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March 14: St. Patty’s Fest in Hollywood

March 1, 2010

On Sunday, March 14, Barcelona Enterprises presents St. Patty’s Fest, at the Taglyan Arts and Cultural Complex in the heart of Hollywood. Your ticket gets you all the beer, wine, and whiskey you can drink from more than 35 breweries, 20 wineries, and spirits including Tullamore Dew and Feckin Irish Whiskey.

To soak up the booze, there’s all you can eat Pink’s hot dogs, Boar’s Head sandwiches, and of course an array of Irish sausages, cheeses, and breads. Live entertainment includes the Claddagh Dance Company and music by Peter Daily & the Royal Band. Best of all, proceeds benefit the Children’s Tumor Foundation and The Irish Center.

St. Patty’s Fest
Sunday, March 14, 2010
2pm-7pm

Taglyan Complex
1201 N. Vine St.
Hollywood, CA 90038

All-inclusive $100 tickets are available online now.
Ticket includes food, drink, live entertainment, and all the singing and dancing you didn’t realize you had in you.
Proceeds benefit Children’s Tumor Foundation and The Irish Center.

For more information, including the complete list of participating breweries, wineries, and spirits: www.stpattysfest.com

Update 3/2: Groupon has 50% discount tickets available TODAY (Mar. 2) ONLY: www.groupon.com/deals/barcelona

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All the Booze That's Fit to Print – February 2010

March 1, 2010

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An occasional roundup of L.A. cocktail culture in various media.

Just in time for Super Bowl Sunday, LA Times Magazine featured recipes for four classic tiki cocktails, “reimagined for a new generation.” Love the retro-style artwork, too.

On February 11, an LA Times Food article included a profile of Modern Spirits (TRU Vodka, found at some of LA’s best cocktail bars) and the ups and downs of being an artisan distillery.

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Two articles in the much-discussed Los Angeles issue of Saveur (#127, Feb) focused on LA’s cocktail culture:

Drink City is a solid list of cocktail destinations that includes The Edison, Seven Grand, Rivera, Roger Room, and Copa d’Oro. The Varnish wasn’t listed, but was instead mentioned in a sidebar on the Cole’s-Philippe’s French Dip rivalry.

In Spirits of Polynesia, Jeff Berry takes a look at the wonderful Tiki-Ti, affectionately calling the owners “textbook examples of how not to succeed in the bar business.”

Also in the Saveur issue are cocktail recipes for Rivera’s Barbacoa and Tiki-Ti’s Cuba Kola and Puka Punch.

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On Fat Tuesday, The Edison announced that Joe Brooke (named America’s Best Bartender and formerly at Copa d’Oro) would assume the role of Director of Spirits, a position formerly held by Aidan Demerest, now consulting for the cocktail program at the upcoming First & Hope.

The very next day, cocktail enthusiasts were a-Twitter over a Daily Dish post that said that Audrey Saunders had ended her Tar Pit partnership with Mark Peel. According to the LA Times, Peel said that Saunders “did all the training and designing for the original menu, and I think she did a great job. We just came to a parting of the ways.” It was announced that Marcos Tello would head the Tar Pit bar, until word came later that day that he was also leaving. Squid Ink followed up with a confirmation that Marcos had indeed resigned from the Tar Pit to return to The Varnish as well as consult on the aforementioned First & Hope.

Speaking of Squid Ink and First & Hope, Caroline on Crack posted a sneak preview of the forthcoming supper club, scheduled to open in mid-March. The preview also includes a recipe for the Champagne Julep, an upscale take on the classic mint julep.

A week after the dust had settled at the Tar Pit, the LA Times published a review by S. Irene Virbila. Tar Pit got two stars from Miss Irene, who gave it props for the cocktails but thought the kitchen was inconsistent.

On Thursday, February 25th, Alex Day worked his last shift at New York’s renowned Death & Company. What does this have to do with L.A. cocktail culture you ask? Well, according to his interview with the Village Voice, Alex is heading to Los Angeles to open a bar with Death & Co. owner David Kaplan. New York’s loss is L.A.’s gain; stay tuned, friends.

Last week, the LA Weekly published Jonathan Gold’s 99 Things to Eat in L.A. Before You Die, a list that covers everything from “fugu to foie gras, pizza to panuchos.” Best of all, you can also have a great cocktail when you check off a few of these must-eat dishes:

  • Rivera’s tortillas
  • Musso & Frank’s Welsh rarebit
  • Cole’s French Dip
  • Akasha’s quinoa with edamame
  • Comme Ca’s cheeseburger
  • Michael Cimarusti’s squid with piquillo peppers and pig’s ear
  • Hungry Cat’s lobster roll

Mezcal and tequila fans have been eagerly anticipating the debut of 213 Downtown’s Las Perlas, and according to blogdowntown, the opening could happen as early as today. The post describes the interior in detail, noting that Ricki Kline is especially happy with how his latest design for 213 turned out.

All the Booze That’s Fit to Print – February 2010

March 1, 2010

~

An occasional roundup of L.A. cocktail culture in various media.

Just in time for Super Bowl Sunday, LA Times Magazine featured recipes for four classic tiki cocktails, “reimagined for a new generation.” Love the retro-style artwork, too.

On February 11, an LA Times Food article included a profile of Modern Spirits (TRU Vodka, found at some of LA’s best cocktail bars) and the ups and downs of being an artisan distillery.

~

Two articles in the much-discussed Los Angeles issue of Saveur (#127, Feb) focused on LA’s cocktail culture:

Drink City is a solid list of cocktail destinations that includes The Edison, Seven Grand, Rivera, Roger Room, and Copa d’Oro. The Varnish wasn’t listed, but was instead mentioned in a sidebar on the Cole’s-Philippe’s French Dip rivalry.

In Spirits of Polynesia, Jeff Berry takes a look at the wonderful Tiki-Ti, affectionately calling the owners “textbook examples of how not to succeed in the bar business.”

Also in the Saveur issue are cocktail recipes for Rivera’s Barbacoa and Tiki-Ti’s Cuba Kola and Puka Punch.

~

On Fat Tuesday, The Edison announced that Joe Brooke (named America’s Best Bartender and formerly at Copa d’Oro) would assume the role of Director of Spirits, a position formerly held by Aidan Demerest, now consulting for the cocktail program at the upcoming First & Hope.

The very next day, cocktail enthusiasts were a-Twitter over a Daily Dish post that said that Audrey Saunders had ended her Tar Pit partnership with Mark Peel. According to the LA Times, Peel said that Saunders “did all the training and designing for the original menu, and I think she did a great job. We just came to a parting of the ways.” It was announced that Marcos Tello would head the Tar Pit bar, until word came later that day that he was also leaving. Squid Ink followed up with a confirmation that Marcos had indeed resigned from the Tar Pit to return to The Varnish as well as consult on the aforementioned First & Hope.

Speaking of Squid Ink and First & Hope, Caroline on Crack posted a sneak preview of the forthcoming supper club, scheduled to open in mid-March. The preview also includes a recipe for the Champagne Julep, an upscale take on the classic mint julep.

A week after the dust had settled at the Tar Pit, the LA Times published a review by S. Irene Virbila. Tar Pit got two stars from Miss Irene, who gave it props for the cocktails but thought the kitchen was inconsistent.

On Thursday, February 25th, Alex Day worked his last shift at New York’s renowned Death & Company. What does this have to do with L.A. cocktail culture you ask? Well, according to his interview with the Village Voice, Alex is heading to Los Angeles to open a bar with Death & Co. owner David Kaplan. New York’s loss is L.A.’s gain; stay tuned, friends.

Last week, the LA Weekly published Jonathan Gold’s 99 Things to Eat in L.A. Before You Die, a list that covers everything from “fugu to foie gras, pizza to panuchos.” Best of all, you can also have a great cocktail when you check off a few of these must-eat dishes:

  • Rivera’s tortillas
  • Musso & Frank’s Welsh rarebit
  • Cole’s French Dip
  • Akasha’s quinoa with edamame
  • Comme Ca’s cheeseburger
  • Michael Cimarusti’s squid with piquillo peppers and pig’s ear
  • Hungry Cat’s lobster roll

Mezcal and tequila fans have been eagerly anticipating the debut of 213 Downtown’s Las Perlas, and according to blogdowntown, the opening could happen as early as today. The post describes the interior in detail, noting that Ricki Kline is especially happy with how his latest design for 213 turned out.

Canadian Club Reserve and Classic: Award-Winning Whiskies from the City of Roses

February 24, 2010

With the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics capturing headlines and firing up international passions, the booze fairy thought it would be appropriate to send me two expressions from the Canadian Club range of blended whiskies: the Canadian Club Reserve 10 Year Old and the Canadian Club Classic 12 Year Old.

Founded in 1858 by Hiram Walker, Canadian Club (aka “CC”) has an illustrious history that includes the Royal Warrants of Queen Victoria, King Edward VII, King George V, King George VI, and Queen Elizabeth II. More infamously, Al Capone smuggled thousands of cases of CC into the U.S. during Prohibition. And Mad Men fans already know that Don Draper likes to sip his CC neat.

Canadian Club is a pre-barrel blend of corn, rye, rye malt, and barley malt distillates, aged in once-used American bourbon casks. The Canadian Club range totals seven expressions, from the popular 6 Year Old to the Sherry Cask, which is aged in white oak barrels for at least eight years, then finished in Spanish sherry casks. Limited editions include the 30 Year Old Reserve, released in 2008 to celebrate Canadian Club’s 150th anniversary.

A bestselling member of the Beam Global portfolio, Canadian Club is also known for its interesting advertising over the years. In the “Hide a Case” campaigns, drinkers engaged in global scavenger hunts to find nearly two dozen cases of CC hidden in farflung locales such as Mount Kilimanjaro, the Swiss Alps, and Death Valley. (By the way, if you’re ever in the Arctic Circle and have some free time, there’s still a case of CC there that has yet to be found.) More recently, CC tapped into the nostalgia for retro cool with the provocative “Damn Right Your Dad Drank It” series, which featured actual Beam employee photos from the 60’s and 70’s.

Since everyone has medals on their minds, it should be noted that the 12-Year won Double Gold and was named Best Canadian Whisky at the 2003 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, while the 10-Year won Gold in 2007.

CC Reserve 10 Year Old

For more information, visit the Canadian Club website: canadianclubwhisky.com.

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Canadian Club Reserve 10 Year Old

  • Color – Golden bronze.
  • Nose – Caramel, vanilla.
  • Taste – English toffee, vanilla, and hints of oak, nutmeg, and clove.
  • Finish – Warm and lingering.
  • 40% ABV
  • Suggested retail: $16.99

The Reserve 10-Year is smooth and mellow, very approachable for non-whisky drinkers. The Reserve may not have the smoke or legs of higher end whiskies, but its entry-level price point is truly hard to beat.

Mmm...Manhattan...

On the cocktail front, the higher rye and rye malt content makes for a nice Manhattan, using the classic 2:1 ratio of whisky to sweet vermouth. The March/April 2010 issue of Imbibe has a recipe for the Toronto (from David Embury’s The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks), a cocktail that pairs Canadian whisky with Fernet Branca.


Canadian Club Classic 12 Year Old

  • Color – Amber.
  • Nose – Buttery and floral.
  • Taste – Oak, molasses, vanilla and honey.
  • Finish – Long and dry.
  • 40% ABV
  • Suggested retail: $21.99

CC Classic 12 Year Old

A step up from the Reserve, the 12-Year is likewise smooth and approachable, but with more depth and spice. The 10-Year’s sweetness gives way to the Classic’s creamy, rich mouthfeel, enhanced by oak and hints of vanilla and honey. The Classic is fine when sipped neat, especially if you’re looking for something mellow yet balanced and complex.

February 23: Radio Room at the Edison

February 19, 2010

Since its relaunch last February, the Radio Room at the Edison has hosted guest mixologists from top bars such as Bourbon & BranchDeath & Co., Milk & HoneyDrinkHeaven’s Dog, and Clyde Common. In November, the Radio Room brought in guests Kirk Estopinal, Richard Gomez, and Danny Valdez from Cure (New Orleans), along with Plymouth Gin brand ambassador Simon Ford.

After a brief hiatus, the Radio Room returns on Tuesday, February 23rd. The first Radio Room of 2010 features Joe Brooke, the Edison’s newly-appointed Director of Spirits, and winner of America’s Best Bartender competition. Joining him are San Francisco’s Erick Castro (Rickhouse) and New York’s Brian Miller (Death & Co.). They’ll each bring a selection of their signature cocktails to the Radio Room menu, a great way to sample drinks from around the country in one night.

In addition to imbibing cocktails from the Edison’s ace bartending team, guests will be entertained by Vagabond Opera, a six-piece “Bohemian cabaret ensemble” based in Portland, Oregon. Limited online presale tickets are available now. Tickets will also be sold at the door on Tuesday night. You can also sign up for the Edison e-mail list for a two-for-one discount. Better yet, enter Caroline on Crack’s contest for a chance to win a VIP package, which includes admission for two, drink tickets, and a table reservation!

Radio Room at the Edison
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
108 W. 2nd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 613-0000
www.edisondowntown.com

Guest Mixologists: Joe Brooke, Erick Castro, Brian Miller

Featuring: Vagabond Opera & DJ Jonny

February 21: Stir It 28 – Food Bloggers for Haiti Relief

February 18, 2010

It’s been just over a month since a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti on January 12th, causing widespread damage and devastating the capital city of Port-au-Prince. According to the Associated Press, the estimated death toll is now over 230,000 and expected to rise. Although the emergency phase of the disaster is over, and millions of dollars have been donated towards the humanitarian effort, the road to recovery will be long and arduous. As Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive recently told delegates at a conference in Montreal, “massive support” from the international community will be needed in order for Haiti to rebuild.

With that need in mind, three food bloggers have come together to organize Stir It 28, a multi-faceted fundraising campaign to support ongoing relief efforts in Haiti. Stir It 28 is the brainchild of Chrystal Baker (The Duo Dishes), Bren Herrera (Flanboyant Eats) and Courtney Nzeribe (Coco Cooks).

The three-part Stir It 28 campaign will take place as follows:

Part I. Feb. 21 – Culinary Evening Celebrating Life & Hope

Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta and New York will each host its own culinary fundraiser for the public this Sunday, February 21st. The events will feature food from chefs, restaurants and food bloggers from each city.

For Stir It 28 Los Angeles, a top-notch group of caterers, bloggers and home cooks will prepare an extensive list of appetizers and desserts for guests to enjoy. Among the culinary talent is Gisele Perez (Small Pleasures Catering), who will host an interactive bruschetta bar and a dessert bar; and Barrie Lynn Krich (The Cheese Impresario), who will have her artisanal cheese plates for the event.

Thirsty guests need not worry: Natalie Bovis-Nelsen (The Liquid Muse) is hosting not one, but two bars. Grey Goose and LA brand attaché Christophe Namer are joining Natalie to present signature vodka cocktails, including Natalie’s own Hearts for Haiti (Grey Goose L’Orange, homemade syrup, fresh grapefruit juice and prosecco). At her Sangria Station, Natalie will offer specialty sangrias featuring Sutter Home and Fre Alcohol-Removed wines, and the Sparkling Pomegranate Snowflake from her book, Preggatinis™: Mixology for the Mom-To-Be.

$30 advance tickets can be purchased at Flanboyant Eats or Coco Cooks. Advance tickets are on sale until 3:00 pm PST on Saturday, February 20th. Click the Stir It 28 logo that says “Purchase Tickets For STIR IT 28 Culinary Event-Feb. 21st.” Be sure to indicate you’re buying a ticket for the LA event in the seller’s notes. A limited number of $35 tickets will also be available at the door.

Part II. Month-Long Donations
If you’re unable to attend Sunday’s event, donations are being accepted via PayPal all month long, beginning Feb. 21st. The PayPal donation address is stirit28 (at) gmail (dot) com.

Part III. One Comment. One Eats.
Food bloggers are invited to participate in Bren Herrera’s hunger campaign, “Hunger Lives No More: One Comment. One Eats.” For each comment left on the 1st post of February, participating bloggers are asked to donate one food item to Share Our Strength. Donations are coordinated with SOS to ensure all food items will reach Haiti. If you participate, email bren (at) flanboyanteats (dot) com and you will receive a “You Gave” badge to place on your blog.

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Stir It 28 Los Angeles
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Private Hollywood Residence
4-7pm

$30 in advance.
Limited $35 tickets at the door.
Complimentary valet parking to the 1st 50 guests.

Featuring:

  • Appetizers and desserts from top caterers, bloggers, and home cooks.
  • Two bars with cocktails and beverages from The Liquid Muse, featuring Grey Goose, Sutter Home Winery, and Fre Alcohol-Removed Wine.
  • Raffle prizes include Preggatinis™ Gift Basket from The Liquid Muse, iHerb.com gift pack, cookbooks from Abel & Cole and Karen Tack and Alan Richardson, and a gift certificate to OpenSky.

100% of proceeds goes directly to Yéle and Share Our Strength.

For more information, please visit The Duo Dishes.

February 20: Literary Pub Crawl

February 17, 2010

We’ve all heard of (and perhaps even done a few) pub crawls, but how about one dedicated to the great American authors? On Saturday, February 20th, join Book Soup, Goodreads and PEN Center USA for the first Literary Pub Crawl and channel the spirits of Hemingway, Kerouac and Chandler with a boozy journey along Sunset Boulevard.

It all starts at 7pm in the upstairs area at Malo, with readings by authors Aimee Bender, Joseph Mattson and Martin Pousson. From there, the group will move on to Tiki-Ti, Good Luck Bar and 4100 Bar.

"Civilization begins with distillation." ~William Faulkner

During the crawl you can toast your favorite authors, as PEN USA suggests: “Raise a glass of rye whiskey for Salinger, a champagne cocktail in memory of Parker, a mint julep for Faulkner, a boilermaker for Bukowski, a splash of Wild Turkey for London.”

Drinks, literature, and a bit of exercise: what more can you ask for?

Literary Pub Crawl
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Begins 7pm, upstairs at Malo
Stops at Tiki-Ti, Good Luck Bar & 4100 Bar

Featuring:

  • Aimee Bender
  • Joseph Mattson
  • Martin Pousson

Malo Cantina
4326 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90029
(323) 664-1011
www.malorestaurant.com

Sponsored by Book Soup, Goodreads and PEN Center USA.

Dead Author Drink Specials at each bar.

NOTE: this event is for readers 21 and over only.

William Faulkner photo by Carl Van Vechten [Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Carl Van Vechten Collection, reproduction number LC-DIG-ppmsca-10445].