Great Scot! Thursday, Jan 26 2012 

At long last, the article is out!

Perhaps the most well researched drinking story I’ve ever written, this turned out quite nicely, in my humble opinion. More than anything, I hope it proves helpful to other curious drinkers, like myself, who’ve always wondered about scotch but didn’t know where to start. Folks, this is your cheat-sheet. Use it.

I’ve since been invited on a trip to Scotland, which I had to turn down (ugggggghhh)…because I’m already missing a week of teaching to travel on a gin trip to England (yaaaaay!). That’s not till April, but meanwhile I need to catch up on more recent travels, to the Bourbon capital of the world, and a little jaunt up to Canada to learn about ice wine. Both were incredible, too-short trips that will soon be documented here. Promise.


Free bird Tuesday, Dec 13 2011 

Why, hello there!
I bet you forgot this blog existed. I know I did. And lord knows the home bar inventory has exploded since it was last updated…

But guess what? I just left my desk job at the Chicago Tribune to become a free agent (!), which means a lot more time to work on the things I love — including detailed musings about cocktails, spirits & their lore.

As for the blog: Needless to say, I have fallen terribly behind on updates regarding its M.O., the Central Park Cocktail Club, which for the record had an impressively productive 2011. I am proud of us. This Friday marks our December meeting, which will focus on something that, prior to all of the research I’ve done today, I knew very little about: SCOTCH.

These books have been super-useful, by the way, especially the top one, Charles MacLean’s Great Whiskeys (Dorling Kindersley), which I wrote a blurb about last summer when it was released.

Currently on my scotch spreadsheet (yes, I made a spreadsheet) are 46 iterations from almost as many distilleries all over the world. All of this is for an article that no doubt will be pared down to only the most important kernels of information, but that’s what blogs are for: behind-the-scenes junk.

More to come soon…and I do mean soon-soon. Not, like, months from now, but probably days from now. No joke.

Cocktail catch-up time Saturday, Nov 27 2010 

It’s been a busy few months since I last blogged, and I fear I may have lost a few folks along the way in the delay. Desculpas!

Meanwhile, CPCC continues to flourish. Later today Jeremy & Julie are hosting our November edition, featuring the Dark ‘n’ Stormy. (Rumor has it they even brewed their own ginger beer!) I’ll catch everyone up on September and October’s clubs shortly, but meanwhile there has been quite a bit of cocktail coverage in the Chicago Tribune.

Here’s what I’ve been writing about at the day job over the past few months:

* classic cocktails for the Stew‘s recurring “Friday at 5: A cocktail to kick off the weekend,” including the Moscow Mule, the aforementioned Dark ‘n’ Stormy, the Pink Lady, the Bebbo, the Michelada and most recently our friend Kentucky Colonel; and several local mixologists’ modern creations including the Old Money, the Ginger White Peach Smash and the Midnight Mary #3
* Chicago’s first legally-aged whiskey since Prohibition (!)
* David Wondrich’s new book on Punch, with a capital P
* two local Chicago restaurants’ ventures into house-made schnapps and brandy
* perhaps the most delicious autumnal cocktail I’ve sipped

Currently I’m working on a story on glogg, and will be heading into Cognac territory deeper into winter. I’ve also been collecting bitters for the past few months and have amassed a ridiculous supply, which will feed into a story in the next few months.

On this blog’s agenda: spending a bit of time writing about a recent trip to New York — my first in five or six years — wherein I successfully hit just about every major craft-cocktail lounge in the five boroughs in as many days. That was September. I also need to post CPCC member Maureen’s insightful October presentation on the manhattan. Oh, and I should probably include a recipe for the punch I just made for Thanksgiving…

Lots more to come!


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