homeabout kottke.orgarchives + tags

kottke.org posts about beverages

Distinctive waters

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 03, 2009

In the future, there will be sommeliers for everything from toothpaste to flip-flops. Today’s example: water.

Take Mahalo Deep Sea Water, at £20 for 71cl, which comes from “a freshwater iceberg that melted thousands of years ago and, being of different temperature and salinity to the sea water around it, sank to become a lake at the bottom of the ocean floor. The water has been collected through a 3000ft pipeline off the shores of Hawaii.” According to the Daily Mail, Mahalo has a “very rounded quality on the palate” and it “would be good with shellfish.”

There’s even a book on this “up-and-coming trend”: Fine Waters: A Connoisseur’s Guide to the World’s Most Distinctive Bottled Waters.

Update: The Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo has a cheese sommelier, a specially water menu, and “an extensive soap menu”.

We Work Remotely

Root beer tasting

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 25, 2008

NY Times wine guy Eric Asimov and his panel taste a bunch of root beers and conclude, among other things, that “too much root beer can make a man mean”.

Our No. 1 root beer, from Sprecher in Wisconsin, a wonderfully balanced and complex brew, uses a combination of corn syrup and honey, while our No. 2, the restrained and flavorful IBC, uses only corn syrup. So even with the importance of the sweetener, something more is at play with root beers.

I’ve always wanted to have a root beer tasting.

Suck Cola!

posted by Jason Kottke   May 16, 2008

Greg Allen still has his bottle of Suck Cola from when the now-defunct web site Suck was handing them out at a trade show in 1996. He’s building a registry of Suck Cola bottles…if you’ve got one, send in the details.

After your Cola information is reviewed and validated, you will be issued a Suck Cola Registry Number. I have designated my bottle SC0005, having reserved the first four Registry Numbers, SC0001-SC0004, for Suck.com co-founders Joey Anuff and Carl Steadman.

Suck the web site has now been dead for as long as it was active, but the Cola lives on.

Jürgen Stumpf owns three wine

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 12, 2008

Jürgen Stumpf owns three wine bars in Berlin that operate on the honor system.

For the price of 1 euro (about $1.50), you rent yourself a glass and get to sample as many of the wines as you want. At the end of the night you throw some bills or coins into a big jar, the amount based on what you think is fair.

Pop quiz, hotshot. There’s a bomb on

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 12, 2008

Pop quiz, hotshot. There’s a bomb on a bus. Once the bus goes 50 miles an hour… Who fares worst health-wise, diet soda drinkers or fried food eaters? Surprisingly, researchers have found a correlation between diet soda consumption and metabolic syndrome.

The one-third who ate the most fried food increased their risk by 25 percent compared with the one-third who ate the least, and surprisingly, the risk of developing metabolic syndrome was 34 percent higher among those who drank one can of diet soda a day compared with those who drank none.

What I Learned Today did some further digging and found a different study that links diet soda consumption and obesity.

For diet soft-drink drinkers, the risk of becoming overweight or obese was:

- 36.5% for up to 1/2 can each day
- 37.5% for 1/2 to one can each day
- 54.5% for 1 to 2 cans each day
- 57.1% for more than 2 cans each day.

The winners of this year’s DWR’s Champagne

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 05, 2008

The winners of this year’s DWR’s Champagne Chair Contest have been announced. The winning chairs are more professionally designed as the years go on.

Costco is selling Mexican Coke

posted by Jason Kottke   May 04, 2007

Costco is selling Mexican Coke made with sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup, at least in the San Francisco area. “Costco has conformed to CA and U.S. rules, such as CRV (the sort-of deposit you pay for the bottle) and ‘nutrition’ labeling, so everything appears to be nice and legal.” (via serious eats)

Time to lower the drinking age? “The

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 23, 2007

Time to lower the drinking age? “The age at highest risk for an alcohol-related auto fatality is 21, followed by 22 and 23, an indication that delaying first exposure to alcohol until young adults are away from home may not be the best way to introduce them to drink.”

Compared with Snapple, whiteout, and Pepto Bismol ($123.20/

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 17, 2007

Compared with Snapple, whiteout, and Pepto Bismol ($123.20/gallon), gasoline is surprisingly inexpensive. “$21.19 for WATER - and the buyers don’t even know the source. No wonder Evian spelled backwards is Naive.”

Update: Rob Cockerham did a more extensive analysis of liquid pricing a few years ago.

Some back-of-the-envelope calculations about the embodied energy

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 17, 2007

Some back-of-the-envelope calculations about the embodied energy of bottled water: “the cost to produce and deliver a bottle of imported water is $0.22, leaving $1.28 per bottle profit for the manufacturer and the retail store”.

Crushpad lets you make your own wine

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 17, 2007

Crushpad lets you make your own wine from the comfort of your own home. “Crushpad offers a web-based system called MyCrushpad that allows you to monitor and manage your wine remotely.You’ll be able to create your winemaking plan online, see pictures of your grapes while they’re still on the vine, access the dozens of statistics (like sugar, acids, fermentation temperatures, etc.) our winemakers use to make decisions about handling the fruit. You’ll be able to check on your wine at every stage from the vineyard to the barrel to the bottle no matter where you are.”

A list of possible Red Sox-inspired wines.

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 13, 2007

A list of possible Red Sox-inspired wines. Matsusake, Two-Buck ‘Tek, Coco Cristal, and Big Papinot Noir all sound delicious.

As this video demonstrates, an 8.5x11 piece

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 13, 2007

As this video demonstrates, an 8.5x11 piece of paper can be folded into a beer bottle opener. (via clusterflock)

The Taste3 conference has put some videos

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 26, 2007

The Taste3 conference has put some videos from their 2006 conference up on YouTube. All three talks they posted are worth a look: Dan Barber of Blue Hill, global warming and wine, and Bryant Simon on Starbucks.

Tea Birds is a blog of nothing

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 23, 2007

Tea Birds is a blog of nothing but cute girls having tea. (via bb)

Park Smith is no ordinary wine collector…

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 14, 2007

Park Smith is no ordinary wine collector…he’s got 65,000 bottles in a cellar measuring 8,000 square feet.

One of the most enjoyable presentations at

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 19, 2006

One of the most enjoyable presentations at Taste3 was by mad scientist David Arnold, who made gin and tonic onstage, but without the tonic. (He added the fizz directly to the gin with a CO2 canister.) Pete Wells recently profiled Arnold in Food & Wine magazine. And here’s an article from IT World.

Hiroshi Tanaka demonstrated his “fast aging” technique

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 17, 2006

Hiroshi Tanaka demonstrated his “fast aging” technique for wine at the Taste3 conference. I tasted some of the “after” wine and it was better and smoother than the “before” wine. A promising technique, especially for cheaper wines and spirits.

Slate’s wine columnist considers which champagne Jay-Z

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 23, 2006

Slate’s wine columnist considers which champagne Jay-Z should drink now that he’s given up the Cristal. Taste and prestige are not the only considerations: “Take, for instance, this line from the Jay-Z hit ‘Can’t Knock the Hustle’: ‘My motto, stack rocks like Colorado/ auto off the champagne, Cristal’s by the bottle. ‘Salon’ can be substituted for ‘Cristal’ at no cost to the flow.”

Jay-Z is banning Cristal champagne in his

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 16, 2006

Jay-Z is banning Cristal champagne in his clubs after some “racist” comments by the champagne house’s managing director in The Economist. I think Jay-Z is confusing race with culture here; I can’t imagine two cultures that are more different from each other than American hip hop and French champagne production. Despite his hesitancy about discussing a culture unfamiliar to him, I thought the director essentially said that they aren’t worried about the bling lifestyle association because it’s ultimately good for business. (via bb)

Cork’d is a community for wine lovers

posted by Jason Kottke   May 17, 2006

Cork’d is a community for wine lovers that lets you catalog what’s in your wine collection, what your friends are drinking, and discover what you should be drinking. (It’s a little like Flickr or del.icio.us for wine.)

Science blog Cocktail Party Physics has a

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 26, 2006

Science blog Cocktail Party Physics has a list of “physics cocktails” in the sidebar (scroll down a bit). The Black Hole is “so called because after one of these, you have already passed the event horizon of inebriation.” Boy, am I a huge sucker for physics puns.

Long, varied, and interesting recap from a

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 20, 2006

Long, varied, and interesting recap from a participant at the 2006 United States Barista Championship. The drink he prepared for the competition (scroll to the bottom for the recipe) was called Coffee and a Cigar, a coffee drink with tobacco in it. “The tray never touches the table - ever. That’s just a faux pas that I think should result in immediate disqualification. What reason is there to place your dirty tray bottom on your clean table? None.”

eGullet has serveral publicly available online classes

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 20, 2006

eGullet has serveral publicly available online classes you can take, including this one on wine tasting. Looks like a great resource.

Mexican Coke is growing in popularity

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 28, 2006

Mexican Coke is growing in popularity in the US, despite Coca-Cola’s insistence that it’s the same product. (And for the record, it does taste different and better because of the real sugar used.)

Influential wine critic Robert Parker gave 90 to 91

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 23, 2006

Influential wine critic Robert Parker gave 90 to 91 points (out of 100) to a wine made by porn star Savanna Samson, denoting it as “an outstanding wine of exceptional complexity and character”. I’ll leave you to make your own jokes about the wine’s “great body” and “long legs”.

Speaking of wine blogs, Wine Library has

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 16, 2006

Speaking of wine blogs, Wine Library has a video blog about wine. Not sure about the spit bucket thing on camera tho… (thx, erik)

The Pour is a wine blog by

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 16, 2006

The Pour is a wine blog by the NY Times wine guy, Eric Asimov. Asimov joins Frank Bruni on the food and bev blogging front for the Times. The Pour includes a list of links to other wine blogs and resources as well. Nicely done.

Why do journalists drink so much Tab?

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 30, 2006

Why do journalists drink so much Tab? Futhermore, if, as conservatives would like us to believe, the political and cultural tempo of the country is being dictated by the pulse of the liberal media and they all guzzle fantastic amounts of Tab, why is Tab not more popular?

Absolut is ditching their famous bottle ads

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 25, 2006

Absolut is ditching their famous bottle ads campaign (which is 25 years old) in favor of references to pop culture sans bottle. (via do)