Spirit Guide: Egyptian Theater Screening “The Roaring Twenties” / California Alcohol Production During Prohibition – Saturday, January 25th, 2pm

January 23rd, 2014 — 12:49pm

The term “speakeasy” has become shorthand to describe a classic cocktail bar with a vintage aesthetic.  We’re not very concerned with titles or labels, but we probably wouldn’t refer to ourselves as a “speakeasy.”  This is partly because we don’t want people to feel they need to know someone to get in, but mostly because prohibition was a Goddamned tragedy: Bartenders and restaurant professionals lost their livelihoods or were made criminals; organized crime flourished; and thousands of Americans died drinking poisonous alcohol.

If you’re a history nerd and you like to drink, we might see you at the legendary Egyptian Theater this Saturday, January 25th.  The American Cinematheque and The Art Deco Society are celebrating the 80th anniversary of the repeal of the Volstead Act with a screening of 1939’s The Roaring Twenties, starring James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart.  The film will be followed by “an illustrated talk from chef, educator and historian Ernest Miller on the alcohol industry around the time of Prohibition.”  The event will focus on the history of prohibition-era Los Angeles, with a discussion of what the local spirits industry could have been.

For more information, visit

Max Seaman / The Varnish / General Manager

Mix This: Cole’s Old Fashioned w/ Max Maxey

January 21st, 2014 — 1:30pm

Cole's Old Fashioned
In the cocktail world, there are three cocktails I consider to be the Holy Trinity. These three drinks- the Old Fashioned, the Manhattan, and the Sazerac – are the corner stones of today’s cocktails, and being that I hope to make this entry part of a series, I’m going to start with the granddaddy of them all – The Old Fashioned. At Cole’s , we are known for our Old Fashioneds, and now have this popular drink on draft, ensuring both speed and consistency for our customers.

The Old Fashioned was first seen in print in 1806, when a reader asked about a new drink he had tried that was made with bitters and resembled a sling. Since then, there have been many variations of this cocktail. However, being that Cole’s is Los Angeles’ oldest bar, I like to think we create our Old Fashioneds as close to the original as a person can get.

The first step is to use a good quality bourbon. Back during the time the Old Fashioned was born, whiskeys would all have been 100 proof or higher. I believe using a goodbourbon as close to a bonded 100 proof as possible, is essential in capturing the original feel of the drink. At Cole’s we currently are implementing a barrel program. This means we select a barrel from the distillery to use on our drinks making them one-of-a-kind. Currently, we are using a 10 year aged Henry McKenna 100 proof bonded to make our Old Fashioned.

- 1 sugar cube
- 2-3 dashes of Angostura bitters
- 2 oz. Bourbon
- Ice
- Lemon peel
- Orange peel
- Luxardo cherry

Place a sugar cube in an Old Fashioned glass and add the 2-3 dashes of bitters
Muddle sugar cube with bitters
Add 2 oz. of Bourbon and stir
Add ice (preferably a block)
Stir 20 – 30 times.
Rim the glass with both the lemon and orange peel
Add peels and cherry to garnish

Don ‘Max’ Maxey / Cole’s Red Car Bar / Bar Manager

Seven Grand DTLA Whiskey Society: Smooth Ambler w/ John Foster & Bar Jacklope Opening Monday, 1/27 @ 7pm

January 21st, 2014 — 11:19am

Smooth Ambler Vert
In our continuing efforts to champion the craft distilling movement in the U.S., we are hosting John Foster from Smooth Ambler on Monday, January 27th at 7pm. John will educate and taste us on the full line of whiskies they offer. A Welcome Punch will be served at 6:30pm, so come early and get cozy with your neighbors. Latecomers will not be seated but can wait at the bar and enjoy Smooth Ambler drink specials with their paid-up membership card.

Monday the 27th will also be the opening of Bar Jacklope, a new sipping lounge and tasting library in the back of Seven Grand. Bar Jackalope will be where you can explore the world of whiskies, 5 nights a week, and deepen your understanding of the whiskies you learn about through the Whiskey Society.

RSVP now on the below to meet John and learn more about this amazing West Virginia Distillery:

Register Here!

Memberships for the 7GWS can be purchased at the bar, dues are $120 per year and allow you to bring a guest to any event. First-timers can pay a $15 fee.

I’m doing another event at the Kirk Douglas Theater in Culver City next weekend, for all Samuel Beckett fans out there, check this link: Beckett and Jameson at the Kirk Douglas Theater 

Check out the great distillery video about Smooth Ambler below. Don’t miss out on this one.

Pedro, still sipping Four Roses 7G Single Barrel. Can’t get enough of the good stuff.

Pedro Shanahan
Spirit Guide, Seven Grand Whiskey Bar
Co-curator, Whiskey Society

Smooth Ambler, A West Virginia Distillery: A Greenhouse Film from Southern Foodways on Vimeo.

For more information on the 7GWS:

For more information on Private Tastings:

Our travels to Ireland: 7G Boys Tour Ireland!