Tuesday, March 30, 2010

First and Hope Supper Club

This is John Apodaca from Daddy-O's Martinis and I had the opportunity to attend the grand opening of a brand new restaurant / bar called First and Hope Supper Club.  Located in Downtown Los Angeles, at 710 West 1st Street at Hope across from Disney Concert Hall and the Music Center.  The main bar and dinning area are splendidly decorated in a mid century Mad Men look while the smaller lounge/ bar in the back called the Fedora Lounge has a more Art Deco feel to it.

Bartenders and wait staff are dressed in a throwback to the past with white waist jackets, white dress shirts, ties and black trousers, a very classy look not seen in more than 50 years in finer establishments. The uniforms were created by the costume designer of the T.V.show Mad Men and couldn't have done a better job.

The Cocktails that were crafted by expert bartenders, some of the best, since the bar manager Aiden Demarest (formerly from the Edison bar) overseas the spirits and bar menu.  Some friends and I had a chance to sample some tasty libations such as La Revelation, The Statesmen, and The Baby Daisy and none us were disappointed. We also had samples of Hors D'oeuvres that were a celebration in the palate such as the bacon fudge, mini finger sandwiches with roast beef, and cotton candy balls to name a few.

First and Hope is a must for dining and drinking and should be a a priority when visiting Downtown Los Angeles. Please let your friends and family know about it on your social networks.


John Apodaca

Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring Feeling Cocktail

This is John Apodaca from Daddy-O's Martinis and being that it's the second week of Spring, most of us are putting away winter clothes and have started gardening or spring housecleaning. I found a vintage drink that goes along with this season called  Spring Feeling Cocktail, it's very light, refreshing and in my opinion a winner. It's very simple to make at home with only a few ingredients, perfect to serve at your next gathering.

I will be introducing this cocktail Friday April 2, at 9:00 AM on the internet radio show Martini in the morning. You can click on martini vision to watch via live web cam.

 Spring Feeling Cocktail

1 1/2 oz of top shelf Gin (Bombay Sapphire)
3/4 oz of fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz of green Chartreuse

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Los Angeles Cocktail back in Style

This is John Apodaca with Daddy-O's Martinis and
I recently discovered a cocktail that was once popular but now long forgotten, called the Los Angeles Cocktail. I was thumbing through the 1935 edition of Old Mr. Boston Official Bartenders Guide and stumbled upon this gem of a recipe. 

I was unaware that the City of Angels had a classic cocktail named after it and of course I tried it along with some friends and it was fabulous. It's a very simple to make at home for your next gathering. 

Los Angeles Cocktail

Juice of one Lemon 1 - ounce
1 ounce of 1 1/2 oz of Rye or Bourbon Whiskey (Rittenhouse Rye , Makers Mark Whiskey
1 Teaspoon of powdered sugar
1 egg
1 dash of Sweet Vermouth

Shake with cracked ice and strain into a four oz cocktail glass.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

320 Main an oasis for great cocktails

This is John Apodaca with Daddy-O's Martinis and a few weeks ago I wrote an article entitled Thirsty for a classic cocktail in Long Beach and can't find one. Some of the bars I mentioned did not make the grade but there are others that did. One of the places I mentioned was 320 Main in Seal Beach which I call an oasis in a desert of of mediocre bars. 

I found 320 Main back in December of 2009 after working a bartending gig when my friend Mark and I wanted to sit down, enjoy a cocktail and relax. I asked the owner and head bartender Jason Schiffer to make me a classic cocktail called an Old Fashion.  It was so tasty and had such a great balance of flavor that I keep going back to try more drinks.  Jason is a cocktail enthusiast that has a passion for crafting quality vintage style drinks, along with his own creations, making them they way they were intended to be made, using top quality liquor and hard to find ingredients.  

Not only does 320 Main have incredible drinks, it also has a great selection of appetizers and entrees that will satisfy any pallet.  You will find the atmosphere classy but not stuffy, the staff very friendly and you're made to feel welcome when you enter.  I guarantee a great experience and  you'll want to tell you're friends and family about it.

Jason Schiffer also founded the Bartender Cabinet of Orange County, which is a monthly gathering of bartenders  and cocktail enthusiasts and is helping to foster this new trend in quality bartending.  

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Orange Noir Cocktail

Anyone enjoy dark chocolate oranges as much as I do? I've always been a fan of this tasty treat with the wedges that break off for several to enjoy with no excuse needed to savor. What better way to celebrate this classic childhood treat with an adult libation called the Orange Noir?  A tasty blend of dark European chocolate and fresh squeezed orange juice that is irresistible to any palate. 

Put down that chocolate vodka martini and try this cocktail now. This is one of Daddy-O's Martinis latest creations and no one has been disappointed, even the hard core vodka drinkers that claim they don't like the taste of gin.  Everyone who's tried it says it's so tasty they can't even taste the alcohol. Make it for yourself, I guarantee you won't be disappointed.

Orange Noir Cocktail         
1 ounce gin (Bombay Sapphire works well)
1 ounce fresh squeezed orange juice
¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
½ ounce
Mozart Chocolate Pure87 Black (not a brand with cream in it!)
½ ounce
 Creme de Cocoa
Shake all ingredients well with ice.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and 
garnish with a
n orange peel.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Size Really Matters!

This is John Apodaca from Daddy-O's Martinis and I believe that glass size for cocktails really does matter.  As a bartender and cocktail enthusiast I research recipes from vintage cocktail and bartending books from the 19th to the first half of the 20th century.  Most of the ingredients in these recipes will equal approximately three to four ounces per drink. Originally, cocktails were served in 3-4 ounce glasses.  A recipe that size means the cocktail will remain cold and flavorful to the last drop.  As a fellow bartender (Jason from 320 Main in Seal Beach) says, "the last sip should taste as good as the first one".  I agree.

Todays cocktail glasses are usually seven, nine, twelve and sometimes thirteen inches in size.  Most people would think, "I'm getting my moneys worth," but in essence, once they are finished with half the cocktail the drink loses it's initial chill, the flavor is lost, and person will have to order another or finish the drink quickly rather than sip it.  Serving drinks in smaller glasses allows one to savor the flavor, as well as enjoy more than one drink without becoming too intoxicated.

If you prefer a cocktail served in the classic style, have it served in a 3-4 ounce glass.  Both James Beach and Canal Club in Venice Beach, CA, as well as Musso & Frank Grill in downtown Hollywood serve cocktails in glasses of this size.  You can find this stemware in restaurant supply stores such as Surfas in Culver City, CA, Bar Keeper in Silver Lake, CA, or even sometimes at Ikea. For further reference, check out the book Craft of the Cocktail by Dale DeGroff.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

What Defines a good drink?

This is John Apodaca from Daddy-O's Martinis and I’m sharing with you what I believe defines a good drink. For the last three decades the cocktail has fallen on “hard times.” Bartenders no longer craft drinks using organic ingredients such as fresh herbs & fruits, but have substituted ingredients with sweet and sour, and high fructose colored syrups, along with low grade alcohol and consider that to be a good drink.

Since the 1970’s most classic drinks have given way to candy colored drinks that mask the taste of alcohol. Unsuspecting patrons do not know the difference as long as it tastes good. Examples of these “syrupy” concoctions are the cosmopolitan, apple martini or lemon drop.

Over the last five years there has been a classic cocktail renaissance of recipes from the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries that demand top shelf alcohol and include fresh ingredients.  The makings of a good drink should include high grade alcohol such as Bombay Sapphire Gin, VSOP Brandy, or Michter's Rye or Bourbon for better taste and natural ingredients such as fresh fruit juices or herbs in favor of mixes or high fructose syrups. Also balance of flavor is very important. Many say I don’t like this drink because either it was made poorly with well or low grade spirits and syrups or the person behind the bar didn't know how to make it well. It’s like a friend of mine said, he thought he didn’t like meatloaf but it turned out he just didn’t like his mothers.

Some of my favorites are the Classic Martini: gin, vermouth, and a dash of orange bitters; the Side Car: brandy, cointreau and freshly squeezed lemon juice; and the faithful standby, the Whiskey Sour: whisky, fresh lemon juice, powdered sugar and a small egg white.

A great reference I suggest is buy the book Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails and it will give you pages of drinks they way they were intended to be made.


John Apodaca

Welcome to Daddy-O's Martinis

This is Daddy-O's Martinis, Southern California’s premiere source for bartending in the classic style. John ‘The Master’ Apodaca created Daddy-O’s Martinis in response to the increasing demand he found from clients for an alternative to the trendy, yet relatively un-knowledgeable, bartenders currently for hire.

With the growing popularity of ‘retro’ and ‘vintage’ styles in present day pop-culture, it seems people crave anything from the past decades they find new and exciting – including cocktails. There are only a handful of bartenders knowledgeable of any cocktail past the current trends, and of those few, only a dozen or so that continually research and test cocktails from the past and actually go through the pains of acquiring the sometimes hard to find ingredients so their clients can discover for themselves the joys of a well prepared cocktail they may never have heard of.

John is meticulous in searching out original recipes, and procuring the original ingredients giving his cocktails a flavor and texture unequalled amongst average bartenders, even in the most famous bars and hotels. John’s current focus is on cocktails from the pre-revolutionary war period through the mid-1960s. He regularly tests cocktails discovered through his ongoing research, and those that meet with success make it onto his latest discoveries list.

Many clients who were formerly one of the throngs of club-goers and bar hoppers that insist they ‘don’t drink gin’ are shocked to find that, in the hands of a expert bartender like John, gin based drinks take on a whole other flavor and texture. It is also shocking for them to discover that many of the top notch hotels and cocktail lounges these clients used to frequent actually have bartenders that know next to nothing about cocktail preparation, and that any attempt to order even the basic classics like an Old-Fashioned is met many times with a blank stare, or a hastily prepared, virtually undrinkable concoction.

Happily, thanks to craftsmen like John Apodaca whole new generations are discovering the joy of expertly prepared cocktails, as opposed to those hastily thrown together with a powdered mix, a shot from a ‘soda gun’, and subpar ‘well’ quality spirits served by bartenders who don’t know any better.