Posts Tagged ‘Campo de Encanto’

LOVING A LIQUID 2013

Sunday, January 6th, 2013

What you’ll be drinking and thinking about and why, as 2013 marches on
By Francine Cohen

Argentina cars old and new

The past and the present can, and do, exist peacefully side by side. The best elements from eras past stick around to inform the future, while new innovations take their rightful place alongside of them.
Just as it is evident in automobile design, the same can be said of the beverage world. Great old drinks become classics, while new innovations and approaches are embraced with open arms. What does this have to do with drinks and the new year, versus the one just past?

Whether we’re talking about the specifics of the last months of 2012, or just in general about year end, it’s often such a pressure filled time. We’re scrambling to get all those things done we’d promised ourselves, or others, that we’d do and swearing we’ll be better next year. Which brings us to the new year; again, pressure filled, but full of hope for a brighter tomorrow, and new ideas and experiences ahead that promise to make (insert year here) the Best Year Ever.

Realistic? Probably not. We’d all be a whole lot better off, calmer, happier, and more productive if we stopped with the pressure and just focused on doing the best we could every day and finding a little joy in every new discovery instead of awaiting The Big One. Alas, that’s not realistic either.

What could work is just a little proverbial jumping up and down over the trends we’ve seen bubbling up in the drinks industry. At INSIDE F&B we’ve been hearing rumbles about a lot of things, and have the good fortune to be first out of the gate in trying on some of these ideas for size while tasting new products. There are a lot of ideas on the horizon and overall the spirits industry is booming in terms of brand explosion and job opportunities. In the category of new drink ideas some are good, some a little less than appealing; for instance, who are we to stop you from drinking chocolate wine if that’s what you want. Just don’t try and serve it to us. But if someone can make a living from this, and not really hurt anyone in the process, we’re okay with that.

Here’s what we expect to see more of in 2013:
1) Savory. No, don’t expect salt in every cocktail (although a bartender worth his/her salt knows the impact it’ll have to add a scant pinch); but do know that as the bar and kitchen become more comfortable partners food flavors are going to start creeping into our cocktail glasses more often than they have in the past.
2) Texture. Yep, back to the kitchen again. While we’re not sure that chunky bits in our cocktails are what we’re looking for on a regular basis, the judicious use of ice, garnishes, and understanding that ingredients impact mouth feel will enhance the cocktail experience.
3) Sour. Vinegars were popping for a hot minute. We don’t think we’ve seen the end of this. Especially as more bartenders start substituting vinegars for other acid in drinks.
4) International sugar and salt options. Want to use Brazilian rapadura

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ROCKS STARS: PROFILES IN CUBAGE – DUGGAN MCDONNELL

Friday, March 30th, 2012

By David Ransom

Ask Duggan McDonnell how he ended up where he is now, and he’ll invariably launch into a sermon (quite literally) on how to take the long way to getting into the bar business. For Duggan, one of this country’s most respected bartenders, owner of Cantina – one of San Francisco’s most beloved bars, and most recently, producer of one of the hottest spirits out there these days, Peruvian Pisco (with his brand Campo de Encanto), there never had been a plan to get into the business at all. He actually (really!) wanted to be a minister.

Born in San Francisco and raised in San Jose California, Duggan was brought up in a very religious household. Originally raised Catholic, he took religion very seriously, and when his mother became born-again, Duggan went along for the ride, eventually majoring in theology at college in Seattle. “Religion is nothing if not a great story,” he says, “and for me, the story is what’s important in everything, whether it’s teaching the masses about the ways of the Lord or about the ways of the bar.”

However, it was the scholarly pursuit of writing that most captivated Duggan, and he eventually left religion behind to focus on that, receiving an MFA in creative writing from the University of San Francisco before moving back to Seattle to write “full-time.”

Of course, writing the great American novel full-time doesn’t pay much, so Duggan had to work other jobs to pay the rent while following that dream. Some of the more interesting jobs he took were as an elevator operator at Seattle’s famed Space Needle, an apartment building manager, a customer service rep at Amazon.com, and a busboy at the Scooby Doo Café.

Maybe it was his stint with Scooby, Shaggy, Daphne, Freddy, and Velma that sparked a flame, or maybe it was his job selling wine at Costco

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ROCKS STARS – TALES OF THE COCKTAIL 2011

Friday, August 19th, 2011

A Few Of My Favorite Things
By David Ransom

Photo by Charles Steadman

Once again this past July in New Orleans, Mrs. And Mr. Cocktail (aka Ann & Paul Tuennerman) put on what those of us in the business have affectionately come to consider the triathlon of liver survival (drink-filled seminars, drink-filled tasting rooms, and drink-filled dinners and parties… not to mention the obligatory night-ending swing through Old Absinthe House on Rue Bourbon every night just to prove you didn’t expire during the course of the day) that is Tales of the Cocktail (www.talesofthecocktail.com).

Having just completed its ninth year, Tales has grown from a tiny industry-focused event that brought the nation’s top bartenders together for a few days of camaraderie, events, and parties, into a truly international symposium, complete with a “Spirited Awards” program (like the movie industry’s Oscars) that hands out honors to establishments and industry leaders from around the world, and now brings in professionals and consumers from all over the globe to celebrate the world of cocktails in the city that created them.

Rocks Stars and I feel honored to be given the chance to attend each year, and as always, I’m thrilled to be able to share some of my experiences…now that I have recovered enough to be able to write again…

So without further ado, here are a few of my favorite things from this year’s Tales, both good and bad, but really all good, as nothing that includes having a well-crafted drink could ever really be bad… and in no particular order:

Best Hosts Under Pressure: Ann & Paul Tuennerman. Nine years into it, Tales could probably have run itself, but Ann and Paul were everywhere. Every event. Every day. Every night. What amazes me about this is that Paul was recovering from a health scare and had just spent time in the hospital. I have to tip my hat to these two intrepid souls for not staying in the background and recuperating at home while “their baby” was staged. Quite to the contrary, they were all over the place from Tuesday’s Media Welcome Party at Arnaud’s French 75 bar (beautifully run by Chris Hannah, one of NOLA’s finest drinks-smiths – www.arnaudsrestaurant.com),to the final Sunday Brunch with Mr. & Mrs. Cocktail, and everywhere in between. I even ran into Paul solo, visibly tired yet surely on the mend, at the Suntory Suite (www.suntory.com) one afternoon where we chatted on the balcony overlooking Bourbon Street while enjoying a glass of Japan’s finest single malt.

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