Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Daddy-O's Martinis Blog: The waning of wine in Los Angeles

Daddy-O's Martinis Blog: The waning of wine in Los Angeles: As more adults are enjoying such libations as side cars, juleps, and the carefully crafted drinks of local known mixologists, such as Tyler ...

The waning of wine in Los Angeles

As more adults are enjoying such libations as side cars, juleps, and the carefully crafted drinks of local known mixologists, such as Tyler Dow, Greg Bryson and Audrey Saunders wine sales continue to decrease in Los Angeles.  I see lots of wine bars but not filled with that many patrons. On the other hand, if I go to places such as Drago Centro, Historia Del Piccalo or Neat bar it's usually filled to capacity with customers desiring a great cocktail with several ingredients can be recreated,Wine however can not be reduplicated because of complexity of grape, region and temperature.

The trend for pre and prohibition style cocktails is steadily gaining momentum that wine sommeliers are going to have to make some changes at their own venues and add cocktails or fall to the wayside. Being a wine snob is no longer in vogue just like a vodka snob over 10 years ago. Make way, the rise of craft cocktail is not just a trend but like so many top chef style establishments, liquid cooking is here to stay.

Cheers and God bless,

John Apodaca

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Champagne Julep

When the clock strikes midnight and the glasses are raised to bring in the new year, what drink will you have to be toasting with?  Rather than than plain champagne, why not have the bartender make you a champagne julep.

The drink is a cousin of the traditional mint julep but with a bit of the bubbly to add flavor and make it more of a celebratory cocktail for new years and other occasions. Like with cooking, the quality of ingredients used can either make or break a drink. I strongly recommend using better grades of bourbon, such as Buffalo Trace, Wood ford reserve or Bullet along with champagne such as Moet or Veuve Clicquot.

This drink is a winner and I wish you and yours a very happy and prosperous new year.

God bless and cheers,

John Apodaca

Chamagne Julep

1 1/2 - 2 oz of Bourbon
1/2 oz simple syrup
5 - 7 mint leaves
Champagne ( dry)
mint sprig for garnish

Muddle mint leaves with simple syrup at the bottom of a julep cup or Collins glass.  Add bourbon, crushed ice and top off with champagne. Swizzle until glass or cup is frosted and garnish with a mint sprig.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sassafras Bar now open

I had the pleasure of going to a soft opening of Sassafras bar in Hollywood. As I walked in, it reminded me of being in New Orleans, very southern themed with sitting parlors, lamps with fringe, a taxidermist bear, worn walls and above the bar is a dry cleaning rack with barrel aged cocktails that rotates. I tried several of the house cocktails and if your a bourbon lover like me I do recommend the Sassafras Royal, Peppercorn Cobbler and the Toasted Pecan Julep for starters. 

Sassafras was started by the 1933 Group which also brought about Oldfields liquor room, Bigfoot lodge, Thirsty Crow to name a few. If your taste is for a good cocktail, without having to instruct a bartender how to make it this is the place for you and some friends to check out. If your not sure what to order, they have a menu you can choose from or they have build a buck which you choose your choice of spirit along with their housemade ginger beer. If you're hungry,  they have food such as jambalaya, Cajun cheese medallions with grilled jalapenos, and short-rib sliders marinated in coke.  If you're looking to get out and try someplace new, stop by Sassafras bar and bring someone with you. 

God bless and Cheers,

John Apodaca 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Manhattan Cocktail vs. the Manhattan

The Manhattan Cocktail that is being served today is quite a different recipe from its former glory days in the latter half of the nineteenth century.  The cocktail in it's original first appeared in books such as how to mix drinks as well as Harry Johnson's 1882 Bartenders Manual.  The forgotten recipe has a higher ratio of sweet vermouth than we know today along with orange Curacao, Boker's bitters and served straight up with a lemon twist.  Cherry's in Manhattans came much later as our cultural drinking habits changed.  

I've tried this version and prefer it much more than the contemporary Manhattan.  I've met others that said they've ordered Manhattans and thought they didn't like the drink but had they tried this cocktail they would have added it to their black book of favorite drinks.  I stress to use quality ingredients as opposed to what's less expensive otherwise you'll end up with drink that's not palatable. 

God bless and Cheers,

John Apodaca 

Manhattan Cocktail 

1 1/2 Rittenhouse 100-proof rye
1 3/4 oz Carpano Antica sweet vermouth 
1/2 oz  Orange Curacao 
Dash of Boker's bitters
Lemon Peel for Garnish

Place ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously and serve in a chilled cocktail glass with a lemon peal for garnish. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

The 50 / 50 Martini

The 50 / 50 Martini

The 50 / 50 Martini is a close relative to the original classic martini.  Over the years martinis have gotten to a point where the bartender just looks at the vermouth rather than adding it.  What makes this cocktail special is that rather than a 4 to 1 ratio of gin to vermouth (as in a ‘dry’ martini) it's half gin and half vermouth, which allows for enjoyment of the taste of both ingredients.  It’s a great way to start off if you’re a novice gin drinker.  One type of vermouth I recently tried in the 50/50 is called Aperitivo Cocchi Americano.  It's very close to the former Kina Lillet manufactured in France in the 19th century, but no longer exists in its original formula.  Before its recipe was altered in 1985, Lillet Blanc was the modern substitute.  Now Aperitivo Chocchi Americano is as close to it as you can get, and makes the 50/50 Martini very tasty! 

The  50 / 50 Martini

2 ounces of top shelf gin (Caorunn brand is excellent)
2 ounces of Aperitivo Cocchi Americano
1 twist of lemon peel

Shake or stir ingredients with ice, pour into a chilled cocktail glass add a lemon peel for garnish. 

God bless and cheers,

John Apodaca 

Monday, February 6, 2012

2012 is year of the Golden Dragon

I recently attended the Chinese New Year parade in downtown Los Angeles last month and 2012 is the lunar year of the Dragon in the Chinese calendar.  In honor of this occurance, I came up with a cocktail that has elements of ginger, mint and mandarin orange that give it great balance of flavor and spice that make you want to come back for more.

God bless & Cheers,

John Apodaca

The Golden Dragon

3 oz of White Rum
1/2 oz of fresh Mandarin orange juice
1 oz of Canton liqueur
1 sprig of mint

Muddle mint leaves with Canton liqueur, strain liquid portion into a cocktail shaker.  Combine remaining ingredients with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.