Ardent Spirits eLetter
November 3, 2011




Wine to Water





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Listen very carefully, please:  By the time you read this I will be nursing a finely-tuned hangover brought on by the book party for Jim Meehan's book, The PDT Cocktail Book.

In my 'umble opinion, The PDT Cocktail Book is the best book of its kind to hit the shelves in the twenty-first century.  The very best.  Bar none.

Here, then, is a chance to buy a couple of dozen copies of this masterpiece, and get your holiday shopping out of the way in one fell swoop. 

You'll be saving time, and you'll be guaranteeing undying gratitude from your nearest and dearest.

The illustrations, by the way, are absolutely priceless.

Well done, Jim.  You are one fabulous bartender, and I'm proud to call you friend.

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Last week we asked you to submit your thoughts on the name we give to the part of the bar, close to the bartender, where drinks are usually assembled.  The response was tremendous, and we'll be bringing you the email that we consider to be the best on the subject soon.  Promise.

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The CocktailianThe Cocktailian

Dear Discerning Drinker,

This week's digital CLASS magazine is now live and contains the following:

* The fall of the Berlin wall; an asteroid heading to earth; the iPod's 10th birthday and the internet's 21st: drink our Cocktail of the Day
* Three new bars worth visiting in Berlin
* Suntory whisky cocktails demonstrated by Tokyo's Takayuki Suzuki
* Alcohol in Medicine: a retrospective by Alex Kammerling
* Coverage and recipes from the Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge, held last week in Glasgow
* Lukas Jehlicka, from London's newest hotel, the Corinthia, demonstrates Bassoon bar's signature Negroni
* A profile of the Zetter Townhouse, winner of the CLASS Best Hotel Bar 2011 Award
* Mahiki coconut liqueur and 12 other products, in our Spirited Reviews section
* We dip into the archives with Dick. It's Mr. Bradsell on Margaritas, from 1998
* An amazing nosing glass we've come across
* A trip to St Lucia to visit its eponymous rum distillery

Cheers, Simon Difford

read it here

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Bartender's BookshelfBartender's Bookshelf

It's Here!

Wanna Signed Copy?

Click Here




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Drink du Jour

Our Drink du Jour column is sponsored by the good folk at, and we think that you're going to enjoy what they're bringing to the party.

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harry craddock

Craddock's Corner

Here's where we bring you links to boozey stories from all over the place (and where we've placed a picture of Harry Craddock, author of one of the world's most important tomes, The Savoy Cocktail Book)

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Potent Quotables

The Virtues Of Gin Twist

The following peom was sent to me some time ago by a friend who thought I might appreciate it.  I did.


Scott, Byron, and Campbell,

Crabbe, Rogers, and Moore,

With of Cockneys and Lakeites a list I've printed;

but, alas! their productions are poor,

Compared with the lines on gin twist.

The spirit that breathes through those verses admired,

Dispersing of dulness the mist,

Evince that their author was truly inspired

By his glorious subject, gin twist.

With rapture I read when they first met my sight,

Nor once felt inclined to desist,

Till I'd swallowed (in fancy, I mean,) with delight,

A full alehouse quart of gin twist.

Twas a vision, and soon I awoke all forlorn,

And exclaimed (with raised eye and clenched fist),

Ah ! where have I lived ? and oh! Why was I born?

Since I can't make a jug of gin twist.

Now Christmas is coming, when care turns his back,

And frolicsome lasses are kissed;

How loud were each laugh, and how hearty each smack,

If I knew how to make this gin twist.

On the brow of a friend should a frown but arise,

How easily then 'twere dismissed

With "cast off all clouds, pleasure

seize as it flies, And here take a drop of gin twist."

Then should some good fellow the secret possess,

And me with his knowledge assist,

May he never experience the cutting distress,

Of longing in vain for gin twist.

H. L. B.

The Mirror of literature, amusement, and instruction, Volume 1 edited by John Timbs, 1823 

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Hot LinksHot Links

  • Alcedemics  Camper English is a San Francisco-based freelance writer and consultant who specializes in cocktails and spirits, with a touch of travel thrown in.

  • Arthur Shapiro's Booze Business Blog
    Our old friend Arthur Shapiro spills some fabulous booze-related tales on his blog, Booze Business.  Go pay him a visit.

  • Art of Drink  Art of Drink was spontaneously created in October 2005 as a way to document information on all things drink related.  Currently Art of Drink is ranked among the top, if not the top, cocktail blogs on the Internet.

    Don't forget to pay Uncle Brian a visit at the barkeeper. This guy has stuff on his blog that you'll never find anywhere else in the world. Don't say we didn't tell you.

  • Bay Area Spirits is the David-vs-Goliath blog that focuses on craft distillers and artisanal, handcrafted and hard-to-find spirits and cocktails.

  • Booze for Thought is a blog by Charles Hardwick that's based on the belief that the best garnish for a great cocktail is a good story.  And Charles tells a good story.

  • The Cocktail Chronicles The Cocktail Chronicles is updated somewhat regularly by Paul Clarke, a Seattle-based cocktail enthusiast . . . I’ve taken the “roll your own” ethic of David Embury to heart, spending countless hours reading about, mixing and studying an array of cocktails, with a special emphasis on early- and mid-20th century classics.

  • The Cocktail Guru
    Wanna See What Jonathan Pogash is Up To This Week?  Go worship The Cocktail Guru.

  • Drinks Ink Blog
    Wherein a sharp-tongued boozehound (Jack Robertiello) shares what he thinks about what he drinks, among other things.

  • "Fork & Shaker is a metaphor for two of my great passions in life –food & drink. Maybe this site will make you thirsty. Maybe it will make you hungry. Maybe it will show you that the world of cocktails and other fine libations can be found all over the world. But if it does nothing more than help you appreciate all that is beautiful and unique when the crossroads of food and drink meet, then that will make me very happy," Naren Young.

  • Good Spirits News reports on the latest trends in mixology from around the world. reviewing spirits, liqueurs, and bitters, the best new spirited publications, bartender competitions, and cocktail events.  The site also includes interviews with the likes of gaz regan, Paul Pacult, and Dave Wondrich. to name but a few.

  • Jeffrey Morgenthaler writes about bartending and mixology from Portland, Oregon.

  • The Jerry Thomas Project is the re-creation of all of Jerry Thomas' cocktails from Jerry Thomas' Bar-Tenders Guide: Receipts for Mixing in their purest form.

  • The Liquid Muse was launched in 2006 by Natalie Bovis, a cocktail book author, freelance writer, and mixologist.  With 20 years experience in front-of-the-house hospitality, Natalie now shares her favorite cocktail bars, spirits, and wines from around the world via her website, radio, video, and television.

  • Professor Cocktail is the not-so-secret identity of David J. Montgomery, professional book critic by day and amateur cocktailian by night.

  • Spirits and Cocktails by Jamie Boudreau.  Jamie’s thirst for cocktail minutia is infamous, and if conversation turns to a subject that he is unsure of, you can be assured that he will research it as soon as possible. He has a love for the classics, but at the same time is always looking for new, exciting ingredients with which to try out new recipes.
  • Spirits Review   Reviews of booze, books, and barware. Also 4,500+ links, 400+ RSS feeds and extensive "Adventure" section chronicling adventures in alcohol in various forms. "We aim to be the google of booze"

Small Screen Network

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