Recent Posts

Pedro Ximénez Phosphate
Soda

Pedro Ximénez Phosphate

When you think about the fortified wine called sherry, the soda fountain probably doesn’t come to mind, but it should. People have done a great job sanitizing the evils of the soda fountain from our collective mind, but just like bars, soda fountains in the 1800s had a large repertoire of drinks including spirits and fortified wines. I’m sure you […]

Science

Chemical Compositions

Tales of the Cocktail 2014 is just about a month away. As usual, I am presenting this year and I’m going back to my roots, chemistry. The Chemical Compositions session is about what chemicals make spirits taste like spirits. The coolest part is that we will be sniffing more chemicals than a 1980s hair metal band. I’m packing a bag […]

Blog Post

Raw Milk

Since this is a site dedicated to all things drink related, and milk is a delicious drink, I should probably tackle the debate over raw milk. This is an interesting topic because it encompasses science, politics, health and flavour and I have become increasingly interested in the future of food. But let’s talk about milk. Louis Pasteur was one of […]

Blog Post

The Seven Year Itch

Ever hear of the seven-year itch? It’s a term that suggests happiness in a relationship declines around year seven of a marriage. I think that term applies to more things than relationships, like jobs and writing. Many writers pen articles on multiple topics and I’ve decided to do the same to keep life interesting. I’m still going to write about […]

Soda

Honey Phosphate

Acid Phosphate is a cool ingredient to work with since it provides a pure sour taste without added flavours, like the oils in lemon or lime contribute. It also enhances flavours because it contains salts of calcium, potassium and magnesium. This means it can either crank up the flavour profile of a strong drink or enhance a more delicate flavour, […]

Soda

Murder, Soda and Intrigue

We all know the history of alcohol’s prohibition, but did you know that the soda fountain also had its own prohibition? When I was writing Fix the Pumps, and detailing the effects the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 had on the soda fountain, I wondered what effect pulling all those drugs from circulation had on the mood of […]

bar

Tavern Culture (1966)

Lately, I’ve been looking into old research papers on bars and the people who frequent them. One that I found fascinating is transcribed below and was published in 1966. The paper deals with a typical New York dive bar called the Star Tavern, the people who sit in the chairs and an Irish bartender. The paper was written by a […]

Tequila

The Genesis of Tequila's Bad Name?

While researching some drink history in old newspaper archives, I came across this great article/story about tequila. Though I’m sure it was written in a humorous "tongue-in-cheek" style, it doesn’t paint tequila in a very good light. However, we have all heard the stories about how tequila causes hallucinations and crazy stuff happens when people drink it, but there has […]

Travel

Tales 2013 - Message from the Underground

Tales is in full swing and to no one’s surprise it gets bigger, better and more interesting. This isn’t the quaint event it once was, but I am more than fine with that. When events get this big it means we, as the cocktail community, have had a measure of success in change the drinks world for the better, and […]

Science

Oxidation, Buzz Management & Stepping Out

Tales of the Cocktail is a few weeks away, which means it is time for me to tell you what is going on with me while I am down there. As usual I will be lurking around the Hotel Monteleone and scarfing down some food at Coops or some other delicious eatery. Really, if you want to survive Tales you […]

Blog Post

Tempus Fugit's Cease & Desist (Abbott's)

The inevitable has happened. Tempus Fugit Spirits have sent me a cease and desist letter asking me to stop using the Abbott’s Bitters name as they feel they have a legitimate trademark on it. I disagree, and I will explain why below. Though the letter is polite, like all cease and desists, it is implied that it will get much […]

Bitters

Abbott's Bitters

After 3½ years of extensive research, Abbott’s Bitters is just about ready to be revived. This is not a reverse engineered project, this is based on an old recipe I found that had an Abbott’s name on it. For the full history of my Abbott’s research, check out this slidecast. I am taking pre-orders for bottles of Abbott’s which should […]