Some fun stuff for your reading pleasure this week.
- In the Washington Post, Jason Wilson discusses "How cocktails happen."
- In the San Francisco Chronicle, the great Gary Regan recommends a cocktail for Valentine's Day: A Rogue's Romance. Sounds delicious!
- Jim Meehan, from NYC's PDT cocktail bar, is the hot bartender of the moment. (And for good reason.) Here he discusses Boston's cocktail culture.
- Dushan Zaric, owner of NYC's Employees Only bar, talks about Calvados, the French apple brandy, including three cocktail recipes.
- More from Zaric: three videos showing you how to make a Daiquiri, Mint Julep and Mojito. The Daiquiri is one of my favorite drinks — it really showcases a fine Rum.
- In other how-to videos, Simon Ford shows you how to make a Martini, Vesper and Gimlet. Simple, classic, elegant.
- In case you hadn't noticed, bitters have maintained their place at the forefront of the craft cocktail movement. Here's another article about them, focusing specifically on Bittermens. (For the record, I think bitters are both essential and amazing. Although I also think that, as with most things, people are getting a little carried away with them.)
- Bartender Evan Zimmerman demonstrates how to choose a bar spoon and stir a drink.
- If you don't know much about Chartreuse, Sean Kenyon has the scoop on this green liqueur made for centuries by monks in the French Alps.
- Here are some pictures of a few amazing home bars. They put me to shame.
- Have you heard? Cocktails are coming back!
- The latest rage (one of them, anyway) in mixology is making your own ingredients. Here's how to make Falernum. (I might actually try this one of these days.)
- Need some more ideas for Valentine's Day cocktails? Here are a few.
- Seema Gunda reviews Trader Joes' new line of "Trader Moon" wines. My wife has tried a few of these and has good things to say about them.
- If you're going to showcase your homemade cocktails to their best effect, you'll need some nice glasses and other tools.
- Andrew Strenio rounds up the three artisanal liqueurs from Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction: Root, Snap and Rhuby. I haven't tried any of them, but they do sound interesting.
- Bartenders love Fernet, one of the most interesting of the Italian Amari, with a fascinating bitter, herbal flavor. Here's a recipe for bartender Eric Swan's Bitter Pill, a cocktail made with Fernet and aged Rum.
- Ginger Beer is essential for making cocktails like the Dark 'n Stormy and Moscow Mule. I buy it at the store. But you can make your own.
That's it for now. Cheers!