What We’re Reading: Kosher cocktails, the world’s hottest vodka, a new international rum and more

July 23rd, 2012 — 9:00am

At Jezebel, the Cocktail Must Be Kosher – New York Times

Of all the mixologists charged this year with creating a cocktail list in New York, Nick Mautone, the beverage director at the new SoHo restaurant Jezebel, may havefaced the greatest challenge. Jezebel is a kosher restaurant, and the cocktails also had to fall in line with the laws of kashrut.

Kosher wine lists are common in New York, and relatively easy to assemble. All a wine director has to do is look at the label. If it has a hechsher (a symbol of kosher certification), the bottle is a potential candidate for the cut. If not, it’s not. But cocktails are composed of a panoply of ingredients, every one of which must be checked out.

Base spirits are the easy part. “Most spirits are kosher by definition because they’re distilled,” Mr. Mautone said. “All the impurities have been removed. The majority of vodkas, gins, whiskey and tequilas are all kosher.” Still, you have to keep your eyes peeled. Some flavored vodkas and whiskeys are not eligible. And many whiskeys today are finished in wine barrels (port, sherry), a technique that negates their kosher bona fides, since all wine products must be certified.

But a glass of whiskey is not a cocktail. It requires modifying agents, and that’s where things gets hard. Many of the famous liqueurs and bitters — Campari, Benedictine, Chartreuse, Dubonnet, Peychaud’s bitters — that are required to make some of the world’s most famous cocktails are not kosher. That means no Negronis, no Sazeracs, no Vieux Carres, no Bobby Burnses. It’s enough to break your heart.


Ads for Skyy Vodka Come to TV – New York Times

When it comes to liquor brands arriving on television to advertise, the sky, it seems, is the limit – particularly now that Skyy vodka is joining their ranks.

Skyy, sold by the Campari America unit of Davide Campari-Milano and Grouppo Campari, is to start running its first commercial on Thursday. Until now, the brand’s ads have appeared in print and online.

The commercial is to appear on cable channels like Bravo, Comedy Central, E!, ESPN, ESPN2 and TBS. Plans also call for the spot to run on Web sites that include Facebook, Hulu and YouTube.

Campari America is also looking into running the commercial during “Saturday Night Live” on NBC.

Other distilled spirits that have come onto TV recently include Hornitos, Jägermeister, Maker’s Mark, Pucker, Sailor Jerry rum, Skinnygirl and another Campari America brand, Wild Turkey. They have joined a lengthy list of liquor brands using television, including vodkas like Absolut, Grey Goose, Ketel One and Smirnoff.


Bow & Truss restaurant adds to North Hollywood’s eclectic mix – Los Angeles Times

The arrival of a restaurant and bar like Bow & Truss has been heralded as a bit of a tipping point when it comes to destination drinking and dining in North Hollywood. It’s walking distance from the Federal Bar, Margolis’ first restaurant venture, which opened a little more than a year ago and draws a hip and fashionable crowd from over the hill as well as a satisfied roster of locals. Like downtown L.A. in 2007, when Cedd Moses opened his pioneering whiskey bar Seven Grand (also with Tello and Demarest), North Hollywood is showing it’s ready for a high-concept craft cocktail bar.



Island Hoping – Tasting Table

But with globalization comes a blurring of traditional boundaries, and a new rum is showing how flavorful an international approach can be.

A mixture of 23 rums sourced from seven places, Banks 7 Golden Age Blend ($30) displays all the complexity a well-traveled spirit should have. Rum from Barbados lends a nutty character to the mix; Guyanese rum adds a touch of tropical fruit; and a molasses-rich Trinidad spirit gives the blend rugged assertiveness. Guatemalan rum contributes a deep earthiness and Panamanian rum a bracing dryness; these characteristics are topped by a heady, funky fragrance from Jamaican pot-distilled rum, and deepened with a spark of spice from Batavia arrack, a sort of ancestral rum distilled on the Indonesian island of Java.



The World’s Hottest Vodka – Huffington Post Food

In a world where Peanut Butter and Jelly, and Glazed Donut flavored vodka exists — a chili vodka that will burn your face off is a welcome change. Not only is Naga Chili Vodka the opposite of sweet — but by infusing it with one of the hottest chili peppers on the planet, it is a tongue-melting 100,000 Scovilles hot.


Whiskey Makes Retirement Easier – The Wall Street Journal

Mr. Meyer is the founder of Wigle Whiskey, a distillery that crafts organic, artisan rye and wheat whiskeys. “There was a state law that forbade distilleries to sell their products on site,” he says. “Our whole plan was to do tastings and sell our whiskey right from the warehouse, so we built a case and testified in front of legislators and got the law changed.”


Fraser & Neave Play Raises Thai Tycoon’s Profile – Wall Street Journal

Thai beverage PCL’s surprise grab for a US$2.2 billion stake in Singapore-listed beverage group Fraser & Neave Ltd. is raising the profile of its chairman and founder, Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, as he looks to extend his empire overseas. Although analysts are awaiting more details of Mr. Charoen’s plans for Fraser & Neave, some have said they foresee the potential for a tussle with Heineken for control of the company’s food and beverage assets. That includes Asia Pacific Breweries, a joint venture between Fraser & Neave and Heineken that makes Tiger Beer, one of Southeast Asia’s most successful regional brands.


Quote of the Day: Frankie Yankovic

July 21st, 2012 — 1:17pm

“In heaven there is no beer. That’s why we drink ours here.” -Frankie Yankovic

Drink beer at the LA Craft Beer Crawl on August 18th – buy your tickets now before they sell out!

Mixologist Music Video

July 19th, 2012 — 5:13pm

This new music video from the guys who brought us “Whole Foods Parking Lot” made us laugh.

Yes, we take our drinks seriously. No, we will not serve you a cocktail topped with a chicken foot.

Yes, we have Ph.Ds in cocktology. No, that’s not a real word.

This Weekend with 213

July 19th, 2012 — 1:22pm

Friday, July 20th

Casey’s Irish Pub – Son Ark
Son Ark arrived in Los Angeles by way of Roanoke Virginia (which lays exactly between The Grand Ole Opry and Apollo Theatre) when they heard a rumor that Sam Philips was rebuilding Muscle Shoals on the west coast. Since then, son ark has been filling establishments across Los Angeles with their unmistakably unique brand of Americana roots rock and with lyrics that tell tales of bygone eras and heartbreaking love lost, son ark longingly reminds us of days gone by. The songs are not antiques, though. Influenced by the likes of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, Patsy Cline, Andrew Bird, and Led Zeppelin, son ark tells their tales in a decidedly contemporary way. See for yourself. And try the pickle back. Trust me.

Caña Rum Bar – Native Wayne
Tonight Grammy-winning reggae luminary Wayne Hobson, also known as Native Wayne to his Indie 103 fans, will be behind the wheels of steel bringing us the good vibes via an eclectic set of classic reggae, dancehall, afrobeat, and whatever else he deems worthy of your listening pleasure. It’s Friday night, so if you’d like to ensure yourself a table or bring more than three guests, reservations are necessary. Right near the beach… Boyyyyyyyyyy!

Las Perlas – Natasha Chaney
Shawn Carter and Natasha Chaney met at a party, by the end of the night they were finishing each others sentences. Only three months later BEAUTY OF THE BEATS was born. BEAUTY OF THE BEATS are the vibe setters, tastemakers, and déjà vu creators! Natasha and Shawn, two friends brought together by another (we call her “Charlie”) and a common desire to bring quality, cutting edge, musical gems to any dance floor.

Saturday, July 21st

Casey’s Irish Pub – Escalator Hill
The heart and lungs of Escalator Hill belong to singer-songwriter Antony Benedetti, whose subtle twang and frenzied strums make Escalator Hill an American anachronism. The band could be from anywhere, or any time; they would be at home playing beside Waylon Jennings or Willie Nelson, Neutral Milk Hotel or the Arcade Fire. This timeless sound springs from Benedetti’s soul-on-his-sleeve spirit that pushes Escalator Hill past the superficiality of faux folk nostalgia acts.

Las Perlas – DJ Darren Revell
Las Perlas welcomes DJ Darren Revell from 103′s Big Sonic Heaven tonight. Darren will be spinning everything from Post Punk to New Wave to Eighties so grab your head bands and leg warmers and get on down here. We’ll see you then!

Caña Rum Bar – Music Selector Jose Galvan
Its time for you to stop living and start winning! What better way to do that than to join us @ Caña Rum Bar for Jose Galvan. Tonight and every Saturday night Jose joins us playing Latin Alternative, Funky Beats and Caribbean Rhythms. We will also be serving some of the most delicious rum cocktails ever to have touched your tongue. Get in here and get some!