What We’re Reading: Road To Morocco Stops In Yonkers; The Gin Goes Back Into The Barrel; Drink No Whimpy Beers On National Stout Day; Four Creative, Locally Brewed Beers For November; Vice Index Predicts A Sober Holiday Season; Schumer Would Allow Mailing Of Wine, Beer, Liquor; The Great Old Fashioned Debate

November 15th, 2013 — 1:30pm

Road to Morocco Stops in Yonkers, 11/5/2013 – New York Times
Mahia, the traditional eau de vie, or schnapps, of Morocco, is made from dried figs, unlike the European spirits made from fresh fruit. And it is traditionally distilled by Jews like David Nahmias, a Moroccan expatriate who with his wife, Dorit, makes and markets his own under the brand Nahmias et Fils. The family’s distillery was a meeting place both for Jews and for imbibing Muslims who stopped by to make purchases. Their mahia (the name, like eau de vie, means water of life) was knocked back at holiday and family gatherings. And it was used as folk medicine in an area without any hospitals: for earaches, it was given through a dropper. Read the rest here!

The Gin Goes Back Into the Barrel, 11/5/2013 – New York Times
John Little, the founder and master distiller of Smooth Ambler, a West Virginia microdistillery, fell into the aged-gin business by accident. Early in 2012 he had just distilled a batch of his standard gin when he realized he was out of bottles to put it in.  The serendipitous meeting of wood and spirit was pleasing enough that he decided to leave the gin in the casks. That June, he released a few bottles. The reaction from consumers was positive, so he gave Smooth Ambler Barrel Aged Gin a bigger debut that fall. It is now tied as the company’s third-best seller, behind its bourbon and rye. Just a year ago, aged gin could still be called an oddity. A few other small distillers were playing around with the niche spirit, including Few Spirits in Illinois, Corsair Distillery in Kentucky and Citadelle in France, which can be counted as a trailblazer, having released its version in 2008. Today, the barrel aging associated with spirits like whiskey, rum and tequila is increasingly applied to gin. Read the rest here!

Whimpy Beers
Drink no wimpy beers on National Stout Day, 11/7/2013 – Los Angeles Times
Friday is International Stout Day, when beer fans can raise a glass to toast the dark, roasty brews of the stout family, and it’s a family with many branches and offshoots to explore. “Taking place in homes, pubs, breweries and restaurants,” say the organizers, Stout Day is ”all about celebrating the craft beer revolution, relishing in this beloved beer style, sharing your photos, tasting notes and events with the world.” The event also hopes to increase awareness of the variety of available variations of the style; stouts range from the Irish dry stout (Guinness) that’s commonly known, to the Russian imperial stouts popular with so many craft breweries. Read the rest here!

Four creative, locally brewed beers for November, 11/6/2013 – Los Angeles Times
L.A.’s craft breweries are maturing quickly as thirsty Angelenos drink the beer as fast as it is brewed, and new beers are being packaged and released each week. November is looking to be a particularly great month for creative, locally brewed beers. Here are four new options to keep an eye out for. Read the rest here!

Vice Index Predicts a Sober Holiday Season, 11/6/2013 – Wall Street Journal
Looks like it’s not going to be such a hot holiday season for liquor companies, casinos, and prostitutes – at least according to the latest reading of the “Vice Index.” The index – a concoction from SouthBay Research’s Andrew Zatlin measures actual spending levels – yes, on vices – and uses the numbers to show where the economy is headed. As opposed to Tuesday’s chipper report on the services sector from the ISM, the vice index’s September sounding came in at 104, its lowest level since February’s 96. Read the rest here!

Schumer would allow mailing of wine, beer, liquor, 10/31/2013 – Wall Street Journal
ALBANY, N.Y. — Sen. Chuck Schumer says he wants to scrap a Prohibition-era measure so that people can mail wine, beer and liquor to friends and relatives. He says the measure would be a boost to wine and beer producing states like New York as well as a benefit to the U.S. Postal Service. He says consumers would see a break in the cost because the Postal Service has flat rates for packages. Other carriers often charge by weight and distance. Currently there are restrictions on mailing wine, beer and spirits. Schumer says he will move to end those restrictions in an upcoming bill regarding the future of the struggling Postal Service. Schumer says the measure could bring the Postal Service another $225 million a year and he wants to “push the envelope.” Read the rest here!

Old Fashioned
The Great Old Fashioned Debate, 11/07/13 – New York Times
There’s a terrific mini-monologue in the 1942 film “You Were Never Lovelier” in which Fred Astaire’s fast-talking would-be roué tells Rita Hayworth’s ingénue: “As they’d say in Brooklyn, I can’t bat in your league. I’m a plain, ordinary guy from Omaha, Nebraska. Just an old-fashioned, everyday Middle Westerner.. . . But you’re streamlined. You’re today. Sister, I was raised amongst the grasshoppers, I am strictly from corn.” And then the duo breaks into song and dance, which is where Jerome Kern and Johnny Mercer’s sublime ballad, “I’m Old Fashioned,” debuted. Read the rest here!

Mix This: Brookelyn Queens by 4100 Bar’s Own Brookelyn Boyle

November 13th, 2013 — 1:01pm

Brookelyn Queens
Brookelyn is a bartendress based in LA. She created this cocktail in 2011 while working at Mercede’s Bar and Grill, steps away from the lovely Venice beach. The Brookelyn, as it was known back then, was a popular drink featured on the menu that some guests claimed had aphrodisiac qualities. Try it and see for yourself!

- 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
- 6 dashes Angostura Bitters
- 1 1/2 oz Domaine De Canton Ginger Liqueur
- 2 oz Makers Mark

Build ingredients in a mixing glass, shake with ice, strain into a coupe. Lemon twist garnish.

Brookelyn Boyle, 4100 Bar, Bartender

Seven Grand Hosts The Parker Beam Promise Of Hope ALS Fundraiser, Sunday, November 10th, 12pm

November 8th, 2013 — 3:18pm

Seven Grand Parker Beam ALS Fundraiser FlyerAs you all may have heard, the beloved Master Distiller at Heaven Hill has been diagnosed with ALS disease recently. As avid lovers of whiskey and huge fans of Parker Beam, and knowing how devastating and horrible a disease ALS is, members of our local bartending community are banding together to celebrate the whiskey of Heaven Hill and raise money for the Parker Beam “Promise of Hope” ALS fund!

Please join us in an afternoon celebrating great whiskey and love of life to show Parker Beam how many angels Los Angeles really has!

There will be cocktails aplenty, live music by Erik Trickett‘s Band and Pretty Dead Ferrari, a magical show by Joshua Lucas and a raffle with some awesome prizes!!

Thanks so much and we look forward to seeing you there!

Mix This: Delicious Thanksgiving Season Pairings with Seven Grand DTLA’s own Andrew Abrahamson

November 7th, 2013 — 12:49pm

Hot Buttered Rumskey
With the recent time change, and Fall officially upon us, there is a need to re access the bar around you and the spirits atop it and prepare for the pies and flavors ahead. We have a couple favorites here at Seven Grand that we love to recommend, and think will fit perfectly with most dishes and moods you are going to be indulging in this season.

Not the cheapest, but one that has to be mentioned, Angel’s Envy Rye is the final release from Lincoln Henderson. He took a well known Rye made in Indiana and made it completely his own by finishing it off in Oak Barrels that were first filled with Cognac in France, and then finished off with Rum in the Caribbean. There is an amazing and unique Graham Cracker and warm Cinnamon profile that jumps out right away, with a huge Chocolate and Caramel finish that keeps going and creates a fullness to this Whiskey that is really not to be found anywhere else. At least not one with the depth and richness that this Rye packs. It’ll pair perfectly with any dessert or fire you’ll come across this Fall.

A little bit less of a hit on the wallet, Woodford Reserve Double Oaked is as smooth as a saxophone, and fits perfectly on a shelf this time of year. To add an additional layer to the normally Woody and Spicy Woodford Reserve, Master Distiller Chris Morris re barrels the Whiskey before bottling in a Barrel with a long toast, but not any char, resulting in much sweeter flavors than normal. This Bourbon explodes with Butterscotch, Toffee and rich Molasses but is balanced out by a beautiful Clove spiciness and mellow Vanilla finish. A real sipper that is great just the way it is in your favorite glass.

For a real bargain around this time of year (you can buy two, and give someone an early gift, right?) an easy suggestion is Heaven Hill’s secret gem, Old Fitzgerald 12 Years Old. In a category dominated by Maker’s Mark, Wheated Bourbons are in the midst of a huge surge in popularity compared to the few types you will find on shelves. No chance you are going to get your hand’s on Pappy van Winkle this year? No worries, Old Fitz is made by a true Master with a similar recipe. The 12 Year Old is the star of Heaven Hill’s line, and not to be missed. All the Butter, Toffee and Caramel notes of Wheated Bourbon are here, with a mellow and sweet Vanilla Custard finish. Enjoy it and then enjoy it again.

But if you’d prefer to throw caution to the wind, go ahead and buy yourself a bottle Bowmore The Devil’s Casks, because you deserve it right? It may only be a 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch, but it’s extremely limited, and as good as it gets. Aged 100% in 1st Fill Sherry Casks, the over use of that wood seems to somehow pull the best from the normally perfectly balanced Isla. Huge Dark Fruit and Spicy Hot Chocolate are at odds with the Oily Smoke and Tobacco, and together lead to a finish that lasts long into the next sip. We were lucky enough to try some during a trip to Scotland recently, and it stood out among the many great Whisky’s we drank during the two weeks as one of the best we had. It just came to us here in California, and is worth every dollar for a bottle.

Should you decide to mix a drink instead, try this recipe from our Winter menu here at Seven Grand:

Hot Buttered RumSkey
- 1oz Rich Bourbon (Woodford Reserve)
- 1oz Dark Rum (Zaya)
- 1 Small Spoon Butter
- 1 Large Spoon Brown Sugar (You can’t use too much, add until it’s to your liking)
- Piping Hot Water

And all the ingredients into a mug and stir slowly to melt the sugar and butter. Top with grated cinnamon and enjoy.

This cocktail is a play on the very rich and classic Hot Buttered Rum, with the heat opening up the Whiskey and releasing the savory qualities of the spirit. It is as warming a cocktail as you can have. Make sure the water is boiling when added.

Cheers and Sláinte from Seven Grand!