Thursday, April 30, 2009

Another Vintage Ad

The hits just keep on coming.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Great Gin Ad

I was messing about on youtube and happened upon this Red Skelton bit. It just plain kills me.

Monday, April 27, 2009

What the What?

I don't see no disitillery, do you?

I was a little shocked to read of a new Islay Malt, Port Askaig recently. I was fortunate enough to tour the little town briefly (chauffeured by Jim Mcewan no less!) a few years ago and I certainly didn't see any distilleries. Plenty of sheep, no whisky.

The Whisky Exchange (happy birthday by-the-way) explained it on the their blog..kind of. The bottle looks very Ardbegy, but the descriptions paint the picture of Bunnahabhain. I always get a signature cinnamon/citrus hit with the Bunnahabhain that is absent in the rest of Islay and makes it pretty easy to peg.

Port Askaig is pretty exciting as the distillery bottlings are all chill-filtered (i.e. neutered) and do not compare the few independent bottlings that make to California. Here's hoping that some of these bottlings make it.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Yuzu Juice!

I have been more than a little bummed about the short Yuzu season this year. I got less than half than my allotment from last year and it was a little more pricey. The fruit was great and my Yuzucello is aging well, but I will not have much of it.

Today I received a nice little sample pack from VegeWorks with some interesting ingredients from Yakami Orchards, a Japanese citrus grower and processor. In addition to juices pictured above, the was a small jar of Yuzu Marmalade and it is fantastic. I have always been more impressed by Yuzu zest than the juice and this stuff highlights those qualities, playfully bouncing between lemon and tangerine with just enough mustiness to tantalize. I shook up a nice scoop with some gin and topped it with soda for a banging collins-type drink.
Conclusion: Yuzu Marmalade is a great move for those in need of an exotic citrus fix.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Knot

I just revisted a great ad campaign that came out a few years ago but never had any real traction. To be honest, the juice itself doesn't have anything in common with the style of these ads, but I still find them hilarious.

Monday, April 20, 2009


I don't know about this.

Friday, April 17, 2009

For Articles This Time.

While the production value isn't quite what it has been in the past (yes, you just took a picture for Playboy Justin!), Playboy's top 10 Bartenders for 2009 are some mighty fine picks. I congratulate my friends Joel, Jeffrey, Joaquin, Jamie and Toby and I like forward to knowing the rest of this A List soon.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bitters Blending Day!

Barguy to Sous Chef: "Hey Cory, do you know what today is?"

Sous to Barguy: "No man, what's today?"

"It's Orange Bitters Blending Day!"

"I don't know what that means, but it sounds awesome!"
Yes my friend, yes. It is awesome.
Three years ago I started making orange bitters with the peels of the Navels and Valencias were were using for OJ. It was a simple affair of rum and orange zest, nothing else. It was good, but not better than a nice healthy orange zest over a drink.
In 2007, wanting more depth, I started with a plan and began infusing peels of different orange varieties as they came into season. The process went from November to December and it provided for a much more layered bitters that we have been quite happy with. I labeled it as an 07/08 vintage and it has served us well. It has also come to an end.
As the last bottles dwindled this week, I have been growing nervous about this season's infusions. Again, I started in November but broadened the range of fruit and kept shaving peels right into February. I just kept layering new varieties of orange peels on top of the old in the infusion jars. I varied the spirit, using rum and neutral grain and to keep things extra lively, I also added coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, white pepper and some rangpur zest. Was it ready? Well, it had to be, we were almost out of the previous vintage.
I keep a cache of tinctures for when I blend big batches like this in case any one element needs bolstering (clove, cinnamon, sarsaparilla, etc.) I am happy to say that I only needed to add a few ounces of quassia tincture to get the 08/09 vintage up to par.
I collected the making tape I used for labels on the infusion jars and here is the record of peels;
Clementine, Page Mandarine, Moro Blood, Maltese Blood, Bream Tarroco Blood, Navel, Cara Cara, Tangelo, Tangerine, Calamandini, Kumquat, Seville, Bergamot and Valencia.
The yield was a little over 17 .750 bottles and I couldn't be more pleased.

Hercules Found!

If you have not been following the intrepid Mr. Ellestad in his survey of the Savoy, I highly suggest you amend your ways. Aside from the obvious coolness of his steady path through the book, he has come up with some great observations concerning lost ingredients.

This recent post sheds some fine light on Hercules, a bottle I have been wondering about for years now.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Vegetarianism and Stuff

Camper is ...well...Camper just is sometimes.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Tonga in the Times

Sweet Fancy Moses! How do we get Martin Cate to head up a revamp of the Tonga Room.

Back in March, the SF Chronicle broke the news (to me anyway) the Tonga Room was doomed.

My main man Nate Dumas from PDT and The Clover Club in NYC was visiting and we went up for one last Scorpion Bowl (beautifully horrendous.)

Today, the Times revisited the subject...with pictures even.

Am I the only one that sees the recently barless Martin Cate as our last, best hope for the Tonga Room.

I am starting a damn Facespace group!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Two New Cocktail Mag's Launch

Apparently spring is a good season to launch your beverage mag. I was alerted to two different launch parties this month for adult beverage based periodicals.

I met Daniel Jaffe in New Orleans last year in front of the Old Absinthe House at around 4:00 in the morning and vaguely remember calling him nuts for getting into the printing business in the Internet age. Nonetheless, his Drink Me has launched...and I pronounce it cool.

I met one of the guys from Mutineer Magazine in L.A. at the American Food and Wine Festival on the back lot at Universal Studios. Again, both publisher and barman were a little into our respective cups and I vaguely remember him asking me to write for him. Somehow he has been able to launch without me.

I think these guys are great. Other than Imbibe (which is 1 or 2 years old I think) drinks coverage has been coming in the form of Newspaper columns and piggy-backed into food and lifestyle magazines. This new breed of drinks publishing is pretty to look at, more than a little irreverent and just plain fun to read.