The origin of AROUND THE SUN is this. My friend Oliver Krimpas and I had been trying to make a movie together for years. The plan was for me to write a script that he’d direct. After a false start with one project that couldn’t achieve liftoff, austere frugality seemed like the only way forward. I tried to think up some idea involving very few characters in mostly one locale. It was like the Mystery Box challenge: to take a few choice luck-of-the-draw ingredients, and a finite amount of time, and prepare a dish that Gordon Ramsay won’t spit out and yell at you for.
The Old World never stopped liking bitterness. I don’t know if it stems from having so many wars fought on their soil, or simply being exposed to it through permeable borders and colonialism. Americans appreciation of bitterness is limited at best. The United States is only reinforcing this flavor isolationism. I propose a tasty rebellion: drink bitter, don’t just be bitter.
The Thistlestop is both a pun and a marriage of the U.S. (rye) and Italy (Cynar) with citrus officiating. It is dry, bitter, and yet inspires a desire for another sip. It is also easy to make, and the artichoke derived Cynar is a great guest to have at your home bar.
BREWMASTER (U.S.A., 2018). Douglas Tirola directed 2013’s HEY BARTENDER, a documentary about the classic cocktail renaissance. He tackles a similar subject with his latest film, on the burgeoning craft beer scene.
“I think it has a lot to do with that concept of killing the cool – that philosophy where once something becomes popular it has to be killed, and then you jump onto something else. At the end of the day, it’s really about trend.” – Linh Do
Linh Do tends bar. She has that up-close-and-personal relationship with trends, especially in the spirits world, as only one serving up sought-after intoxications can. I reached out to this wildly intelligent whisky enthusiast because I wanted to learn more about when, how and why Japanese whisky claimed blog, bar, liquor store and conversation spotlight.
Two things drew me to visit Spirit Works Distillery in Sebastopol: They serenade their barrels with music, and they have an all-female distillery team. Unusual on both counts, it was worth a trip out of town to get a closer look at the operation. As a bonus, getting there provided a scenic view of the vineyards and the acres of brilliant yellow mustard flowers that pop up every year at this time. Continue reading →