On left: parts of an old copper still

The Cocktail Garden: Before and After

Last week I posted garden designer Susan Morrison’s lovely hand-drawn plans of my cocktail garden, which she designed in response to my desperate plea for help. You can see the final results in the February issue of Sunset magazine, but maybe you’d like to see where we started. Because I am a big believer in […]

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Posted by on January 30, 2013 at 4:02 am   This post has 12 responses.

The Cocktail Garden!

So! Sunset magazine stopped by a few months ago. It was great fun hanging out with a couple of pros all day and watching them work. (Oh, and there was some mixing of cocktails, too.) Anyway, you can see the results in the February issue of Sunset, which is...

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Posted by on January 23, 2013 at 3:48 am   This post has 5 responses.

Get Your Cocktail Garden On.

  So last year I planted this cocktail garden.  It was a huge undertaking that I wrote not a word about, in part because I was too busy doing it.  The space was one of those typically difficult side yards found around a lot of old houses:  as little...

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Posted by on December 26, 2012 at 4:28 am   This post has 7 responses.

Free-range birds and farmer fizz

This week begins a month (more or less) of eating—and drinking. Thanksgiving looms large, but after that there is also a continual round of work parties, holiday dinners, cookie-making parties, and excuses to drink Tom & Jerrys. The gift-buying part of Christmas might be a drag, but I like...

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Posted by on November 19, 2012 at 8:45 am   This post has 5 responses.

Quick! Drink This Before All The Tomatoes Are Gone!

I don’t know what it’s like in your neck of the woods, but around these parts we still have a few good tomatoes left at the farmers market. So that’s what I’m calling this drink–The Farmers Market.  Hurry up and make a batch while you still can. The Farmers...

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Posted by on October 10, 2012 at 12:26 pm   This post has 8 responses.

Wildcrafted…really?

  Can you eat any of the plants in this picture? Really? How do you know? This post from the always excellent Rowley’s Whiskey Forge got me thinking about this. He posts a really cool recipe for a liqueur called mistela de chimajá. I couldn’t resist–I had to go...

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Posted by on August 15, 2012 at 6:56 pm   This post has 13 responses.

An icewine cocktail for the dog days

Fancy cocktails with multiple ingredients are OK with me, as long as I don’t have to make them. I’m with Amy when it comes to obscure techniques like bone lugeing or fat-washing. If the booze is good, it shouldn’t need such interventions. When at home, I use up to four...

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Posted by on August 11, 2012 at 5:07 pm   This post has 3 responses.

Okay, Pinterest– I give in!

I resisted Pinterest for as long as I could. At some point, one simply has to put the social networking down and back slowly away from the computer.  But then I had an actual use for it, and that’s when I folded. I’m creating a new garden (more about...

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Posted by on August 1, 2012 at 4:21 am   This post has 19 responses.

Stop the Madness!

Let us review the brief and troubled history of the Modern Cocktail.  It began in the early nineties, when youngsters realized that a Martini was a nice thing to order in a bar. A few variations on the martini followed, most notably the godawful “dirty Martini” made with excessive...

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Posted by on July 25, 2012 at 7:00 am   This post has 14 responses.

Summer Punches. Now.

So. Summer is here, and that means that you need to break out the punches. Not that dreadful stuff made with Sprite and sherbet and the worst possible vodka, but a nicely-made, Victorian-style punch, served in that punchbowl you never get to use, or a repurposed pickle jar, or...

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Posted by on July 4, 2012 at 1:21 am   This post has Comments Off.

Drunken Botanist: The Website

  It'll be at least a year-possibly more–before my new book is actually printed and in my hands.  But it's never too soon for a website, right?  So here it is:  TheDrunkenBotanist.com, named after my forthcoming book of the same title, which is due out in 2013, probably in...

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Posted by on February 4, 2012 at 1:29 pm   This post has 2 responses.

Sign a Petition to Stop Mexico’s Botanical Foolishness

(via Flickr) This just in:  Mexico’s trademark bureau (called the IMPI)  has issued a proposal to restrict the use of the word “agave” as it is used to describe some agave-distilled spirits.  Under the proposal, which is sponsored by the tequila industry’s trade group, only spirits produced within a...

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Posted by on January 21, 2012 at 4:43 pm   This post has 8 responses.

You Deserve a Toddy. Maybe.

Here's the latest in a series of columns I'm writing for the North Coast Journal. The column is called The Drunken Botanist; my book of the same title will be out next year. A friend of mine has been on a grueling book tour to promote her new novel....

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Posted by on January 19, 2012 at 4:37 pm   This post has 11 responses.

Urban Self-Sufficiency, One Crop At a Time

Here's one way to go about making a city more self-sufficient, food-wise:  Start with just one crop. Once you get that one right, move on to the next one. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Friends of the Urban Forest is doing just that:  They are mapping every Meyer...

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Posted by on January 11, 2012 at 8:54 am   This post has 18 responses.

Apple Season

Here’s another in my ongoing series of “Drunken Botanist” cocktail articles for the North Coast Journal, loosely based on my forthcoming book of the same name. Forgive the Humboldt references, which are, of course, of interest only to people in Humboldt. Seems like everyone in these parts has an...

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Posted by on November 16, 2011 at 4:39 am   This post has 15 responses.

If There’s An Easy Way to Juice a Pomegranate, I Don’t Know What It Is.

This time last year, I made a little homemade grenadine during pomegranate season.  We had a party shortly after that in which we mixed up Pink Lady cocktails according to this recipe in Imbibe magazine. The drinks were a hit–and although we hadn’t been using grenadine around the house...

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Posted by on November 9, 2011 at 10:28 am   This post has 14 responses.

The Wonders of Cassis

This is another in a series I'm writing for the North Coast Journal based on my book in progress, The Drunken Botanist. (Your intrepid reporter at the Cassissium.  Notice the pen and notebook. This is work.  Really.) After a week spent touring distilleries in France, Scott and I had...

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Posted by on October 19, 2011 at 6:13 am   This post has 10 responses.

Peach and Bourbon Wonderfulness

This is the latest in a series I'm writing for the North Coast Journal loosely based on my next book, The Drunken Botanist, due out in 2013.  Read earlier cocktail-ish posts here.     Bess assisting with my photo shoot. It is almost too late to write this column–almost. ...

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Posted by on September 14, 2011 at 5:14 am   This post has 13 responses.

St. George Spirits

     Photo by Vic Stewart, taken with his weird old Rollei. This is another in a series of columns I'm writing for the North Coast Journal loosely related to my next book, The Drunken Botanist.             “Is it all right?” asks the tasting room bartender Chris, looking down quizzically at...

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Posted by on August 24, 2011 at 5:10 am   This post has 6 responses.

Mason Jar Cocktails

First, go out and get the best fruit you can find.  Ripe, juicy, almost past-their-prime peaches and nectarines would be a good start.  Watermelons or cantaloupes should also be very high on the list.  Strawberries will work, but a firmer fruit like a mango might not. You want more...

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Posted by on July 20, 2011 at 9:01 am   This post has 8 responses.
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