Tag: Caña

What We’re Reading: Puerto Rican Rum Makes Comeback + What Can I Drink at Thanksgiving Besides Wine?

November 17th, 2011 — 1:52pm

By Larry Olmsted

Puerto Rico bills itself as the “Rum Capital of the World,” and makes a huge amount of the stuff – by some estimates 80% of all rum consumed in the US comes from the territory.

But as a lover of fine rums, Puerto Rico has been off my radar, with most of the best coming from places like Panama, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Trinidad, Barbados, Martinique, and Brazil. In fact, when I chose my top ten rums for National Rum Day earlier this year, there was not one from Puerto Rico on the list.

That just changed, when I got to try Don Q Gran Anejo. Like Bacardi, Don Q is a big manufacturer of mass produced Puerto Rican rum, but this one is much, much different. The distillery blends its best stocks of rums ranging from 3 to 12 years, aged in a mix of white oak and sherry barrels, utilizing the unique Solera blending system used for fine sherries (a “fractional” aging where new liquid is regularly added to old). It has already won numerous top medals in spirits competition and was given an impressive 92 point rating by the Wine Enthusiast.

The Gran Anejo is an interesting color, very light for a dark rum, with a golden hue, almost the color of a blended Scotch like Chivas or Johnnie Walker. At first blush, its taste matches the appearance, very, very smooth and easy to drink, but then you notice a surprising amount of flavor, all of it on the finish – after you think you are done. While I tend to appreciate more full-bodied rums that are still smooth, the Don Q is interesting because almost anyone will like it. It is very approachable, yet it leaves you appreciating the complexity of its layered taste, with hints of caramel, vanilla and cinnamon left on the tongue. If makes you shake your head and say “Ahhh!” after you first try it – and then it makes you want to try more.

The Don Q is not the best rum I have ever tasted, but it certainly joins the upper tier of rums I look forward to drinking, and it makes an exceptional gift, considering its elaborate packaging, beautiful bottle and very reasonable price tag at a suggested retail of $60. The picture here does not do justice, as the bottle comes in an impressive sliding lid box, set in a cradle of gold ribbon.

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/larryolmsted/2011/11/16/puerto-rican-rum-makes-comeback/

For craft rum cocktails, visit Caña Rum Bar in Downtown Los Angeles. View Cana’s drink menu.

MORE GOOD READING: What Can I Drink at Thanksgiving Besides Wine? by the New York Times

LA Weekly’s “Best Of” 2011 Awards featuring Las Perlas, Seven Grand, Cole’s and Caña

October 7th, 2011 — 3:18am

Best Undercover Tiki Bar – 2011
714 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA

Caña doesn’t sport moai, tappan cloth or any of the decorative signifiers that scream “tiki fetish,” but bar manager Allan Katz makes a convincing case that tiki drinks are the missing evolutionary link between America’s golden cocktail era and its swinging cocktail revival. The drinks are precise, nuanced and clever, full of creative riffs on classic recipes. The sharp Tennessee Isle, a rum-based twist on the Sazerac, is made with coconut bitters and overripe mango–infused absinthe. The Misti Dawn Swizzle, a dolled-up gin swizzle, plays passion-fruit and lime juice against each other in perfect tart-sweet balance. With its cheeky drink descriptions,
Caña’s cocktail menu, organized by increasing potency into three sections (Daggers, Pistols and Cannons), makes for some of the city’s best bar literature. At the boozy end of that menu, you’ll find the Twenty-Eight Days Later. Inspired by Don the Beachcomber’s original Zombie, it contains mescal, Tuaca and no less than three kinds of rum swimming in pineapple, pomegranate and passion-fruit juices. It’s classic yet thoroughly modern and, like the rage-filled zombies of the Danny Boyle film for which it was named, it hits hard. 714 W. Olympic Blvd., dwntwn. (213) 817-5321, canarumbar.com.

—Elina Shatkin


Best Cocktails to Set Your Mouth on Fire – 2011
Las Perlas

107 E 6th St
Los Angeles, CA

If there were a sixth taste, one that came after the elusive umami, it might be named Yrastorza after Las Perlas’ manager. Inspired by both his taste for tequila and his Filipino roots, Raul Yrastorza’s cocktails are characterized by ingredients like fresh curry leaves, cumin, mole, smoky chipotle and jalapeño juice. The result of his flavor play is a surprising amount of heat in Las Perlas’ tequila drinks, mellowed by sweet agave syrup and accompanied by the bite of the Mexican spirit; the bar excels at this combination of sweet and spicy. Both the chile-laced Juquila and the bar’s signature Spicy Margarita accomplish a fiery taste that regulars return to. Las Perlas’ tequila- and mezcal-influenced menu changes from week to week, but the peppery cocktails are as consistent as a tequila-infused room spin. Expect your taste buds to be doing the mariachi. 107 E. Sixth St., dwntwn. (213) 988-8355, 213nightlife.com/lasperlas.

—Sophia Kercher


Best Man Cave Downtown – 2011
Seven Grand
515 W 7th St
Los Angeles, CA

Before spirit-themed bars were all the rage, there was Seven Grand. It may not be the biggest or sexiest bar downtown, but it’s the best goddamn place to do the following things, at your leisure, in your own time: Sip a real Old-Fashioned (no cherries whatsoever in sight); puff a cigar, which can be purchased from the bartender and smoked on the patio; and play the part of pool shark. All without having to explain yourself to anybody. Why? It might be the animal trophies mounted on the walls that help make Seven Grand the ultimate mantuary (these include a boar and a bunch of jackalopes). It might even be the small décor details in this dimly lit joint, like the hunting-scene wallpaper in the corridor. But it’s most likely the massive whiskey list, which would excite even the most dyed-in-the-wool dude (or lady) to try ordering something other than a Black Label on the rocks. The fact that the bartenders can chat for hours about the selections doesn’t hurt, either. 515 W. Seventh St., 2nd floor, dwntwn. (213) 614-0736, 213nightlife.com/sevengrand.

—Romina Rosenow


Best Bloody Mary – 2011
118 E 6th St
Los Angeles, CA

A good Bloody Mary will cure your Sunday hangover, send a shock of vitamin C to your system and offer a glimpse into your future as a virile, vegetable-eating individual. Or at least the splash of vodka will make you feel like the latter. Cole’s makes its day-altering Bloody Marys in-house. Created by Cole’s bar manager, the Southern-raised Brent Falco, the brunch cocktail mix is made of pickle juice from Cole’s infamous atomic pickles, horseradish, meat rub from the kitchen and blended tomatoes, along with a handful of other spices. The Bloody Mary mix marinates for 24 hours and is made fresh every week. The resulting Bloody Mary is a savory blend, thick and rich with a kick of spice, served with a stalk of celery and Cole’s signature pickle. The brunch cocktail is particularly coveted among regulars, perhaps because it is only available on weekends until 6 p.m. After finishing three rounds, Bloody Mary drinkers have been known to leave the bar with the strength of Popeye — or at least that’s how they remember it. 118 E. Sixth St., dwntwn. (213) 622-4090, 213nightlife.com/colesfrenchdip.

—Sophia Kercher


This Month at Caña

June 13th, 2011 — 10:24pm

Rum Society: We’ve saved the illest Rum Society yet to chase away your June Gloom. In celebration of this great land of ours whose bounty we’ve managed to make into something worthwhile (Rum of course) Rum Society this month is All-American featuring Charbay and Rene from NoCal as well as Prichard’s from Tennessee. Oh yeah. We’re bringing Marko & Chris, the distillers of Charbay and Rene here to give Rumdood and Allan a break on the talky-talk. RSVPs will be confirmed and seating for this Rum Society will be strictly held to confirmed RSVP’s. The rummy edutainment begins at 9 sharp on Tuesday June 28th. June Gloom? More like June Boom.

139 bottles of Rum on the Wall: Here’s a look at one of the ridiculously freaking many rums that surround you at Caña…

The first rum in this series hails from Puerto Rico and is one of the world’s oldest continually family owned spirits: Don Q. From the clean cane-forward Cristal that provides the horsepower in our Natural Daiquiri to the pleasingly dry Añejo that drives our Far West cocktail in perfect harmony with the grapefruit, thyme, and amaro these rums don’t swap versatility for quality. They marry them.

Wanna bring the magic home? Here’s how we use Don Q Cristal in our daiquiri:

2 oz DQ Cristal
1 oz fresh squeezed lime
.75 oz turbinado sugar simple syrup

Shake with cubes for about 10 seconds.

Pour into whatever vessel you like and enjoy!

To make the syrup just combine equal parts raw sugar and boiling water. It’ll last weeks covered and refrigerated.

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