When I first started the Cocktail Chronicles a little over two years ago, I felt mighty lonely when blogging about booze. True, there were folks like Chuck Taggart at the Gumbo Pages, Brad at Bar Mix Master and C at Slakethirst to keep me company, but as far as spirits- and cocktail-oriented blogs went, it was still open territory.
Man, has that changed. In the past few months alone, a wide array of bloggers has started to dig into the topic, with some really fantastic results.
Here are a few folks who have caught my attention in recent months — some of them have been blogging for much longer than that, but I’ve only come across their sites fairly recently. Regardless of if they’ve been around for a week or a year, all of these sites are worth checking out and adding to your feed subscriptions.
In no particular order, these are:
The Thirstin’ Howl
From the mind of Portland, Maine, bartender John Myers — fatdeko to readers of Drinkboy Forums, Webtender and, long ago, eGullet — comes this caterwauling cocktail-fest that was years in the making. Myers’ posts on obscure, vintage cocktail guides and even more obscure drinks immediately found a place in my whiskey-sodden heart. I’m proud to be among the list of “obscene odes on the windows of the skull” — maybe if everyone who reads this post checks in with The Thirstin’ Howl regularly, he’ll be sure to keep up the good work.
The Cocktail Circuit
Joseph Mailander from the now-departed Martini Republic continues his occasional though always thought-provoking blogging about fine spirits and cocktails. Fortunately, much of the old MR booze archives have made the move, including posts originally submitted by Dr. Cocktail.
Not entirely new — he’s already participated in two Mixology Mondays — but Dr. Bamboo is perhaps the most visually interesting cocktail blog out there. Each drink is accompanied by a unique illustration, and the good doctor keeps a welcome sense of lightness and humor on his blog — fitting, for something that’s supposed to be fun.
Lauren Clark has been running this blog for more than a year, but it’s only been fairly recently that I clued into it. Drink Boston offers a fantastically detailed and knowledgable look at one of the most dynamic cities in contemporary mixology. Bartender profiles, reviews, event coverage — Clark covers every aspect of drinkable Boston. Really a great site.
Cocktails with Camper English
Another site that’s been around for a while, but I somehow missed as I blunder my way through the web. Camper is a San Francisco-based journalist and fellow Imbibe contributor who leads a hard life exploring the bars of one of the other incredibly dynamic cities for drinks. Ever since I read his post about the multiple-step process to pour a glass of water, I knew we were on the same wavelength.
The Underhill Lounge
I was wondering when this one was going to come about. Now, after months of posting on his systematic voyage through the Savoy Cocktail Book in a thread called “Stompin’ Through the Savoy,” eGulleteer Erik Flannestad (aka eje, aka etc.) has started his own blog. Still very new as of right now, but there are a couple of classics from the Savoy, along with a few other cocktails Erik’s come across. Erik spares no effort to obtain or manufacture historically appropriate ingredients, and if eGullet is any indication, he posts much more frequently than do other sites, such as, um, this one. A future Mixology Monday host, I’d wager.
A self-described beginner who is already off to a good start, Jay in the UK is documenting his self-education of cocktails and mixology. This weekend, Jay blogged about his love affair with the Aviation. A kindred spirit.
If you’re a booze geek and you’ve never heard of LUPEC — or Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails — you’re in for a treat. From the original group in Pittsburgh, LUPEC has aimed to “dismantle the patriarchy, one drink at a time” since 2001, and this newish blog from the Boston chapter continues the valiant mission. Check out the recipe for the Blue Skies — I tried this drink from David Embury last week (after it was brought to my attention by a Boston bartender) and really enjoyed it, then found the recipe was already online over here — call it fate.
Beachbum Berry’s Grog Blog
YES! For anyone who has visited the absolutely gorgeous static site for Berry in recent years, and longed for something a little more regular, here’s the answer. “Little more regular” is a key point here — remember, this is the Bum we’re talking about — but when the posts eventually come, they’re worth the wait. Check out Jeff’s transition into a Zombie for a photo shoot for his new book. A great new blog — and I’d make that claim even if he hadn’t said really nice things about me on the site.
Scottes’ Rum Pages
Not surprisingly, mentioning the Bum puts me in the mood for rum, and Scottes’ got a lot of it. This list of rum here puts mine to shame, and Scottes is working through some of the most intriguing rums out there, posting historical info and tasting notes along the way. Great details on a great spirit.
Explore the Pour
Robert is a Houston-based bartender and spirits aficionado who approaches each post with a lot of thought, and really does his homework. Check out his extensive posts on his tours of a few Kentucky distilleries, and keep checking back for more spirits reviews.
Moving at the Speed of Life
Here in Seattle, there’s a particularly well-regarded downtown restaurant named Union. Every foodie in the city — that’s about 70 percent of the population — has been through Union and raved about it, and now there’s reason for every cocktail fiend to make it downtown as well. Union bartender Keith Waldbauer just started this blog last month, and he’s already off to a great start, preparing Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Cocktails and Corn ‘n Oils (using a homemade falernum recipe that looks very familiar), eviscerating those who would shake a Manhattan and entering the fray on the whole “bartender vs. mixologist” debate. Being a total doofus, I of course haven’t made it to Union yet, but here’s new reason to make the trip downtown.
Liquor and Libations
Another neighbor, this one from Vancouver, Liquor and Libations is, as the about page reads, “a blog by three ladies in Vancouver. We like a good glass of wine, we like to make cocktails, we like beer, scotch, tequila, sake, you name it, we’ll give it a try.” I couldn’t say it better myself.
From the wilds of Tulsa, Gabriel is a fellow traveler on the path to informed drinking. Drink writing, book reviews, commentary — plus the priceless blog subhead, “neighbors are frightened, and intrigued, by my glass recycling bin.” Keep an eye on this one.
The Bottle Gang
Once upon a time there was a truly great drink blog called the Daily Lush, written by two folks in New Orleans: Max Sparber and Courtney Mault. Then, Katrina came along and knocked everything to hell, and the Lush was one of the casualties. Now, having relocated to Minneapolis / St. Paul, Sparber and Mault are up to old tricks, this time joined by a cast of other characters including Steve McPherson, Nancy Sartor and an incredibly disturbing puppet named Sailor Martin. I can’t even begin to describe what this site is like — but you absolutely must explore this blog in detail, and keep coming back.
I know I’ve missed someone, somehow — got a great booze blog I haven’t mentioned, or that isn’t already in the links list at right? Let me know —