What We’re Reading: Mad Men, Scotch, Citrus Liqueur, Vintage Vodka, Punch, James Bond and more

April 9th, 2012 — 11:34am

If You Like Mad Men… – Los Angeles Public Library
Whether you watch AMC’s Mad Men for the fashion, the characters, the history, or the writing, these books will sweep you up in the world of 1960s New York, from Madison Avenue to the suburbs. Read More

A Theater Fluent in Scotch – New York Times
The Scotch lover bellying up to a New York theater bar at intermission is lucky if he can score some Dewar’s White Label. At E:Bar, in the Midtown theater complex known as 59E59 Theaters, that same thirsty theatergoer can choose among 20 single malts. There are the bottles you would expect at any halfway decent bar, like Glenfiddich and The Macallan. But E:Bar also stocks also peaty Islay Scotches including Lagavulin, Bowmore and Ardbeg; the smooth, triple-distilled Lowlands whiskey Auchentoshan; and two briny specimens from high up in the Orkney Islands, Highland Park and Scapa. Read More

Citrus Flavored, Corked Till Summer – New York Times
The homemade liqueur is the perfect addition to many a beachy cocktail, served in frosty glasses and sipped on a porch at sunset. The classic daiquiri, the margarita, the (aren’t we done with you yet?) Cosmopolitan and the ever-dangerous Lemon Drop are all made more refreshing by its bright citrus flavor. Read More

Vodka Goes Vintage – Wall Street Journal
Who knew 2008 was a good year for Old Swedish Red spuds?
Terroir, varietals, and vintages: three fancy words most commonly associated with grapes and wine. But with potatoes and vodka? Not so much. Liquor brand Karlsson’s hopes to change that with the U.S. debut this week of its first vintage vodka. Its conception began as a taste experiment by Börje Karlsson. While the master blender was aware that different potato varietals yielded unique flavor profiles (the standard Karlsson’s is made from seven potato types), he wondered if the characteristics of a single kind of spud would change from year to year. Mr. Karlsson produced a vodka made from 2004 Solist potatoes, then made a batch from a 2006 harvest. The difference was dramatic (I tasted it—it is). While a handful of different single-batch, single-varietal Karlsson’s vodkas were released in Sweden, the 2008 Old Swedish Red potato bottling will be the first to go international, with 1,542 of 1,980 bottles designated for the States. It’s interesting stuff—Karlsson’s Gold has always been one of the more flavorful vodkas, but Batch 2008 is even more earthy, peppery and closer to an Aquavit than anything you’d use in a martini. Save the 2008, however, for sipping neat or with ice, accompanied by, say, an oyster plateau. New York’s PDT and Los Angeles’s Comme Ça have it behind the bar or get it online at Read More

How to Make Punchier Punch – Huffington Post
Punch used to be, and ideally still is, something both more spartan and more delicious — and, dare I say, manlier. It should be based around spirits, water, sugar, spice and citrus. Except the citrus is in juice form, not sliced up as peels and left to turn soggy and gross. It’s something like a hand-shaken daiquiri, but made on a larger scale.
We know this thanks to David Wondrich’s fantastic 2010 book Punch: The Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl (Perigee, $30). Wondrich hopes to instruct a new generation on the deceptively simple and unadorned punches of yore (i.e., the 17th through 19th centuries). These were thirstily consumed by pirates and lords and ladies and rogues and students and Charles Dickens. In other words, everyone. Read More

Bland. James Bland. – Huffington Post
But the thing is, even in going more gruff, Daniel Craig still drank martinis, the proverbial tonic of refinement. And obviously shaken, not stirred. Martinis are axiomatically symbolic. Martinis can make a man fit in or stand out. At the bijou Parisian bar on Sunset Boulevard, for example, I order a martini (albeit mine is usually gin, and dirty) and the patrons across the room raise their own conic goblets for an air toast, assuming me to be a boulevardier just like them. I order the same drink at the local dive bar and suddenly I’m an anachronism that needs to get the hell out of Dodge before someone smashes a Heineken bottle on my head.
So even with Daniel Craig, I felt confident that the world was right because he still drank martinis.
Well, my devoted Bond comrades, that’s all about to end. Bond will be much more plebeian when the next movie comes out. He is ditching the martini for a Heineken. Read More

Opa To It – Tasting Table
Rinse and raise your glass with American ouzo
Poor absinthe.
First it was banned from the States due to its purported hallucinogenic effects. Now it’s too frequently used in cocktails as a mere “rinse.” It’s a shame, but understandable: The potent anise-flavored elixir is too strong to warrant prime billing.
Still, we’ve found an anise-flavored concoction that is smooth enough to take on a larger role: Old Sugar Distillery’s Americanaki Ouzo ($34 for 750 ml). Read More

This Weekend with 213

April 5th, 2012 — 12:29pm

Friday, April 6th

Casey’s Irish Pub – Downtown/Union
LA’s indie-driven rock band, Downtown/Union, has been a regular fixture in local music scene since 2006. Although the band has been through many incarnations, from a stripped down two-piece to a bombastic seven member rock n’ roll gang, principle song writers, B. Bory and Jeff Electric, have always managed to consistently churn out catchy, high powered, heartfelt songs. This time around, the band has solidified its ranks by adding new permanent members, bass guitarist, Andy Bartlett, and veteran guitar wielder, John Klein, to the lineup, giving them a renewed sense of purpose, energy, and focus; not to mention a whole new batch of tunes.

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 – Kapsoul Records
What does Jazz, Funk, Soul, Rare Groove Disco have in common with Tequila? Las Perlas!!!! That’s right Kapsoul Records presents every Friday at Las Perlas with DJ Kap, Ohmae & Chikaramanga. Come in and get drunk…. Or stay sober depending on what you’re in to.

Saturday, April 7th

Casey’s Irish Pub – Modern Time Machines
Modern Time Machines’ blend of gauzy space rock atmospherics plus pop songwriting sensibility that has drawn comparisons to Sonic Youth, Medicine, and Silversun Pickups, yet they have crafted their own unique, distinctive sound. MTM combine ’60s psychedelia, boy/girl vocal harmonies, feedback-laced love songs and yes, time travel, into a riotous melange of beautiful noise.

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!

Mix This: Mon Amie

April 4th, 2012 — 3:56pm

Mon Amie
.5 – P.F. 1840 Cognac
.5 – Bulleit Rye
1.0 – Campari
1.0 – Antica Vermouth
- Stir and strain on big rock in old fashioned glass. Flame and discard lemon twist.

Borrowing from Boulevardier this is one of my all-time favorite drinks; The rare cocktail of ours I fix for myself at a night’s end. Our house cognac, Pierre Ferrand 1840 is unlike 99.8% of its peers as it clocks in at 90 proof and can stand with damn near any other spirit and retain its character. Bulleit’s rye is often mistaken for its forebearers. This stuff is Canadian in origin, and thusly much softer than the dominant grain in fireplug ryes like Rittenhouse and Wild Turkey, or “The Kickin’ Chicken” as it’s known in my house. So pairing it with Cognac was an easy mark. It’s a great drink for making friends too, if ya know what I mean.

Allan Katz, Caña Rum Bar, GM