In our last issue, we had artist Aaron Rutten create this Dionysus masterpiece for our article about Alcohol of the Gods… In his blog post here, he shows us exactly how he created the piece… (we covered him up a bit for the print version)
Drink Me Magazine
By Gus Vahlkamp (From Issue 7) When I was younger I believed that the best way to familiarize myself with the features and benefits of any given alcoholic beverage was to keep detailed notes of every drop that passed my lips. Somewhere among the detritus of my career are interred the illegible fruits of my labor: notebooks, cocktail napkins and other fusty ephemera, bearing the names and vitals of this wine or that beer, this spirit or that cocktail recipe, and the obligatory terse criticism which I’m sure I thought was clever at the time.
By Jessica Furui, Sake Sommelier - Ozumo, SF Water keeps such a holy place in sake making. And for centuries, brewers didn’t exactly know what it was about the water that made good sake. They just knew that good water made good sake. Only after scientific advancements did they realize that water high in potassium, potash, calcium and magnesium was holier than water without the proper presence of these elements. These minerals provide the necessary nutrients for excellent propagation of koji (Aspergillus oryzae), the mold responsible for converting starch to sugar. These minerals also promote a strong and robust shubo, the yeast starter. These two steps are vital to the rest of the fermentation process. Ultimately, the delicate balance of minerals in water can either make or break your sake.
by Paul Ross, Drink me Travel Editor Robin Hood’s Friar Tuck had his mead, Belgian Trappists their ale, and the good monks of Hungary’s Pannonhalma Abbey have got their …board meetings!? The abbey has been making wine for nearly a thousand years, yet today, cloistered monks, with their rigorously-scheduled rounds of prayer and study, have “labors” which include sitting in committee with representatives of the country’s third largest bank. This makes them: 1) modern winemakers, and 2) Execu-monks, if your will.
By Vanick DerBedrossian (From Issue 7) Several weeks ago I was invited to join my father and uncle on a trip to visit my great-uncle’s grave. I was feeling a tad anxious and excited about taking part in this ceremony. Yes, I had finally gained admittance to the Big Boy’s Club. You know, like when you broke into your parents liquor cabinet for the first time.
by Travel Editor Paul Ross (from Issue 7) At the end of the fifteenth century, with the Inquisition raging across the Iberian Peninsula, ALL of Portugal’s Jews were forcibly converted to Christianity. Some of the understandably resistant managed to flee the country if they were lucky, or were killed if they weren’t.
by Heather Stewart Holy stories of God do not often conjure up memories of drunken orgies, adultery and murder. One can imagine a nun walking by a bar full of this debauchery, crossing herself repeatedly, and throwing in a couple of “Let us be forgiven!”s for good measure. The truth is, however, that alcohol has been around almost as long as mankind, and has inspired some of the most ancient of gods.
(From Issue 7) Forget everything you know about coffee liqueur. We were among the first to taste Firelit coffee liqueur – a new spirit that is already creating a buzz. A team of people – including some of the guys at St. George Spirits (where the liqueur is made) are taking the best of the best Blue Bottle Coffee and making a coffee liqueur that is tasty enough to drink first thing in the morning.
by M. Quinn Sweeney (From Issue 7) The San Francisco World Spirits Competition is a major, international contest of distilled alcohols, organized by Tasting Panel Magazine, where industry experts nose the bouquet of their booze while awarding fancy medals. So I didn’t expect such an entertaining and engaging weekend.