much all of the information in the book as far as I can see. (The book from 2006 is out of print but still available on Amazon and other sites.) In the book Mascha lays out a categorization scheme for bottled waters, which I'll briefly repeat below. Bottled Water versus Bottled Water Mascha is not concerned with municipal... Read more →

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


Another useful resource in my exploration of water in spirits and cocktails is Darcy O'Neil's book Fix the Pumps. The book focusses on the history and mechanics of the pre-Prohibition soda fountain. Though largely filled with information on sodas, it includes a chapter and some recipes on mineral waters. Before global shipping became easy, soda fountains made their own soda and mineral waters, with the carbonation being the main attraction. Here are a few things I learned from the book: Club Soda is a trademarked brand. Seltzer water was a brand but is now generic. Carbonation's sensation on the tongue... Read more →

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