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Spirit Guide: Caña Brava with Allan Katz

October 17th, 2012 — 5:31pm


I’ll first get this disclaimer out of the way: Dushan Zaric, Jason Kosmas, and Simon Ford are worklife heroes of mine I learned so much from growing up in the bars of New York City. They exemplify statesmen in the world of better drinking. And if their rum sucked I’d be the first one to say so.

Their rum however, is awesome. I’ve personally made a few runs at getting a truly cuban-style rum manufactured by some very talented American distillers but it’s a confoundedly difficult process that is yet to yield a product I’d serve you. The aforementioned principals of the 86 Spirits Co. must’ve known that because they went to the Michael Jordan of rum distilling, Don Pancho Fernandez to bring the cuban carta blanca style of rum to our shores (and hopefully the rest of the world, because it is freaking good).

Don Pancho’s responsible for Ron Zacapa, Zafra, and Plantation Panama amongst a number of other world-class spirits. Caña Brava is a real departure from his other marks. It’s a return to roots. Sr. Fernandez made Cuban rum in Cuba and it shows. There’s a fruit-yeasty undercurrent in the spirit that when hit with lime and sugar explodes with honeyed flavor and a floral but not at all cloying scent. It’s got that Cuban magic.

Now products we can’t legally acquire are often pointlessly fetishized, and that point is well-proven in the world of alcohol. I’ve been introduced to countless products that conjure whispers of awe on the lips of drink geeks, but leave me thinking I could care less if this stuff ever gets distributed in the US. However, the mystique of Cuban rum reflects a superior product that has tangible complexities in tis fit, finish, and flavor. Now that Caña Brava has hit the market, finally everyone can understand the hype without resorting to smuggling.

Allan Katz, Caña Rum Bar, General Manager

The Varnish Ranked #14 out of The World’s 50 Best Bars 2012

October 17th, 2012 — 12:04pm


THE USA HAS 12 BARS FROM 5 CITIES IN THE WORLD’S 50 BEST BARS 2012

The USA has 12 bars in the prestigious World’s 50 Best Bars 2012. World class bars such as Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco, Varnish in Los Angeles, Drink in Boston and Meat in Louisville, Kentucky, are proving that it isn’t just New York that is the home of the nation’s best cocktails.

Announced by Drinks International, the leading magazine for the global drinks industry, the coveted awards uncover the hottest places to drink around the globe.

Drinks International’s Lucy Britner said: “The country continues to prove itself as a cocktail titan and the plethora of different bars on offer is mind-blowing. From the clubs and speakeasies in New York, tiki bars in San Francisco, neighbourhood joints in Boston, to pre-prohibition hangouts in Kentucky, this country knows how to drink.”

The World’s 50 Best Bars 2012 is the definitive list for those who want to know, compiled by those in the know. One hundred and fifty top experts from 40 countries voted making this the most important international bar survey of the global drinks scene ever.

The list was announced at a glittering ceremony in London attended by leading industry figures and representatives from the listed bars. The event has quickly become one of the highlights of the bar industry calendar.

THE WORLD’S 50 BEST BARS – THE FULL LIST
1 ARTESIAN, LANGHAM HOTEL, LONDON
2 PDT, NEW YORK
3 NIGHTJAR, LONDON
4 CONNAUGHT BAR, LONDON
5 AMERICAN BAR AT THE SAVOY HOTEL, LONDON
6 DEATH & CO, NEW YORK
7 BAXTER INN, SYDNEY
8 69 COLEBROOKE ROW, LONDON
9 CALLOOH CALLAY, LONDON
10 BRAMBLE, EDINBURGH
11 EMPLOYEES ONLY, NEW YORK
12 HAPPINESS FORGETS, LONDON
13 DRINK, BOSTON
14 THE VARNISH, LA
15 ZETTER TOWNHOUSE, LONDON
16 MUTIS, BARCELONA
17 BLACK PEARL, MELBOURNE
18 CLOVER CLUB, NEW YORK
19 DRY MARTINI, BARCELONA
20 LA CAPILLA, MEXICO
21 PALMER & CO, SYDNEY
22 HIGH FIVE, TOKYO
23 LE LION, HAMBURG
24 SMUGGLER’S COVE, SAN FRANCISCO
25 EAU DE VIE, SYDNEY
26 EXPERIMENTAL COCKTAIL CLUB, NEW YORK
27 PORTOBELLO STAR, LONDON
28 SCHUMANN’S, MUNICH
29 TIPPLING CLUB, SINGAPORE
30 LEBENSSTERN, BERLIN
31 GOLDENE BAR, MUNICH
32 PEGU CLUB, NEW YORK
33 WORSHIP STREET WHISTLING SHOP, LONDON
34 ANGEL’S SHARE, NEW YORK
35 DUTCH KILLS, NEW YORK
36 FRANK’S, BUENOS AIRES
37 BEAUFORT BAR, SAVOY HOTEL, LONDON
38 HEMINGWAY BAR PRAGUE, PRAGUE
39 MEAT, KENTUCKY
40 MILK & HONEY LONDON, LONDON
41 NOTTINGHAM FOREST, MILAN
42 28 HONGKONG STREET, SINGAPORE
43 BOUTIQ’BAR, BUDAPEST
44 CHAINAYA. TEA & COCKTAILS, MOSCOW
45 CANDELARIA, PARIS
46 SALVATORE AT PLAYBOY, LONDON
47 RUBY, COPENHAGEN
48 STAGGER LEE, BERLIN
49 LE BAR DU PLAZA ATHÉNÉE, PARIS
50 ASOKA, CAPE TOWN

Hangar 24 Gourdgeous Strong Pumpkin Porter Now Available at Las Perlas!

October 16th, 2012 — 3:28pm


Andre and I drove out to Hanger 24 over the weekend to see what they were up to. WOW…we discovered the seasonal brew Hangar 24 Gourdgeous Strong Pumpkin Porter

The Local Fields Series was launched in early 2012 and is comprised of six beers, all brewed once per year with a different local ingredient, this year Pumpkin!

Along with the Porter we had their double IPA. The Double IPA is good, we were hoping that the aroma of the beer would come though in the taste of the beer, it feel a little short on the palate.

The porter however delivers, the roasted pumpkin is subtle but extremely balanced with the traditional pumpkin spices. The malty flavors go perfect with the suggested Anejo tequilas; Tequila ArteNOM Selecion 1146, Chinaco Anejo, Orgullo Pueblo Viejo Anejo and Siete Leguas Anejo.

ENJOY THIS BEER WHILE YOU CAN..
The Brewery is Located in Redlands
Address: 1710 Sessums Drive, Redlands, CA 92374
Phone: (909) 389-1400
Map and directions here http://goo.gl/maps/pzVFA

Raul Yrastorza
Las Perlas, General Manager