Aug. 16th, 2008

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I'm not much of a cocktail drinker. A few exceptions are on my mind at the moment, though. First, there's an article in the SF Chronicle about vermouth, and it mentioned something I'd totally forgotten: this excellent red vermouth called Carpano Antica Formula. Years ago, Nick and I went to Cesar in North Berkeley and had an amazing Manhattan (I think) that used that. (That was also the bar that made me love sidecars, our house drink of choice thanks to the lemon tree in the backyard.)

Second, last night Lex shared some of his gourmet tonic water to make really great gin & tonics. He got it at BevMo, but I can't remember its name and they don't sell it through their website. I guess I'll go there sometime soon and look for it.

Third, on the non-cocktail side of things, Trader Joe's has this interesting single malt Scotch in stock again (or did a few weeks ago). It's a very smoky Islay malt called Finlaggan. (I'm not kidding about very smoky. C left a glass of it out overnight, and I came home and wondered who was barbecuing.) The interesting aspect is the price - around $16 for a bottle. Web research says that Finlaggan is not itself a distillery. It's the label that the group of Islay distilleries use to bottle their excess each year, or something like that. At any rate, it's good, and cheap. So I'm a fan. And C is a huge fan (he's the one who told me about it, and he bought a case when this year's stock arrived).

Edit: Finlaggan apparently comes from one single Islay distillery, which sells to the company that bottles it as Finlaggan, but the identity of the original distillery is secret.

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