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May 2019

CocktailSafe at the Toronto Cocktail Conference in August

Cropped-TOCC-logo-wht-4CocktailSafe founder Camper English will be speaking at the Toronto Cocktail Conference this August. Tickets are on sale now. 

Cocktail Safe

This seminar from the founder of will explore safety in cocktail ingredients and techniques. We’ll look into the common sources of faulty information including “detox” websites and vintage cocktail books (I’m looking at you, Jerry Thomas), before getting to the good stuff, or rather, the bad stuff. We’ll cover the top misused ingredients at the bar including tobacco, activated charcoal, cinchona bark/tonic syrup, and essential oils, and the techniques that can get bartenders into trouble, including fat-washing and liquid nitrogen. Along the way we’ll cover bitter almonds, calamus, copper, vintage tiki mugs (bad news about those), wormwood, and tonka beans (good news about those… for Canadians). Finally, we’ll touch upon allergenic and drug-interacting ingredients and the bartender’s responsibility for labelling cocktail menus accordingly.

The talk is August 12th at 2PM. 

There is also the opportunity to sign up for a mentoring session with Camper English - see this page for details

Submitted Question: Is Aperol High in Oxalic Acid?

Question submitted via the contact form: Is Aperol high in Oxalic Acid?

We don't know what the oxalic acid content of Aperol is.

However, we guess that you ask this because it is believed that Aperol contains rhubarb. The rhubarb used in bitter alcoholic beverages/amari like Aperol is rhubarb root, which is considered safe to consume (the leaves are the problem not the roots or stalks).

More information is on the rhubarb page


35205570_10155821823018406_5397950313913122816_o(photo from Aperol Spritz Facebook Page)


The TTB's Take on CBD in Beverages

This article on Alcohol Law Advisor summarizes the US TTB's position on CBD - and hemp oil - in beverages, backing up the US FDA's position. 

  1. TTB will require a formula for any product containing a hemp-derived ingredient
  2. TTB will not approve a formula for any product containing a Schedule I controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act
  3. TTB will not approve a formula for any product containing CBD until FDA changes its current position towards CBD as a food ingredient. FDA currently views interstate commerce in any food containing CBD as a violation of the federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act
  4. TTB will continue to approve formulas for alcohol beverages containing ingredients derived from hemp seeds and hemp oil
  5. TTB will not approve a formula for any product containing a hemp ingredient other than those derived from hemp seeds or oil unless it also receives adequate evidence that FDA deems the ingredient generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for food

CocktailSafe in Canada's Globe and Mail Newspaper

Subscribers can access a story about CocktailSafe in the Globe and Mail (the story is paywalled). 

The article covers things like tobacco and activated charcoal with quotes from Trevor Kallies and Darcy O’Neil, and also some information about homemade ingredients in different parts of Canada: 

Some cocktail experimentation doesn’t fall under any regulatory regime. Canadian bartenders say provincial liquor inspectors and local restaurant health authorities rarely inquire into cocktail techniques and ingredients. In some jurisdictions, including Ontario, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, infusions are permitted, within certain guidelines (for example, B.C. advises licensees that the infusion ingredients should be “spices, herbs, fruits, vegetables, candy or other substances intended for human consumption”). In Alberta, however, regulations specifically forbid “adulterating” liquor in this way, and that’s a sore point among some bartenders there.

You can read the whole story (if you're a subscriber) here

Globe and mail story