One jumps at the chance to spend a day at London’s Beefeater Distillery, particularly when given a personal tour by Beefeater’s master distiller Desmond Payne. Gracious and mannered, Payne has been making gin for over 40 years, his early days being at Plymouth Gin. An English picnic in Kensington Gardens and a week full of fine food and cocktails at… Read more →
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August 1, 2011
…life is short, But desire, desire is long. – Jane Hirshfield, “Heat” Summer rages on with family visits and more Napa weekends giving way to major events over the next two weeks like SF Chefs (SF’s big food & drink ‘classic’, if you will), and to the huge Outside Lands music festival in Golden Gate Park, both of which I’ll… Read more →
GIN for a Winter’s Night: Taste-Testing 6 Gins with Friends
A favored experiment: gather a few industry and non-industry friends, taste a specific spirit side-by-side, sample it in the same cocktail recipe, and compare notes. Gin seemed appropriate for a rainy Winter’s night. While gin is fabulous all year ’round, there’s something about its bracing herbal and citrus qualities that evoke Winter, particularly in Northern California where crisp air and… Read more →
On the Town: Manhattan Cocktail Classic in Its Inaugural Year
I was one of the lucky ones, spending eight days in NY, my old stomping grounds, for the first annual Manhattan Cocktail Classic, May 14-18, highlighting and celebrating the art of the cocktail and its greatest talents. Or so I thought… I won’t gripe too much, though I will say that despite the stunning transformation of the already gorgeous New… Read more →