September 11th, 2013 — 12:30pm
In a basement fit for filming a new Saw movie (I think that at least one of the Saw movies was actually filmed here), big things are happening – big, watery, frozen things. 300 pound blocks of ice are being made in behemoth ice makers and cut into gorgeous crystal clear cubes with a single intent, to chill cocktails to perfection. Penny Pound Ice stands alone in Los Angeles as the only place to get ice of this fashion. Started by Eric Alperin in conjunction with 213 Spirited Ventures in February of this year, Penny Pound has been making these specialty ice cubes for 213 bars such as The Varnish, Tony’s Saloon, 4100 and Coles.
Creating crystal clear cubes of ice like these isn’t as simple as sticking water in a freezer and popping them out when the timer goes off. The process is a bit more complex and much more awesome. Roughly 40 gallons of water are poured into huge rectangular metal monsters called Clinebell Machines and begin a 3-day “slow-freezing” process. Pumps at the top of the tank circulate the water as it freezes, much like water flow in a lake, causing all of the impurities and minerals in the water to rise to the top and escape through the air. Pure water freezes clear, and more importantly, it freezes harder and at a higher density. When the large blocks have frozen through, they are removed with a winch and then cut down to 2” cubes that are begging to be plunged into a boozy concoction.
Why put so much effort into ice cubes, you ask? “Ice is the bartenders flame,” says Eric Alperin. “Harder and denser ice means more durability when shaking and building cocktails, and allows a drink to mature at a more controlled dilution rate.”
So, the next time you elbow up on the bar of Coles, order an Old Fashioned and take a moment to appreciate that beautiful block of ice swimming in your glass.
- Justin Graham
September 9th, 2013 — 3:15pm
Audacity is Orange County’s latest proof that California’s the place to be. This fresh-faced Fullerton four piece has roots that stretch back to elementary school. That sense of lifelong camaraderie comes across in their buoyant take on the classic power punk sound. Bouncy slacker pop is always an appropriate soundtrack for a warm West Coast spring night. The music invokes trails of Todd Rundgren’s A Wizard, A True Star, as well as the best work of the Modern Lovers. Twisting in those influences with geographic touchstones like the Descendents and the Adolescents, Audacity crafts tunes that trade in hooks and fun amidst a rush of volume and youthful enthusiasm. Audacity is asserting their place among power pop peers like Nobunny and Atlanta’s Gentleman Jesse and His Men. Audacity is evidence that suburban sprawl combined with a little sun and surf can make for fantastic results.
Listen Here http://audacityband.com
September 4th, 2013 — 11:12am
Join us on Monday, September 9th at 7pm for the Golden Gopher’s Beer Society with the Widmer Brothers Brewing & Cigar City brewing! These two breweries got together and collaborated on a few beers to commemorate a few of the classic drinks we know. Since three is not enough for one of our tastings, Widmer will also be bringing some other specialties for you to taste.
They will be tasting you all on six of their amazing beers:
- WB & Cigar City Old Fashioned Bourbon Ale
– WB & Cigar City Manhattan Rye Ale
– WB & Cigar City New Oak Ale
– Widmer Brothers Marionberry Hibiscus Gose Ale
– Widmer Brothers Downward Spiral Imperial Hopslide Down India Pale Lager
– Widmer Brothers Embalmer Barleywine
For more information on either brewer please go to their webistes:
We still need you to register, so that we have a head count to ensure that we have enough beer for evyerone. There is no charge to attend this month, as Widmer is picking up the cost! Registered guests will have a guaranteed spot. Anyone who is not registered can show up, but will only gain entry if we have spaces left.
Hope to see you all there!
August 29th, 2013 — 11:26am
Cocktail knowledge has grown exponentially in San Diego. Guests are educating themselves and thus demanding more from their bartenders. Here are a few variations of classic, summer whiskey cocktails I enjoy serving when a guests wants to stray off of the beaten path a bit.
The Rye Grin (Variation of the Whiskey smash)
by Sam Ross
- Four (4) lemon quarters
- Healthy pinch of mint
- 0.75 oz simple syrup
- 0.50 oz Fernet Branca
- 1.50 oz Old Overholt Rye (or guest call)
Combine mint, lemon quarters, and simple syrup in a shaker tin and muddle. Add Fernet and rye whiskey. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain over fresh ice in a double rocks glass and garnish with mint sprigs.
The Branco (Variation of the Whiskey/Kentucky Highball/Mule)
By Anthony Schmidt
- 0.75 oz lime juice
- 0.75 oz ginger syrup
- 0.50 oz Fernet Branca
- 1.50 oz Buffalo Trace Bourbon (any bourbon works, really)
Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin and whip with a little shaved ice. Pour over rocks in a collins glass and top with soda. Garnish with candied ginger.
Cornerstone Cobbler (Cobbler variation now on the Seven Grand San Diego cocktail menu)
by Chad Owen
- 2 blackberries
- 2 dashes RX Bitters Aromatic #7 bitters
- 0.75 oz lemon
- 0.75 oz pineapple gomme
- 0.50 oz Borolo Chinato
- 2.0 oz Old Ovrholt Rye
Muddle blackberries in a shaker tin. Combine the rest of the ingredients and give it a quick whip. Pour over shaved ice and cap. Garnish with mint sprigs and blackberry.
These three are examples of cocktails that represent classics in all of their memorable ways while offering subtle differences and complexities that make them stand out on their own. They are extremely refreshing but still offer the satisfying backbone that only whisky can offer. Enjoy!
Brian Prugalidad, Seven Grand San Diego