Spirit Guide: Mezcal Marca Negra

September 27th, 2013 — 1:06pm

Mezcal Marca Negra
“Mezcal is the most ancient distilled spirit in America. It can be made of over 30 varietals of agave, most of them grown in the wild regions of Mexico.”

Espadín Marca Negra Mezcal is a new entry in to the California market that follows the path set by Del Maguey. Mano Negra seeks out single village estates and brings them to the world. The hand print on the bottle is said to be the hand of the Mezcalero(mezcal maker). Produced in limited supply, the picture above is bottle number 312 out of 3150 made.

Espadin Marca Negra notes below. Enjoy this outstanding new mezcal entry and look forward to later this year the reals of mezcal Tobala.

Agave: Augustifolia Haw
Estate grown: San Luis del Rio, Tlacolula, Oaxaca
Abel Nolasco Velasco, Mezcalero Double-distilled in copper pot still
October 2012, 51.1% alc/vol [100 proof]
3,150 bottles: Limited release
Notes: Nose is smoky and spicy with a hint of moist wood and a spot of mint.
Palate is herbal, smooth and smoky with spicy pepper. Sweet, dry and fruity on the lips

Raul Yrastorza – General Manager – Las Perlas

What We’re Reading: How Johnnie Walker Conquered The World, Australians Sip More Wine & Less Beer, When Cocktails Meet Science, South Korea Embraces Craft Beer, Spirits Soar On Flavored Liquors, Official Beer Of LA Beer Week, Sam Adams’ Jim Koch Is Happy With Just 1% Of The Beer Market, Biotech To Whiskey

September 24th, 2013 — 12:13pm

Johnnie Walker
How Johnnie Walker Conquered the World, 9/20/2013 – The Wall Street Journal
Booze behemoth Diageo wants to make Johnnie Walker the tipple of choice in emerging markets. The world’s No. 1-selling Scotch whisky, has been a crucial part of Diageo’s growth, writes Afshin Molavi in Foreign Policy. Four bottles of Johnnie Walker are consumed every second, with some 120 million bottles sold annually in 200 countries. Five of Johnnie Walker’s top seven global markets are in the emerging world: Brazil, Mexico, Thailand, China, and a region the company calls “Global Travel Asia and Middle East.” The Brookings Institution’s Homi Kharas estimates that the global middle class will hit 4.9 billion people by 2030, growing by three billion from today — and they’ll spend $56 trillion a year, up from $21 trillion today. Virtually all that growth will come from emerging economies. That’s a lot of potential Johnnie Walker drinkers. Read the rest!

Australians Sip More Wine, Less Beer,  9/18/2013 – The Wall Street Journal
In a report that shows how Australian habits have changed as the country’s economy has grown, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said Wednesday that beer consumption Down Under has sunk to a 66-year low, with drinkers increasingly choosing to fill their glasses with wine instead. While that may jar with the ubiquitous image of Australians blowing the froth of a few tinnies while grilling a prawn on the barbie, economists and statisticians said the trend isn’t likely to reverse any time soon. Beer once accounted for three in every four alcoholic drinks consumed in Australia, but it has slumped to 41% now. Read the rest!

When Cocktails Meet Science,  9/18/2013 – The Wall Street Journal
In a bid to expand their range of beverages, drinks manufacturer Diageo have employed a team of scientists to work in an innovation lab where they have all the tools they need to mix the next big drink. WSJ’s Simon Zekaria reports. Read the rest.

South Korea Brewing
South Korea Embraces Craft Beer,  9/18/2013 – The Wall Street Journal
In a tangle of nondescript alleyways in central Seoul’s Noksapyeong district, a handful of Korean and foreign entrepreneurs are pioneering a new market for homegrown craft beers.  The go-to location for foreign bars in Seoul is Itaewon, the city’s expatriate ghetto a mile away, but Mr. Vroon decided on Noksapyeong for his watering hole. Several small foreign-run bars and restaurants already existed there, spillover from Itaewon, which has gentrified in recent years.  While imported beer sales in South Korea have edged up in recent years, the local market is dominated by a duopoly of giant brewers, Oriental Brewery Co. and Hite-Jinro Co., whose output is exclusively mild, U.S.-style lagers. Mr. Vroon was convinced demand existed among expatriates and Koreans who’d travelled overseas for tastier tipples. Read the rest!

Spirits Soar on Flavored Liquors,  9/17/2013 – The Wall Street Journal
Sales Growth Is Being Driven by Dessert-Inspired Vodkas and Other Innovations

From honey whiskey to pumpkin pie vodka, bold new flavors are the toast of the global drinks industry. Diageo DGE.LN -1.29% PLC’s technical laboratory here, which makes drinks for Europe and Africa, is tucked away in a bland office block, but inside beverage scientists are playing with pipettes, spices and colored liquids. Drinks created in the past five years account for half of the beverage giant’s sales growth in that period. Some 80% of the company’s investment in innovation is directed to products launched within a three-year time frame. “The kind of options you might have had in soft drinks and non-alcohol beverages 20 years ago, consumers expect from alcohol now,” says Denny Brooks, Diageo’s vice president of technology research. Read the rest!

ER Unity
Unity, official beer of L.A. Beer Week, is heading to bars and stores,  9/20/2013 – Los Angeles Times
For the last several years, Eagle Rock Brewery has brewed the official beer of L.A. Beer Week. The brew recipe for the beer known as Unity changes every year, but it’s brewed with a spirit of collaboration and teamwork as brewers from around Los Angeles join the Eagle Rock Brewery crew to get the beer made and packaged for the annual craft beer celebration in L.A. Brewers last year created a sour rye ale in the style of a Berliner weisse, with prickly pears added to the brew. Two years ago, Eagle Rock collaborated with Craftsman Brewery for a tamarind saison. This year, the brewery teamed up with a home brewer. Home brewer Craig Wickham’s “red mild,” which features hibiscus and honey, won the best in show award this year at the Maltose Falcons’ “Doug King Memorial Homebrew Competition” hosted by Eagle Rock Brewery. The prize was a chance to brew a professional batch of his beer at Eagle Rock Brewery for submission to the Great American Beer Festival’s Pro/Am competition. Read the rest!

Sam Adams’ Jim Koch is happy with just 1% of the beer market,  9/19/2013 – Los Angeles Times
The rising tides of the craft beer industry have recently raised Jim Koch, founder and president of the groundbreaking Boston Beer Co., to billionaire status. But even the largest craft brewery in the country accounts for only a fraction of the beer industry. In a recent phone interview, Koch told me that though the brewery is small compared with the giants of American brewing, Sam Adams beers have won more mindshare than their market share would indicate:  “I think it is surprising to people when they find out how small we actually are. We are about 1% of the U.S. beer market. One out of 100 beers made in the U.S. is a Sam Adams. I’m really proud of that. I’ve worked hard for 30 years to get to 1%. I know it doesn’t sound like much to you, but I’m very excited by that. People are surprised at how small we are and that’s okay. Read the rest!

Biotech To Whiskey: Q&A With High West Distillery’s Founder,  9/4/2013 – Forbes
All entrepreneurs have a winding journey, but few wander as successfully as David Perkins, founder of High West Distillery in Park City, Utah. When I met David, I was immediately captivated by his business, his demeanor, his unusual path, and his incredibly tasty whiskey. Here’s a glimpse at his story. Read the rest!

Spirit Guide: Don’t Hop The Scotch with Seven Grand San Diego’s Jay Stapleton

September 20th, 2013 — 12:35pm

One thing I notice whilst tending bar at Seven Grand San Diego is the reluctance of US patrons to try Scotch Whiskey. Whilst incredibly knowledgeable about all things American, when prompted to try a Scotch I generally get the same response “I don’t like the peaty, smoked flavor”. I can see their issue, when I first tried Scotch aged 11 on the advice of my Dad I thought it tasted like chewing on an old carpet (the whiskey was older than I was!)

However in the Scotch category there is something for everyone. In the Compass Box range alone I think you can find a whiskey agreeable to anyone’s palate. The nature of Scotch has changed from being a lonesome drink consumed only by older gents, to a very social and mixable spirit. So next time you swing by Seven Grand San Diego be sure to order a Scotch cocktail or let your bartender talk you through the wonders of it’s versatility.

Jay Stapleton
Bar Manager / Whiskey Guinea Pig
Seven Grand, San Diego

Mix This: The Spanish Fly by Raul Yrastorza of Las Perlas

September 17th, 2013 — 12:27pm

Spanish Fly
Super popular at Las Perlas, it’s simple, it’s awesome it’s…The Spanish Fly Cocktail.

- 1oz Fidencio Mezcal
- 1oz Fernet Branca
- Full Collins glass with Mexican Coke.

Be careful…panties will drop!

For a fun twist that’s just as awesome, substitute Fernet Branca with Branca Menta for the holidays!!! It’s that good!


Raul Yrastorza
Las Perlas