Mix This: The Puro

March 21st, 2012 — 4:57pm

The puro cocktail is the cocktail of choice of our staff here at Las Perlas. We call it “a big boy cocktail”.

We prefer that you use one of the two suggested brands of mezcal for this cocktail.

Del Maguey Minero Mezcal
This forgotten mezcal from Del Maguey is amazing and its style is unique to others made outside of the area of Minas.  While other Mezcals use a still made of copper and use rubber tubing, Minero uses a clay still with bamboo tubing to extract the mezcal from the still. The clay and bamboo help create a mezcal with a wonderful fruitiness to go a long with the slight smoke in the background. Minero™ has a nose full of flower essence, vanilla, figs, with a burnt honey flavor and a bit of lemon. Minero is deep and warm, sweet all the way to the finish.


Fidencio Madrecuixe Mezcal
Is a low yield, wild agave, foraged in the mountains of San Baltazar Guelavila. The agave is harvested after 12 years, and roasted five days in the ground with black oak. Double distilled and bottled undiluted, Joven (unaged). The nose is mineral and floral. The smoke is bold which is balanced with firm, mouthwatering acidity with notes of toffee and stone. The mouth feel is unctuous and leathery. The finish is long and dry. This is a full bodied, complex sipper.

- 2oz Del Maguey Minero
- 2oz Fidencio Madrecuixe
- 1 Old Fashion Glass
- Muddle 1 Bitter Truth Chocolate Mole bitters soaked sugar cube w/ a small splash of water
- Ice (preferably a single large cube that fits the glassware)
- Stir until cold and to taste
- 1 grapefruit twist (do not stir into cocktail, just twist to extract oil and lay down the inside of cocktail)
- Garnish with a mezcal infused (optional) Luxardo cheery or just a regualr Luxardo Cherry


Raul Yrastorza
Las Perlas- Mezcal and Tequila
General Manager

What We’re Drinking: Penny Pound Ice with Eric Alperin

March 20th, 2012 — 1:12pm

Why Ice & Where does it come from?

This is a Clinebell machine. It re enacts how a lake freezes water, but in this case from the bottom up. An air pump circulates the basin filled with water allowing the impurities to rise to the top and escape. The pure water molecules, which freeze before the impure molecules, have a chance to freeze clear. This is the basic “science” behind these clear blocks.

“Block ice in house is like baking your own bread or roasting your own coffee beans.” – Eric Alperin

We think ice is “cool” because it’s all about durability!

“Ice is the bartender’s flame.” –Eric Alperin

It is what bartenders use to “cook” our cocktails, so why not use the best quality and most durable ice you can get your hands on.


•Ice is nearly always an absolute essential for any Cocktail.
•Never use the same ice twice.
•Remember that the ingredients mix better in a shaker that is rather larger than it is necessary to contain them.
•Shake the shaker as hard as you can: don’t just rock it: you are trying to wake it up, not send it to sleep!
•If possible, ice your glasses before using them.
•Drink your cocktail as soon as possible. Harry Craddock* was once asked what was the best way to drink a Cocktail; “Quickly,” replied that great man, “while it’s laughing at you!”

From page 9 of the 1999 reprint of “The Savoy Cocktail Book” by Harry Craddock, 1930

Some of the styles of ice we use:

Crushed Ice: A style of ice that is similar to the shape and size of a pebble and is often used in juleps, cobblers, and fixes. Crushed ice is beneficial to achieving lower temperatures and optimal water content in the aforementioned cocktails, as the rate of cooling is primarily governed by the quantity and average radius of the ice particles.

Shaking ice: A style of ice that is also produced through the same labor-intensive process as “rock” ice utilizing various instruments expressly wielded for such a purpose. As its name would imply, shaking ice is intended for use in cocktails that are shaken, and served “up” and also those that are shaken, and served “down”. The dimensions of a piece of shaking ice are approximately two inches on each facet. Shaking ice is an essential element in the preparation and service of a cold, balanced, and lively cocktail with no more than 30% overall water content.

Cracked ice: Also referred to as “stirring ice” these miscellaneous shards of ice are in no way indistinguishable in shape, however they maintain a consistent overall appearance and function as the byproduct of the cumulative production of “rock” and shaking ice (see below). Cracked/stirring ice is integral to the achievement of optimal temperature and water content in the preparation of any and all stirred cocktails as well as in the making of any variety of Smash or Caipirinha-style cocktails.

Collins “spear”: A style of ice that is designed to satisfy the dimensions of approximately one and a half inches in width and five and a half inches in length. This ice is specifically designed to accommodate cocktails being served in a Collins (or highball) glass. The Collins spear ensures that a cocktail will stay colder for a longer period of time and retain an optimal rate of water content and not over dilute because the spear has less surface area then a handful of cubes in the glass.

“Rock” ice: A style of ice that is produced via the careful dissection of large blocks of slow-frozen water that is devoid of oxygen bubbles or striations and free of trace minerals or other visible pollutants, thus lending it a “crystal-clear” aspect. As these pieces of ice are hand-cut, their approximate dimensions are between 2 1/4” and 2 1/2” on each facet. Like snowflakes, “rock” ice is not individually identical in shape, however they are uniform in service. “Rock” ice is specifically designed to accommodate cocktails being served in a Whiskey or a double rocks/double Old Fashioned glass. In accordance with the theory behind the Collins spear, the use of “rock” ice ensures that a cocktail will stay colder for a longer period of time and retain an optimal rate of water content (in comparison with more traditional methods of ice service), as the surface area of the “rock” is relative to the size of the glass and the liquid volume of the cocktail.

These forms of ice are achieved with various tools and cutting methods.

Come down to The Varnish and join us for an ice cold cocktail soon.


Eric Alperin, The Varnish

**The information & research contained herein was shared between Dutch Kills/Hundred Weight Ice New York City & Penny Pound Ice Los Angeles.

Music Monday: Modern Time Machines

March 19th, 2012 — 4:46pm

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.

Kevin Bronson of the LA Buzzbands music blog has stated Modern Time Machines’ “cocktail of fuzzed-out dissonance and cirrus melody gets sweeter with each outing…fans of Swervedriver, Medicine and [Smashing Pumpkins] should take note.”

Modern Time Machines’ highly anticipated debut full-length album “Continuity Girl” will be released nationally on May 22, 2012.

Co-produced by Josiah Mazzaschi (Light FM, Pity Party, The Jesus & Mary Chain), and Steven Rhodes (Silversun Pickups, Darker My Love, Twilight Sleep), “Continuity Girl” envelops the listener in frenzied, layered guitar/ string soundscapes, and catchy, bittersweet vocal textures. The album’s contributors include Sundance Film Composers Lab vet Chanda Dancy, whose violin virtuosity weaves throughout; listeners may also recognize vocalist Breanne Martin from her work with HUM’s Matt Talbot in Open Hand.

You can catch them every Saturday in April at Casey’s with friends. We hope to see you, on the other side.

Dave Freeman – Music Director for 213