Friday, April 13, 2012


I had a lovely night of cocktail education in the hands of Mr. Chris Tafoya last night.  The man is a dictionary of cocktail knowledge, and he has some museum-quality barware and vintage cocktail books.  Above you see, on the left, a bottle of bitters from Latvia, I think.  And two amaros, including Picon, which you can't get in the states and which is a key ingredient in the Basque doozy of a cocktail, a Picon Punch.
Above is a tonic made by the same monks who make Chartreuse.  It is illegal here because they refuse to reveal the ingredients.  It smells and tastes like old-fashioned hair tonic (which is actually just a smell I am just conjuring in my head, because I don't think I've ever smelled it).
He has an amazing selection of cocktail books, many of them humorous.  That brown one on the left is called "The Lost Weekend"  the Savoy one is a reissue (the original is like the Guttenberg Bible of the cocktail world) and the illustrations are really cool.  He has a lot of reproduction cocktail pamphlets, one of which is Prohibition era and has a page redacted by the government because it tells you how to make hootch.
This stuff is also not available here.  It's a gentian liqeur.  It is slightly sweet with a really strong bitter kick at the end.  I liked it a lot!  So stoked to learn more.


Caroline said...

This reminds me to get the name of the delicious vermouth from you!

Liv Moe said...

So jealous!!!!!

beckler said...

I bet you could tag along if we do it again. I sipped some gin on the rocks that I am going to buy ASAP. It's from the St. George Distillery (the one in Alameda) and it's their Mount Tam. It totally smells like Mr. Tam and it's Delicious.

The vermouth was the Cocchi Vermouth di Torino.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Tam? The guy that works at Huong lan?

Anonymous said...

^^^ - JD

beckler said...

oops, Mt. Tam! Mr. Tam smells weird.

This is really scary, watch out for a super tall black dude either on a bike or not, ladies! This happened on Monday night at 9:30, in that CVS parking lot on J.

Sacramento police are investigating the sexual assault and robbery of a woman in a midtown alley last night.

Police said that at about 9:30 p.m. a woman was walking in a drugstore parking lot at 17th and J streets when she was grabbed by a tall man and brought to an alley. She was then sexually assaulted and robbed of her purse.

The attacker was described as a black man with a muscular build, about 6 feet 6 inches tall, in his mid-40s, wearing a gray, hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans and dark shoes.

He fled on a red bicycle.

Read more here:

DJ Rick said...

I boycott haute $11 "bahn mi" no matter how much I like their other food. I also boycott the mediocre $4 (actual) bahn mi from Long Sandwich.

The captcha I got is unbelievably racist...I can't even repeat it in quotes.

beckler said...

Long Sandwich closed down a while ago.

undercover caterer said...

My friend that I visited in Hawaii was making amaro. Would love to try my hand at it when I am not so busy with work and also when I can find some fresh walnuts. It was so freaking delicious.

P.S. I got a wild hair and am making a bourbon punch involving orange, lemon and pineapple for tomorrow. Should be interesting.

beckler said...

That punch was good and STRONG