Tag Archives: Cocktails

James Bond Drinks

Drinking With Bond, James Bond

There are brew guys, whiskey rye guys, guys who sip alcohol on the rocks and gentlemen who prefer something of a different class: champagne, wine, or specially prepared cocktails. James Bond is no ordinary man, he is a gentleman who orders his martinis shaken not stirred…right? 50 years, 6 different actors, X novels, 22 films, and countless luxury brand associations, Skyfall , the 23rd Bond film in the 007 franchise is finally suggesting “some things shouldn’t be shaken or stirred” when Bond takes a swig of his ice cold… Heineken…. Really?!? James Bond drinks Heineken! I suppose audiences shouldn’t really be surprised considering Bond’s Vodka of choice is Smirnoff, champagne: Bollinger, and Gin: Gordon’s suggesting no pretentious air about our favorite British Agent. Bond drinks a total of 317 alcoholic beverages throughout the novels averaging about one every seven pages and Perrier (used only to “improve a poor drink”) may be the only brand association I agree should touch this culturally refined character’s parched lips.

Bond’s Top 10 Go-To Beverages + Heineken for Good Measure:

  1. Vodka/Gin Martini (Smirinoff)
  2. Scotch Soda (21 mentions in the novels)
  3. Champagne (Bollinger totally 35 mentions)
  4. Red wine (Chateau Mouton Rothschild totaling 10 mentions)
  5. Vodka/Gin and Tonic (Gordon’s Gin)
  6. The “Vesper” (named after Bond Girl, Vesper Lynd)
  7. Mojito (exclusive to 2002’s Die Another Day)
  8. The Americano (Perrier is used to “improve this poor drink”)
  9. The Old Fashioned

10. The Stinger (His favorite to share with Tiffany in Diamonds are Forever paired with coffee an a touch of crème de menthe)

11. Heineken (featured in the 1st bond film, Dr. NO)

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Make a “Vesper” Exactly How Bond Prescribes:

The Vesper named after the Bond girl, Vesper Lynd, in the book and later film “Casino Royale Claims to invent and only actually drinks in Casino Royale.

The recipe for the Vesper is dictated in chapter 7 as follows:

            ‘A dry Martini,’ he said. ‘One. In a deep champagne goblet.’ 
‘Oui, Monsieur.’  ‘Just a moment. Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large slice of lemon-  peel. Got it?’

3 Facts Only the Ultimate 007 Nerd Would Know:

  • Surprisingly Bond drinks more Champagne than any other alcoholic beverage. In both Ian Flemmings novels and all 22 Bond films more Champagne has a total of 35 mentions where as vodka has 22 and red wine 10.
  • Château Mouton Rothschild is Bond’s beloved Bordeaux.
  • Bond believes “expensive soda water is the cheapest way to improve a poor drink.”
Bars With A View

5 Bars In LA With Amazing Views

A toast, to the City of Angels! Los Angeles may not be the first city you think of when you think of amazing views but these 5 bars will give you a whole new understanding of LA’s offerings. We recommend viewing Los Angeles from up top, short of hoping on a helicopter these 5 restaurants boast some of the city’s most scenic areal views. Down Town, Hollywood, East or West of Fairfax there are city scapes too be oooh-ed and ahhh-ed over at their marvels by locals and tourists alike.  Here’s to you Los Angeles, Chin-Chin!

S Bar Asia de Cuba

Enjoy a cityscape of West Los Angeles while sipping The Triple Berry Mojito served in a mason jar containing blackberries, raspberries, an aged rum, and a fresh mint-infused simple syrup. Shaved ice is added to the drink, then soda, then fresh blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries are piled on top. Perfectly refreshing and delicious perfectly paired with the quintessential California ambiance of overflowing bogonvilla flowers from oversized terracotta pots.

8440 Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
323-848-6000

The Penthouse At The Huntley Hotel

Refreshing and crisp, the all white interior is the perfect backdrop for the beachfront view of the Pacific.  Try the Thyme and Cucumber Amnesia, muddled cucumber and thyme, a splash of cranberry, fresh lemon juice, and Gin garnished with a floating cucumber with a sprig of thyme.

1111 2nd Street
Santa Monica, CA 90403
310-393-8080

ABH (Above Beverly Hills) The Thompson Hotel

ABH is the roof top bar at The Thompson, 70’s inspired décor complete with show off boy toys and wannabe actresses this poolside bar is actually worth the hype for the view overlooking Beverly Hills. Try the Spicy Thyme Lemonade: Lemon vodka, agave syrup, fresh lime, cucumber and basil for a refreshing cocktail.

9360 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
310-273-1400

The London Rooftop By Gordon Ramsey

Who says you cannot be sophisticated poolside? Gordon Ramsey has curated a perfectly refreshing menu to accompany the natural surrounding of this West Hollywood boutique hotel complete with astro turf and white cabanas. The Cucumber Viper 16 is my personal favorite made up of Partida tequila, orange liqueur, cucumber, lime juice, agave nectar & dust of chili. This classic yet unique margarita is made to sipping perfection.

1020 N. San Vicente Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069
866-282-4560

Barneys Greengrass

Barneys Greengrass really should be a landmark in LA. Located on the 5th floor of Barneys New York in Beverly Hills this popular spot known for its  “Power Lunch” booking is a view not to be overlooked. On a sunny beautiful California Day seating is available on the balcony and the breeze and atmosphere make for a perfectly relaxed afternoon. The weekly cocktail specials like the White peach basil julep are prepared fresh daily and are quite delicious but I find enjoying a glass of brute champagne really fits the occasion best.

9570 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
310-777-5877

Providence Restaurant Los Angeles

Providence Restaurant Los Angeles

We almost want to just keep this hidden gem to ourselves. This 5 star experience is well worth the Benjamins.   The libations and creations you experience here are other- worldly! Inspired by the abundance of coastal living every flavor is one to revel in and enjoy. Michael Cimarusti curated his bar as respectfully as he did his wine list. May we entice you with a Mojito, Screwdriver, or a Gin and Tonic served in a spoon next to a tiny smashed ice brick? Enticed you should be because they are incredible and just for starters. Using the science of the kitchen Bartender, Zahra Bates has created “cocktails in a spoon” as part of the chef’s menu, complimentary treats the chef serves to prepare and cleanse your palate for the wonders you are about to devour.

Not dining in?  Take a seat at the bar and enjoy the classic cocktail menu for a pro’s approach to old favorites. As expected a Manhattan was ordered, fixed with Bulleit Bourbon and made to sipping perfection. Not going to ruin the other treats, what ever your poison Providence has something special to tantalize your taste buds. Personally we are anticipating our next reservation and could care less to enjoy a different menu, revisiting the same tasting menu would have us walking on clouds.

Old Fashioned Drink

5 Ways to Make an Old Fashioned

We like to think the standard measure of drink quality at any bar is how well they make their Old Fashioned. Its a classic drink and therefore should adhere to “old fashioned” standards. It seems these days however that every mixologist has added his or her own twist, and the once classic cocktail has evolved ever so slightly into a muddled cup of fruit syrup and sugar on the rocks. Well, we’ve certainly had our fair share of Old Fashions and put together a list of 5 of our favorite recipes. What are yours?

Old Fashioned

2 oz bourbon whiskey
2 dashes Angostura® bitters
1 splash water
1 tsp sugar
1 maraschino cherry
1 orange wedge

New Old Fashioned

2 oz Phillips Union® blended whiskey
1 dash Peychaud® bitters
1 splash soda

Original Old Fashioned

2 oz bourbon whiskey
1 dash bitters
1 tsp mineral water
1 tsp sugar

Old Fashioned Manhattan

1 oz whiskey
1/2 oz sweet vermouth
3 dashes bitters
1 tsp sugar
1 splash club soda

Old Fashioned (Sweet)

6 drops Angostura® bitters
1 1/2 oz bourbon whiskey
6 oz 7-Up® soda
1/2 oz lemon juice

Now, there’s a great debate amongst Old Fashioned enthusiasts whether to use Bourbon or Rye whisky. Quite frankly we’ve had great tasting drinks made with both. However, there is certainly a distinguishing factor between what makes a good drink vs. a bad drink-brand.

Blind Barber Culver City

Blind Barber Culver City

With our many years of diligent bar hopping experience we’ve come to a general consensus that concept bars suck.  That being said, we never come so far to a conclusion that we don’t give any bar at least a fighting chance to satisfy our thirst.

Originally opened in New York, Blind Barber draws on the obvious concept of an old school barber shop.  However, the newly opened Blind Barber Culver City is way more kick-ass.  The front of the bar is not even a bar, in fact it is a literal barber shop fully equipped, dark, and with nothing but a lit candle to attract the unassuming.

While the drinks weren’t necessarily top notch, the grilled cheese menu is certainly something to come back for.  This is definitely hipster central but highly recommended for the atmosphere, vibe, and overall experience.  Grow out your ‘stache and stop by Urban Outfitters on your way home from work and you’ll fit right in with this place.

 

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Monday – Saturday: 12pm – 9pm
Sunday: 12pm – 6pm

 

Happy Hours LA On The Rocksa

5 Happy Hours You Can’t Afford To Miss

Just about every restaurant and bar in LA offers happy hours – some worth the savings, some just down right disappointing, and some you’d be downright crazy to miss out on.  We’ve been around town a few times and collected 5 Happy Hours You Can’t Afford to Miss.

1.  Kay ‘N Dave’s in Culver City
Daily happy hours are our favorite and always a sign of kick ass drinks!  Kay ‘N Dave’s offers happy hours daily from 4-7pm with $3 House Mararitas, Sangria, Tecate Draft, and House Wine…damn.  $1 Tacos and $3-$5 select entrees.

2.  First & Hope in Downtown Los Angeles
Weekly happy hour Tuesday – Friday from 5-10pm.  Even without the happy hour this place top notch but the $5 at 5 Social Soiree includes $5 Draft Beer and Wine, $7 Well Drinks (amazing), and $5 Bar Bites (also amazing-try the gourmet mac and cheese).

3.  Bigfoot West in Culver City
Another daily happy hour from 5-9pm, Bigfoot West offers an array of alcoholic favorites including Manhattan’s and Old Fashions – too name a couple – for $5. Gourmet fresh empanadas are available from next door.  We suggest you try them all.

4.  Copa d’ Oro in Santa Monica
Damned if we can’t get away from the daily happy hour, but Copa d’ Oro is one of our all time faves and even offers an all night happy hour Mondays.  Cocktails include Manhattans, Buck Fizz, Pisco Sours, and many more for only $5…in addition to Beer, Wine, and Food.  This may be one of the best happy hours in LA.

5.  Cliff’s Edge in Los Angeles
This place offers unique craft cocktails like the Gold Rush, Glasgow Mule, and Bitter Pill – bartender’s special for $7, $6 wine, and $3 beer.  Every night, all night.

Bigfoot West Culver City

Bigfoot West Culver City

Culver City has for sometime now become a hotspot for some of the best bars and restaurants in Los Angeles.  We’ve recently come across another gem founded by the same owners of Oldfield’s Liquor Room (which happens to be located just a few doors down) – Bigfoot West Culver City.  Now if you’re any fan of lodge style bars accented with taxidermy and a genuine rustic appeal we highly recommend this place.  Good ol’ whisky and beer!

If you come during happy hour be sure to have a designated driver.  No joke, happy hour lasts from 5pm-9pm every night and the menu is full of classics like the Old Fashioned and Manhattans – all $5.  We’ve walked out tipsy a number of times for less than $30 and even got some authentic empanadas which they bring to your table hot and fresh from next door.

Quick tip: Come on Tuesday for Trivia night, win, and drinks are on the house!

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Copa D' Oro Santa Monica

Copa D’ Oro Santa Monica

It’s hard to find a bar these days that holds its integrity for much more than a hot minute. For the past two years, Copa D’ Oro in Santa Monica has been a go to for us not only to satisfy our after work thirst, but have an enjoyable evening without the ensemble of an over-hyped bar. Yes, on weekends Copa D’ Oro can bare a full house, but even then you’ll be hard pressed to find the club rats and Hollywood waste who have fortunately overlooked this establishment.

Copa D’ Oro has helped shape our standards and love for hand crafted cocktails. Under the direction of Head Barman Vincenzo Marianella, Copa’s cocktail menu is laden drinks inspired by fresh and organic ingredients from the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market. Whisky drink lover’s may find this place over rousing…we sure did. The Gold Rush is perhaps one of the most interesting takes on a bourbon inspired cocktail we’ve encountered. Made with bourbon, honey syrup and fresh lemon juice this one goes down like a warm cup of tea. Of course we never go without ordering a Manhattan. Made with bourbon, sweet vermouth, and angostura bitters this drink is spicy, strong, and made for true Manhattan lovers. If you’re in for something a little more refreshing the French 75 is a take on a recipe from 1915 at the Paris landmark Harry’s Bar-gin and fresh lemon juice topped with champagne.

Aside from holding its integrity Copa D’ Oro is down in our books as one of the best happy hours in LA. come from 5:30-8pm Tuesday – Saturday and you’ll find these drinks on the Happy Depression menu for $5.

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STK Los Angeles

STK Los Angeles

Ever been to a steak house in Los Angeles that provokes feelings of primal instinct? A steak house that makes your mouth water as your eyes graze over the menu?  STK in Los Angeles is one of those.

Although not always available the Wagyu is a marbled masterpiece.  If you’re anyone who loves steak this needs to be your first choice at STK in Los Angeles…along with the other eleven choices of cattle hide including the 26oz Cowboy Ribeye.  And be sure to add your choice of topping.  Topping?  Yes, topping like blue cheese, lobster, crab, foie fucking gras, shrimp and black truffles.

You definitely order some appetizers as well.  The Parmesan Truffle Fries deserve an honorable mention because they are that good.   However, the appetizer of the night goes to Foie Gras French Toast.  STK is clearly the spot to load up on the foie gras dishes while you still can – the ban begins July 1, 2012.

But what’s a great steak house without great drinks? Correct, nothing.  The B&B Dirty Martini was a truly pleasant surprise as we generally hound the bartenders to bring us blue cheese and olives so we can craft our own blue cheese olives for our martinis.  If you haven’t guessed yet the B&B stands for Belvedere and Blue Cheese-a fine drink for any martini lover!  For after dinner the Espresso martini is one for the books.  We’ve never had this drink made quite to our liking but this one really did it for us.  And, of course as with all the best restaurants in LA the cocktail menu includes a well made Manhattan.  Not Your Daddy’s Manhattan brought us back to the days when Library Bar in downtown LA used to make our beloved Revolvers (RIP).  Smooth, sweet, and delicious.

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First and Hope Los Angeles

First and Hope Los Angeles is a hidden gem located adjacent to the Los Angeles Music Center.  The vibe along with vibrant selection of handcrafted cocktails makes for a fine late night weeknight experience (at least in our opinion).  The menu is chock-full of American classics but if there’s one thing we’ll try at any restaurant its gourmet Mac N’ Cheese!  Served on a black slate, the trio of gourmet mac includes Bacon Beer, Popcorn, and even Ritz Crackers.  Pair these up with the Pork Belly Sliders and you can call it a night.  Or if you’re really in a IDGAF kind of mood you can order the “Praise the Lard” dish featuring crispy pig’s ears, bourbon-braised pork cheeks and a crisp soft egg, served with Kurobuta pork belly over creamy grits.

Let’s not forget about the cocktails either.  The Manhattan made with Whiskey, Sweet Vermouth, Bitters is top notch.  But along with our go-tos we ordered the Eyes Wide Shut made with Southern Comfort, Crown Royal, Amaretto, Orange and Cranberry Juice and must say it will be on our tab again the next time we’re back here.

 

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Naya Sunset

Our love for clever cocktails and inventive libations by top notch mixologists has made us huge fans of the Black Lab. When we were invited to a tasting of the new menu at Naya Sunset in Silverlake we couldn’t have been more excited to learn the India-inspired cocktails were courtesy of Joel Black (Black Lab mixologist extraordinaire). While the new menu consists of traditional Indian street foods, what really caught our attention was of course the bar menu. Yes, we tried everything. The drinks are truly exotic and pair impeccably with the new food menu.

The Drinks

Drinks range from $10-14 at the Naya Sunset lounge. As biased whisky enthusiasts we are always delighted to find new additions to our repertoire. Ergo Rocky Patel. Chivas 12 year blended Scotch whisky, Laphroig 10 year Islay Scotch whisky, espresso bean infuse Zaya 12 year old rum. It tastes as good as it sounds and leaves your mouth with a delicious spiced aftertaste. If you want something a little more refreshing The Burning Rose is a great way to start off your night. Its made with real silver tequila, fresh lime juice, rosemary, jalapeno, and agave nectar (really reminds us of the Comme Ca cocktails).

 

Naya Restaurant & Lounge
3705 West Sunset Boulevard
Silver Lake, CA 90026

City Tavern Culver City

City Tavern Culver City

City Tavern Culver City offers one of the best California craft draft beers any restaurant has to offer. As Culver City natives we must tell you, we frequent this place quite often, and with over 22 beers to choose from there’s no reason we shouldn’t. They even offer sampler sizes (small glass pours) ranging from about $3-$5 so you can try a couple at a time. Our favorite is the Grand Cru (Belgian Dark Ale) made with chocolate malts-especially for Guinness lovers!

But if you’re really in the mood for drinking beer you’ll be pleased to know City Tavern Culver City is the first state approved restaurant to offer a computerized draft beer system at their booths. That’s right, you choose 3 craft beers on tap at your table. No shit guys, this place really runs the gamut.

Hand crafted cocktails really round this place out as far as we’re concerned. The S.O.B Manhattan has become our go to since Library Bar, Los Angeles stopped making Revolvers. You really can’t go wrong with Luxardo Cherry Liquor and bourbon.