March 5th, 2014 — 11:24am
Have you ever been curious about how to brew your own beer? On Monday, March 10th from 5-8pm Beertender LA will be coming to the Golden Gopher to show us how to get our home brew on. Beertender LA is a home brewing consultancy specializing in teaching the basics of brewing beer, bottling, kegging, partying, and building camaraderie through the joy of brewing! They’re going to show us all the stuff you want to know about making your own beers, plus they’re ready to tackle all of your beer and brewing questions.
(Also, they may or may not be brewing a beer with us. It may or may not be a Golden Ale. The guys will be returning in April to show us what we may or may not have made. You follow…?)
Come. Learn. Drink Beer. Have fun. So, so simple.
Click the link below to reserve a spot and so that we know you’re coming. We’re looking forward to hanging out with you and the gang from Beertender LA. ( Big Time!)
See you on Monday. Cheers!
March 3rd, 2014 — 4:17pm
Essential Cocktails: How to Make, and Where to Find, the Perfect Margarita, 2/1/14 – LA Magazine
Essential Cocktails, Week 4: The Margarita
If you’re like me, your first encounter with a Margarita was the sports bar or Mexican chain restaurant variation: fruit flavored concoctions made with prefab triple sec and a mystery mix. Amiright? Prepare to have your mind blown. Turns out the perfect Margarita isn’t made with pre-packaged triple sec or mix and doesn’t taste like a tequila-laced slushee.
I had Las Perlas general manager Raul Yrastorza confirm. And he would know; he’s had a love affair with tequila ever since he lived in San Diego in the late ‘80s, hopping the border pretty frequently. In 1998, he opened El Carmen, the first tequila-dedicated bar in Los Angeles. Fast-forward to when 213 Nightlife’s Cedd Moses was thinking of opening an agave-focused bar of his own downtown, and naturally, he recruited Yrastorza. Read the rest here!
February 25th, 2014 — 11:00am
Boom Or Bust: Making It In Micro-Distilling 2/21/2014 – Forbes
Stephen Thompson traverses Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail almost every day working in a business he loves. After 25 years as an executive in the spirits industry at some of the biggest purveyors of bourbon, whiskey, vodka and other liquors, he is putting his know-how to work in the latest trend in the industry: micro-distilling. “There are a lot of folks out there who have an idea of making their own whiskey or gin and making it big. The problem is not many of them have the knowledge to make it come together,” says Thompson. The 70-year-old’s eyes light up when he talks about the spirits business, and he says retirement was never in the cards. Instead he is enjoying the chance to pass along what he’s learned to others. Read the rest here!
It’s Pliny time again — here are your best shots at getting a taste 2/21/2014 – Los Angeles Times
Pliny the Younger is here. Kegs of the once-a-year treat have begun to be tapped around Los Angeles, and on Saturday three of L.A.’s most lauded beer bars will be hosting parties celebrating craft beer’s most coveted brew, each with its own twist.
Mohawk Bend gets things started early Saturday when it opens its doors and begins distributing tickets at 9:30 a.m. A 6-ounce glass will cost you $6.50 (limit one per person), and the keg will be tapped at 11 a.m. They’re serving brunch until 3 p.m., and it’s anyone’s guess if the keg of Pliny will last that long. Get down their early. Read the rest here!
The Once Forbidden Fruit 2/20/2014 – Liquor.com
If you start looking through other books for cocktails with grapefruit, you will be hard pressed to find many cocktails with the wonder fruit. Jerry Thomas never mentions it, and Harry Craddock mentions it rarely in The Savoy Cocktail Book. One of the few places he does mention it, the Grapefruit Cocktail (a small punch), calls for grapefruit jelly in the recipe. The variation is the one that uses juice of one and a half grapefruits. When the Dale DeGroff reaches for a grapefruit to juice, he reaches for a marsh grapefruit. It is sweeter than most and seedless. As a mixer it pairs well with the sweetness of rum and the earthiness of tequila. Most people are familiar with the Greyhound, the Salty Dog (a variation on the Greyhound) and the Sea Breeze. But there are many, many more delightful cocktails to explore. Read the rest here!
Bulleit 10 Review 2/19/2014 – Liquor.com
I’ve read a lot of other reviews for Bulleit 10 and I feel like I’m in the minority of people who prefer the 10 to the regular Bulleit bourbon. I definitely see where the argument about if it’s worth the price comes into play though. That $40-$50 price point is getting more crowded each month with premium offerings from major distilleries and small batch options from craft distillers. It’s a tough time to be competing at this level. Bulleit 10 has a great aroma and flavor that are rich with everything that makes bourbon great and when tasted side by side with the regular Bulleit and a bottle of Four Roses Small Batch it comes in tasting more like the 4R Small Batch than it does the traditional Bulleit. The extra maturity definitely shows in this bourbon and in addition to the more robust flavor the extra age has mellowed out the mild astringency I typically find in Bulleit. With the original I always find that I’m bored with it after the first glass and don’t want a second, but that’s not the case here. The 10 is something I could drink all night at an event or party. Read the rest here!
What’s Happening With Whiskey 2/16/2014 – Liquor.com
America’s favorite spirit is always keeping us on our toes. With two aged whiskies joining the party and brand new flavors, we have even more bottles to get our hands on. Here’s the latest whiskey news. Living up to its name, Woodstock is proving to be an innovator in the bourbon whiskey category. After their releases of cinnamon flavored Hot Licks and honey flavored Killer Bee, Woodstock is coming out with two new very interesting bourbon flavors. Vanzilla and After Dark are set to become two of the first vanilla and chocolate bourbons on the market. Naturally, we’re hesitant about drinking flavored bourbon but we’ll do it in the name of booze. The two new flavors will be available in March for $16.99. Jury’s still out on these. In Louisiana, aged whiskey hasn’t been in production since Prohibition but Thibodaux’s Donner-Peltier Distillery is finally ready to crank out some of America’s favorite spirit. Their release, LA1 bourbon is distilled with native ingredients and is a, “tip of the hat to Louisiana farmers” says founder Tom Donner. The whiskey is available at the distillery now and with full production starting shortly, we should see these bottles from the Big Easy on the shelves soon enough. Moving on to Minnesota. The first aged whiskey made in the state is ready for your tasting. Panther Distillery in Osakis is rolling out their aged whiskey called Minnesota 14, a tribute to the Gopher State (rough nickname). The first ever whiskey distillery in the state aged their corn-based whiskey for nearly two years in white oak barrels. The first batch from Panther is now available at 600 local stores in Minnesota. Anyone else – you’ll have to take a visit to the distillery. Read the rest here!
8 Gold Medal-Worthy Olympic Drinks 2/15/2014 – Liquor.com
The Olympics have it all: drama, excitement, happiness, death-defying danger and the unbridled use of the montage. The one thing the Olympics don’t have? An official cocktail. While no doubt plenty of vodka is being poured in Sochi, we took it upon ourselves to select the top eight drinks that go perfectly with a range of events. So no matter if you like watching curling, figure skating, snowboarding or ice hockey, we have a recipe for you—each one is deserving of its own gold medal. Mix up a drink and then sit back and enjoy the action. Cheers to all the athletes! Read the rest here!
February 21st, 2014 — 4:22pm
On Monday, 2/24, The Varnish celebrates its 5 year anniversary, followed by a month full of guest bartenders, all at one time tenders at The Varnish. This evening we kick off with Eric Alperin and Sasha Petraske mixing drinks 7-11pm (but probably later). We will have live music from The Jamie Elman Trio. Complimentary punch made with Brugal rum and Taittinger Champagne, as well as complimentary shots of Amaro Ramazzotti. Also available are a few specialty priced classic cocktails.
Every Monday in March we will be having our Bartender Reunion Series (7-11pm each night). Each bartender will be preparing special menu ($13 regular price for those menus)
March 3rd: Marcos Tello, who is currently launching the bar program of the newly revamped Los Balcones in Hollywood
March 10th: Eugene Shaw of Scopa in Venice and private events company Bottled in Bond; & Daniel Eun Esq., Former bartender at The Varnish and PDT, currently practicing law in LA
March 17th: Chris Bostick, General Manager and Partner of Half Step – Austin, TX. (there is a chance he won’t be able to make it out and we will do a menu in his honor, we will keep you posted)
March 24th: Chris Ojeda, Group Creative Bar Director for Soho House.
March 31st: Alexander Day & Devon Tarby of Honeycut and Proprietors, LLC.
Join us for a blast into the past, and help celebrate 5 years of cranking out lovely classic cocktails!