Canadian Club Reserve and Classic: Award-Winning Whiskies from the City of Roses

February 24, 2010

With the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics capturing headlines and firing up international passions, the booze fairy thought it would be appropriate to send me two expressions from the Canadian Club range of blended whiskies: the Canadian Club Reserve 10 Year Old and the Canadian Club Classic 12 Year Old. Founded in 1858 by Hiram Walker,…

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La Descarga: A Postcard from Old Havana

February 9, 2010

“My mojito in La Bodeguita, My daiquiri in El Floridita.” ~ Ernest Hemingway Hemingway’s handwritten tribute to his favorite cocktails can be found at La Bodeguita del Medio, one of his regular haunts in Havana. Papa would no doubt feel right at home at La Descarga, the East Hollywood bar that opened last Tuesday to…

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Tequila Semental Takes the Agave by the Horns

February 5, 2010

Founded by Efrain Lopez Gurza in 2007, Tequila Semental is an ultra premium line of triple distilled, 100% blue agave tequilas. According to its press materials, Tequila Semental derives its name from a special caste of “the bravest and most powerful bulls,” known as Sementals, that protected agave fields in ancient times. Gurza’s youthful experience…

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All the Booze That’s Fit to Print – January 2010

January 31, 2010

An occasional roundup of L.A. cocktail culture in various media. Before recapping a busy January 2010 (see below) let’s take one last look at December 2009 and the decade that was. In its Dec. 29th edition, the NY Times published A Decade of Invention and Reinvention, its look at mixology trends of the decade. Topping…

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When Scotland Met Portugal: The Balvenie Madeira Cask 17 Year Old

January 4, 2010

The Balvenie has been called “the bourbon lover’s scotch,” a perfect description of the smooth, honeyed sweetness found in the Speyside distillery’s single malts. For the last several years, Balvenie has been one of the foremost practitioners of the wood-finished style, in which traditionally-aged Scotch is “finished” for an additional two years (or more) in…

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The Tar Pit is Simply Swellegant

December 18, 2009

It all started with a text message from Rivera‘s Julian Cox: “You, me, Thursday Friends and Family, Tar Pit. You down?” Hmm…go to a sneak preview of the most talked-about bar in town? Gosh, tough call! After carefully pulling my car over to text my reply, plans were arranged and we headed out to a…

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Sampling Nuovi Classici at Drago Centro

November 14, 2009

photos by Lena Watanabe To promote the debut of its latest Nuovi Classici (“new classics”) cocktail menu, Drago Centro recently offered the entire list at $8 per drink (compared to the usual $12 price) for one day only. Never one to pass up a great deal, I met the crew at Drago on a crisp…

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A Toast to the Season: Rivera's Fall Cocktail Menu

November 2, 2009

Last Thursday, Rivera’s Julian Cox unveiled eight new cocktails (of a planned twelve) from his eagerly awaited Fall Menu. To mark the occasion, the new drinks were priced at $5 each, to go with a selection of $7 classics such as the Blood & Sand and Dark & Stormy. Our crew enthusiastically dove into the…

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Mixed Messages Sent By Rockwell

September 30, 2009

~ photos by Lena Watanabe After numerous delays, the highly anticipated Rockwell VT officially debuts with a Grand Opening Weekend on October 1-4. In the meantime, Rockwell has been in soft opening mode, and last Thursday our group stopped in to check out the newest addition to bustling Vermont Avenue. On our arrival, we were…

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Sipping the Summer During Sunday Supper

August 12, 2009

Sunday Suppers at Lucques have become an L.A. dining institution, a guaranteed splendid evening at any time of the year. This past Sunday, to kill some time while waiting for another Comme Ca Block Party to begin, I stopped by Lucques, not knowing it happened to be the 9th Annual All-American Rib Fest. (Lucques staff…

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