Hmm, OK, what else?

Well, I’ve managed to put a bunch of writings up on the internet over the last 15 years or so. Here’s a small selection.

Hard Water Monthly Newsletters

(That wall really isn’t all curvey, it’s just an artifact of how I took this photo. But it is about 12-14′ tall.)

For a glorious five years I worked at a bar on the Embarcadero in San Francisco called Hard Water, shuttered since April of 2019 and likely never to reopen. By the time it closed, I had gone from bartender to ‘Whiskey Concierge’ (AKA bar manager), over-seeing an extremely large collection of American whiskey, including a lot of out-of-production releases and private barrel bottlings. I designed a really detailed whiskey list (more like a booklet), put together any number of interesting whiskey flights, published a monthly newsletter for our guests, and ran regular whiskey tastings for the staff. I was really just getting things started when the end came. Below are some examples of the newsletter to check out. (NOTE: mailchimp links ahead)

Michter’s: A Distillery History in Two Acts/Act I (November 2019)

Michter’s: A Distillery History in Two Acts/Act II (December 2019)

When ‘Bourbon’ Gets Defined (May 2017)

A Guide to Tasting Whiskey/Westland Peat Week Comes to Hard Water (December 2016)

Where There’s Smoke, There’s Usually Fire…Not Necessarily Peat (November 2016)

Stirred, Not Shaken Blog

Once upon a time I helped produce a book on cocktails called Left Coast Libations, a snapshot of bar culture as it existed on the west coast around 2008-12. (Cocktails have of course moved on a bit since then.) This project is really what launched me into the beverage alcohol business. During the book’s production I started a blog called Stirred, Not Shaken which I envisioned would be about how the book got made. But most of it wound up documenting my forays into cocktail design, history, and how to make a lot of home made ingredients. Here are some of my favorite posts, several of which include original cocktail recipes:

Vermouth in Balance The beginning of my understanding of the role that vermouth plays in attaining acid/sugar balance in cocktails without citrus in them.

The Electric Cocktail Acid Test I purchased a pH meter in order to measure the acidity of a wide variety of cocktail ingredients and published a table of my results. Provided further insights into managing acid/sugar balance in non-citrus cocktails.

Oranges to Vin d’Orange A recipe for making ‘vin d’orange, a fortified wine flavored with Seville (bitter) oranges.

A Rose (Aprium) By Any Other Name One of my most successful original cocktail recipes was this sour using gin infused with an aprium, a cross between an apricot and a plum.

Crème de Noyaux: A Short, Moderately Accurate, Incomplete History Interest in how to make a ratafia, a traditional infusion using stone fruit kernels, required cracking dozens of peach pits with a vice grips (ouch!). It also got me to investigate the origins of this odd liqueur.

Cherries 2010 I just have this thing about cherries,

Note: Left Coast Libations is stlll in print, an interesting artifact of modern cocktail design as represented by some of the west coast’s most talented bartenders when it was published. You can order a copy of your own from amazon. I make no money from sales of the book.

B-Roll Video

A film crew walks into a bar…

Entirely by chance, I found myself the subject of a short video about destination travel in San Francisco. The company that took the video seems to have folded but they kindly put the video up on youtube. Here’s a link:

Sipping Stories | Hard Water