What We’re Reading: Cocktail history, dream jobs, 6 things you probably didn’t know about bourbon and more

October 25th, 2012 — 10:59am

Apple Growers Turn to Cider – Wall Street Journal

Elizabeth Ryan knows the ax could fall on Stone Ridge Orchard any moment. The sweeping 117-acre property that she has rented and operated for the past five years is for sale, its cresting hills and thousands of crooked, fruit-heavy trees atrisk to be razed by the first approved buyer. Now, like many apple growers, Ms. Ryan is looking in part to an unlikely savior: hard cider. Ms. Ryan has raised $1 million to buy the farm herself, she said. The centerpiece of her proposal: a 10-acre French-style cider orchard and tasting room, featuring apple varieties that are difficult to find in the U.S.


A Cocktail History Lesson, Page by Page – New York Times

Bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts intent on searching out-of-print cocktail books for the bygone mixology secrets therein need to have a lot of money, a lot of luck and quick eBay reflexes. In the near future, however, they may only need Internet access. Rémy Cointreau, the French liquor conglomerate, has assembled and digitized a collection of roughly 300 historic and rare first-edition books of cocktails, dating from 1862. The entire collection, which includes titles like “Snake Bites or Something” and “When It’s Cocktail Time in Cuba,” will be on display, in both material and digital form, from Sunday to Tuesday at a pop-up event space at 632 Hudson Street called La Maison Cointreau.


Barley Genome Breakthrough May Lead To Better Beer – Huffington Post

An international consortium of scientists has published a high resolution draft of the barley genome in a move that could not only improve yields and disease resistance but may also hold the key to better beer. “This research will streamline efforts to improve barley production through breeding for improved varieties,” said Professor Robbie Waugh, of Scotland’s James Hutton Institute, who led the research. “This could be varieties better able to withstand pests and disease, deal with adverse environmental conditions, or even provide grain better suited for beer and brewing.” Barley which has been malted is a key ingredient in brewing beer along with hops and yeast.


Dream Jobs: Rachel Barrie, Master Blender, Morrison Bowmore Distilleries – Forbes

110,000 casks of whisky later, Barrie is the master blender of Morrison Bowmore Distillers <> , the 60-year-old distillery that just happens to create the same “nippy juice” her granny nicked her decades ago, Glen Garioch. Talk about a Dream Job. <> If women are underrepresented in the lab-coated world of science, <> a female nose in the men’s club of single malt Scotch whiskies is an absolute anomoly: a chemist whose 21 years creating single matls has earned her the rare distinction of becoming the first female Master Blender.


Dewar’s – A Woman’s Scotch Whisky? – Forbes

Few industries remain as traditionally masculine as the Scotch whisky business,where those at the highest levels of whisky making are almost exclusively male. If you don’t believe me, just Google “Scotch-women-master-distiller.” I did and found exactly one candidate for the highest position available in the creation of single malt whisky, Kristy Lark. Except she’s making whisky in Tasmania, about as far as you can get from Scotland. But the glass bottle ceiling is not completely hopeless. After all, Scotch whisky is not just about single maltdistillation – we drink far more blended Scotch than single malt or single barrel, and few brands sell more Scotch than John Dewar’s & Sons <> , better known simply as Dewar’s. To say Dewar’s is a woman’s whisky is both accurate and an anomaly, since the person in charge of making the stuff, since 2006, has been Master Blender Stephanie Macleod, only the seventh person in the 160-year history of the venerable house to hold that title, and the first female to do so.


Beer Notes: the return of pumpkin ale – Los Angeles Times

It certainly hasn’t felt like fall in recent weeks as temperatures have topped 90 degrees in parts of the Southland. Yet regardless of the reading on the thermostat, two Orange County craft breweries are keeping an autumn tradition alive. Taps Fish House & Brewery and Bootlegger’s Brewery, separated only by about five miles, are once again serving a pumpkin ale. The style, oftenspiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, is a regular sighting at supermarket beer sections this time of year, but more rare is a spotting at an area craft brewery.


6 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Bourbon – Forbes

Bourbon Is Subject To Serious Regulation, Your Favorite Scotch May Have Some Bourbon In It, The Name “Bourbon”? Its Roots Are Controversial, Most Bourbons Don’t Make An Age Claim, Bourbon Has To Come From The US, The Following Things Will Make A Bartender Laugh At You


How to Mix: Beer and Liquor –

Maybe it’s all the college and pro football games on TV or the start of the baseball playoffs, but we’re suddenly craving a brewski. While we’ll skip the Oktoberfest lederhosen and polka, thank you very much, beer’s malty flavor works great in an autumnal cocktail. Fortunately, this summer’s Tales of the Cocktail conference <> offered a masterclass in building sudsy concoctions, hosted by Chicago bartender Adam Seger, master sommelier Doug Frost and Southern Wine& Spirits director of mixology Francesco Lafranconi. The most surprising piece of advice? Avoid hop-heavy IPAs, which tend to take over any recipe. Instead, the experts suggested using Belgian ales, whose acidic, fruity andoften funky notes play much better with spirits.


Shake the Tree: The American cider renaissance has come – Wall Street Journal

Luckily, American cider is enjoying a renaissance, stoked by adventurous cider-makers inspired, as I was, by a mix of European tradition and craft-beer ingenuity. While English ciders tend to be tannic and dry, French sweet and musky, and Spanish refreshingly tart, American cider has yet to come into its own. So it makes sense that when Anheuser-Busch bought theChicago craft brewery Goose Island, brewmaster Greg Hall lighted out for unexplored territory and started making his own under the label Virtue. Hisflagship cider, RedStreak, is an English dry style with the citrusy twist of a gin and tonic; he’ll soon release Lapinette, a funky French brut cider; andMitten, cider aged in whiskey barrels. Other cider-makers, like Minneapolis-based (and MillerCoors-owned) Crispin, play with Belgian beer yeasts; some even use hops. Sound familiar? Sure, microbrewers pioneered these tricks, and the industries overlap plenty. Harpoon Brewery started its cider program in 2007, after—naturally—a pilgrimage to England. Meanwhile, Dogfish Head recently released a beer-cider blend called Positive Contact.


Feeling Rummy (In A Good Way) – New York Times

It also struck me that rum (I like the darker stuff best) is a good choice this time of year. Its spicy warmth suggests autumn, but its Caribbean provenance says summer. I made him a variation on an Apple Rum Rickey. I’m a fan of Laird’s applejack — a strong, venerable American spirit made with apples — and it complements rum nicely. And without some fresh lime juice, it wouldn’t be a rickey at all. But I reined in the soda content; just a splash or two will do.


Mariposa Agave Liqueur Flutters Into Select Cities – Forbes

Heaven Hill Distilleries has come up with one of the most interesting liqueurs since St Germain flooded the market a few years back. Mariposa (Spanish for ‘butterfly’) is the first agave liqueur made from agave nectar, tequila, and vodka then enhanced with rose oil and gardenia. The nose is balanced with agave, vegetal and floral notes. The palate is thick (well duh it’s a liqueur), and has a unique start to finish of the sweet agave and ending with tequila.


Our Top 5 Autumn Apple Cocktails –

As hazy, hot and humid summer gives way to dewy and cool fall, it’s time to forget about fixing cocktails with ripe berries and fresh cherries and instead use another seasonal mixological staple: apples. Sweet and sometimes tart, apples come in dozens of varieties and taste great in both hot and chilled concoctions. Best of all, the fruit works with many different types of liquor. So, toast the apple harvest and crisp autumnal weather with these five mouth-watering cocktails. We’ll see you at the orchard!


Japanese Whiskeys, Translated From the Scottish – New York Times

After decades as an also-ran in the American whiskey market, Japanese whiskey is on the ascent. Last year, Suntory’s sales in the United States rose 44 percent, according to the company, which found it difficult to keep up with demand. So it increased prices of the Yamazaki 12- and 18-year-olds by 10 percent lastyear and this year. “We like the consumer to recognize Japanese whiskey as very high end,” said Yoshihiro Morita, Suntory’s executive manager for American sales and marketing.


Music Monday: ViSE ViRSA Every Saturday in November at Casey’s Irish Pub

October 22nd, 2012 — 5:17pm

Ever hear of the band ViSE ViRSA? If you’re like most, you never have. But great music will prevail and at 213 we believe that. Casey’s intends to change that and you can get up close and personal with them every Saturday in November. With their blend of indie rock and twang noise they will be tappin’ toes and drinkin’ whiskey. Of course like always there is no cover. Enjoy the show and the show will enjoy you.

Dave Freeman – 213 Music Director

Cole’s Mustard Fan Mail

October 22nd, 2012 — 12:00pm

Sometimes at Cole’s we get mail from patrons with suggestions, questions and very rarely complaints. However this time we received some praise… Hallelujah! Enjoy!

Name: Joe
Message: I have owned a cheese steak and hoagie shop in VA. For 30 years. My Italian hoagie has always been my choice of my last meal if I were on death row, until I ate at your place a few weeks back. We had the beef and lamb. It was the best meal we had in LA. I think I might have had an orgasm. Not sure cause I’m old.

Ok, I’ve kissed your ass sufficiently. Are you able to ship your mustard? It would only be for my personal use, but I’ve gone through the jar I bought already and want more. If you are able to, I would love a case, if not I’ll buy a crap load of it my next time out. My hat goes off to you. F that other place.

Thanks Joe!