Monthly Archives: May 2012

Drinks fit for a Queen!

umm…No. Not that Queen.

That’s Better… I give you, Queen Elizabeth II

This week-end the Brits, Aussies and Canadians, (and many others) will be celebrating the Queens Diamond Jubilee.  Several people (mainly my American friends) have asked me in the last few days what this actually means…so for those who don’t know, let me enlighten you.

On June 2nd 2012 it will be 6o years (yes, you heard correctly…60 years!!!) since Queen Elizabeth II took over the throne.  This is a huge accomplishment and quite a rare feat, her reign is actually the second-longest for a British monarch; only Queen Victoria has reigned longer (so far).  Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the throne at age 25 after the death of her father, King George VI and was crowned as Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Other Realms and Territories on June 2, 1953 in the first televised Coronation service.

Sticking to my websites theme of Mixology and recipe history, I thought it would be a nice idea to put up some drink ideas to mark this momentous occasion.  There are many parties that will be going on throughout the World this week-end, and I know my family and friends in the UK will be relying on me to give some drink suggestions…so here we go.

Photo Credit: spiritedentertaining.com

Diamond Fizz

  • 2 oz London Dry Gin
  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Powdered sugar
  • Fill with Chilled Champagne

Shake and strain ingredients in to a highball glass with ice, then fill with Champagne.

This drink works for two reasons, it has the perfect name to match the Diamond Jubilee year and it has champagne in it, which is the classic celebration tipple of choice!

Also known as a Champagne Fizz, this drink is similar to the classic Gin Fizz although it uses Champagne rather than soda water.  It follows the fizz characteristic of being served over ice, which is unusual for a champagne beverage.

The first printed reference to a fizz (spelled “fiz”) is in the 1887 edition of Jerry Thomas’ Bartender’s Guide, which contains six fizz recipes including the Ramos Gin Fizz (A great Ramos Gin Punch Recipe can be found by clicking here.) The above recipe makes for a nice and refreshing celebratory drink.

The Coronation Cocktail

  • 3/4 oz dry vermouth
  • 3/4 oz sweet vermouth
  • 3/4 oz applejack or apple brandy
  • dash of apricot brandy

Pour the ingredients into a mixing glass with ice cubes. Stir well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

There couldn’t be a more fitting drink name for this occasion than The Coronation Cocktail.  There are a few variations out there with the same name, however this is the one I found to be the most ‘Classic’ in it’s history as it comes from The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book by A.S. Crockett published in 1935.  

It is a vermouth drink from the old days of bartending and really simple to make. It won’t appeal to everyone, but for those who like a strong ‘stiff upper lip’ kind of drink, this is the one to choose.  It does have some sweetness from the apple brandy and a friend mentioned that a dash of peach bitters works well in it also.

Photo Credit: Telegraph

Jubilee Punch

  • 35ml Bombay Sapphire Gin
  • 25ml home-made grapefruit-orange sherbet (see below)
  • 15ml fresh lemon juice
  • 10ml Orgeat syrup
  • 30ml Earl Grey tea
  • Champagne to top up

Combine the ingredients and shake over ice, top up with champagne.

The grapefruit-orange sherbet is made by mixing 200g sugar, 100ml pink grapefruit juice, the zest of an orange and a grapefruit, then simmering until the sugar is dissolved. Double strain and allow to cool completely.

Please note: This recipe provides the British measurement of ml, if you wish to have the recipe in US oz feel free to message me and I will give you the alternative.

This is clearly a complicated recipe to create at home but I wanted to include it because it’s creator is Erik Lorincz, head barman at America Bar at The Savoy Hotel in London.

When I was last back home in the UK, my boyfriend and I went to America Bar and had a wonderful experience. The drinks were balanced, the staff were knowledgable and the place itself was simply, beautiful.  The bartenders all wear suits there, the glassware is made of crystal and the overall feel of the place is classic, formal and elegant. I read that it was at The Savoy Hotel that Princess Elizabeth (before she was Queen), was first seen in public with Prince Philip in 1946. That summer, Prince Philip asked King George VI’s permission to marry his daughter. They married later that year…  isn’t history interesting!?

Photo Credit: Beefeater Gin

Beefeater Garden Party Punch

  • 3 parts Beefeater London Dry Gin
  • 3 parts sparkling English wine
  • 2 parts good quality pressed pear or apple juice
  • 1 part fresh lemon juice
  • 1 part elderflower cordial
  • 1/2 part sugar syrup
Garnish: Pear and apple slices.
 
Serve in a punch bowl over a large ice block

This last recipe is one I came across when googling the term ‘Jubilee drink ideas’.  I found out that Beefeater Gin has teamed up with mixologists Nick Strangeway and Dre Masso to create cocktails and punches to celebrate the Queen and her jubilee milestone.

This recipe looks the best to me and although I have not yet tried it, I think it sounds tasty and is the one I plan to make this coming week-end.  I love Elderflower in any drink with apple, so I think this recipe will have a very fresh and floral quality that is reminiscent of England.  Yet another drink ideal for the occasion and a punch is always a great option for large parties.

To all my fellow Brits who plan to celebrate this week-end, to my Fussy One followers and to everyone who plans to try one of the above cocktails… Enjoy, Be safe,  and as we say in England… Bottoms Up! 🙂

5 Comments

Filed under Events, Speciality Cocktails

My words in ink.

I just wanted to share a little news with all my wonderful Fussy One followers…

I am happy to announce that a piece of my writing can be found in print this month.  No I’m not talking about my mum printing a page from this website and pinning it to her board in the kitchen, (although I don’t doubt this to also be true) I am in fact talking about my contribution to the May 2012 issue of Tasting Panel Magazine.

The  Tasting Panel Magazine is the industry leader in Bar and Liquor news.  It goes out to bars and restaurants all across the country with current information on the latest alcohol related products, trends, and industry events. I have been a subscriber for a while which makes it even more special to see my name this month on the contributors list.

There are many writers out there who would love to have a piece of their work published in a magazine and I have to say I am genuinely thrilled to have been given this wonderful opportunity.

The article  published is about the latest addition to the Malibu Rum Portfolio; a Tequila and Coconut rum blend named Malibu Red.   The magazine is a great read so if you want to order a copy for yourself head to their website here. You can also check out the online version of this months issue by clicking this link. You will find my article on page 58.

I am obviously not an official spokesperson for the magazine, but I wanted to tell you all about this accomplishment for two reasons.

Firstly, I wanted to show some appreciation to those who helped with this latest development in my writing career.  To Erica for her great photography and support, to my very sweet managers at the restaurant where I work for putting a copy of my article up on the achievements board (even though I didn’t mention I was in it, they just spotted my name!) as well as a big thank you to the senior editor Rachel for giving me a chance. I look forward to working with her and The Tasting Panel team again very soon.

The other reason I felt the need to share this news is because I want to tell all the bloggers who follow me (I appreciate every one of you) that hard work and perseverance always pays off.  For those of you who don’t know, blogging is a blessing and a curse.  It takes up a lot of time, you don’t get paid (unless you get advertising or go viral), and it is very unlikely your little space on the web will end up in to a major motion picture like ‘Julie and Julia’…although one can dream!

I know many of us bloggers seek some sort of validation in what we do and often find it in new followers, comments, likes, clicks and re-blogs… and Oh to be freshly pressed! I know that I look forward to seeing my stats as much as the next blogger, but I genuinely write because I enjoy it which I think is the most important thing. I have done since I started writing journals at 10 years old.  I see my blog merely as an extension of that process because, as you all know, I write about places i’ve been and events i’ve enjoyed in a chatty informal style.

I have discovered a passion for writing over the past few months that I had forgotten about, and something I felt was merely a hobby (my blog) has now become a very significant part of my life.  It’s always great to do something you love and even better when you can possibly make an income/career out of it.  My website has brought me nothing but fun and interesting new avenues. I look forward to all the opportunities just around the corner and thank all of you, my Fussy One Readers, for your continued support.

Keep reading and enjoying!

love,

The Fussy One 🙂

9 Comments

Filed under Fussy News

Drink of the Week

The Secret Garden Punch

image

Bottle Hendricks Gin (750ml)
350ml Fresh squeezed lime juice
400ml St.Germain Elderflower Liqueur
10 sprigs mint
1/2 Thin slices cucumber
1/2 bottle Prosecco (375ml)

Serve in a punch bowl over a large ice cube. Serves 15-20ppl

It’s memorial day here in the States so my lovely mixologist boyfriend Greg Bryson AKA FutureGreg decided to make another of his delicious punch recipes.  We’re by the pool having a bbq with friends and family so he felt inspired to whip up this recipe and gave it a great name (based on its lush green foliage appearance).

It is so tasty, refreshing, sweet and strong.  Great drink to sip on in the glorious sunshine…i’m certain i’ll be asking him to make it again over the summer.

Give it a try! It’s not hard to put together and you won’t be disappointed 🙂

Have a safe and fun Memorial day everyone!

2 Comments

Filed under Drink of the Week

Sprinkles Ice Cream!

Ice Cream
9631 South Santa Monica Boulevard,
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
 

“I scream, You scream, We all scream for Ice Cream!”

Having only just reviewed the Sprinkles ATM a few months ago, I was shocked to discover yet another new addition to the Sprinkles portfolio.  ‘Ice Cream’ is the latest sweet tooth’s dream on Beverly Blvd.  The grand opening was yesterday so I anticipated a long line but was pleasantly surprised to see it wasn’t overly busy.

Entering a white room I saw the ice cream and topping choices listed on the wall beside me. The inside is certainly attractive (in true Sprinkles style) with red calligraphy scribble style writing on the ceiling. The only negative about the appearance is the menu placement which seems awkward in its positioning.  When a line forms inside it’s hard to see the options because they aren’t written anywhere else in the building, just on the side wall as you enter.

Sprinkles ice cream is handcrafted using Straus organic dairy and i’m told the flavor options vary daily.  This particular trip the options were: Red Velvet, Chocolate Chip, Butter Pecan, Vanilla Bean, Coffee Fudge Almond, Pistachio, Dark Chocolate, Cherry Vanilla, Mint Chip, Peanut Butter Cup, Rocky Road and Strawberry sorbet…WOWZA! That’s a lot of choices.  They only allow two tasters, so be sure to choose wisely!

I tasted the Butter Pecan first and although it was good, it wasn’t like a traditional butter pecan that i’m used to. The pieces had a saltiness to it that I quite liked but although it was tasty, I just wasn’t in the mood for a full cup.

My second taste was the classic Red Velvet, which was so good I decided to go for it as my ice cream of choice.  I went all out and had it in a red velvet cone to match too!  The cone was great and had a very sweet and rich chocolate flavor.  The ice cream is slow churned to incorporate less air which results in a densely creamy dessert.  Having said that it did seem like a simple vanilla base and not a cream cheese flavor (which I think would have been more unique). The main feature were the delicious chunks of sprinkles red velvet cake which were moist, rich and delicious.

The toppings and sauces available include Hot Fudge, Salted butterscotch and Marshmallow Cream to name a few.  There are also Cookies, Ice cream sandwiches and options to buy a ‘Pint for later’.

As summer is quickly approaching I can see this new addition to the Sprinkles family becoming another huge success.  What I tried was certainly good, but I have to say the main appeal of the flavor I chose were the pieces of cake within it which made me think…I should just go to Sprinkles and get a cupcake!  Seeing as it was just next door, that’s exactly what I did.

I’m sure I will return to Ice Cream to try other flavors in future, but I have to say that the original Sprinkles Cupcakes will always have my heart!

Leave a comment

Filed under Great Food

Interview with a Bartender: Jaymee Mandeville

This week I am pleased to be putting up an interview with one of the successful female Bartenders here in Los Angeles.  If you find yourself in Downtown LA any time soon, I recommend you head in to Drago Centro (Review coming soon) and check out the bar program put together by Jaymee Mandeville. This vibrant and talented lady has created an interesting and well executed drinks list with unusual ingredients such as Dill Meringue and Squid Ink Syrup.  Head in any night other than Tuesday or Sunday and you can enjoy a drink made by Jaymee herself.

Jaymee Mandeville

Official Job Title: Bar Manager
Born: South Korea, adopted at 16 mos. Grew up in Orange County, CA
Currently Resides:  Los Angeles, CA
Current Work locations:  Drago Centro Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri & Sat nights
Touring 2012 with Cari Hah (Neat Bar) “Lil’ Twisted Sangrita Tour”
May 29 Las Perlas
June 24 City Tavern
 

 *****

Q & A

Where was the first bar you worked at, and what was your position there?
At age 19 I worked as a beverage cart girl in college….(they thought I was 21) so I made Manhattans at 6 am with mini-bottles of Martini Rossi and Jim Beam on the golf course.
 
Who is/was your mentor? Who do you feel trained you in your area of expertise?
Michael Shearin has been a huge inspiration to me in wine and spirits, and continues to be a close friend.
 
Are you a fussy eater or picky drinker? If so, what WON’T you try?
I don’t think so.  I think I am open to trying anything. I just dislike all creamy salad dressings, most white condiments (i.e. mayonnaise, aioli,  Alfredo sauce, hollandaise (to name a few)…..actually we should open it up to most condiments, ketchup, mustard, relish.  1000 dressing is my worst nightmare. Oh and I don’t like sweets…I don’t hate them, but I could definitely live without them.
 
What is the most unusual dish or ingredient you’ve ever tasted?
Worm salt  (so weird, but surprisingly good, it tastes like sea salt and pepper combined.) I think Cari and I will be using it in one of our upcoming sangritas.
 
What is your favorite “Classic” Drink/Cocktail?
Negroni
 
As a female bartender have you ever felt like you’re not being taken as seriously by the male dominating Cocktail community?
Honestly, no, but I always welcome any challenge. I think the females in this city are very strong.  We just started a LUPEC chapter here in LA and it has given me the opportunity to meet some amazing and talented females in our industry.
 
What is the best thing about what you do? 
Making drinks…..I love it….I love creating, imbibing, and sharing the love with others
 
What is the Worst thing about what you do?
Evenings…I feel like I never really have an evening off to do silly things like take a sunset hike or cook a normal dinner
 
If you couldn’t do what you do now, what would you do instead?
I really wanted to be a super model and travel the world….unfortunately my height topped out at 5’2
 
Do you see yourself bartending forever or are there other career avenues you plan to explore?
I feel that bartending is a great creative and social outlet, I don’t see myself doing it forever, but I do see myself using this skill set in many ways moving forward.  I love traveling…if I could be like the jet-setter Angus Winchester, that would be amazing.
 

*****

If you would like to be considered for this segment of my site please send an email to pickydrinker@gmail.com with a little info on who you are and where you work.  If you don’t sound like a crazy person, I will happily send you a questionnaire to fill out.  If you work in Los Angeles I will almost certainly come in to see how good you are!Please note: I am looking for enthusiastic bartenders with a real passion for ‘Tending Bar”, Mixology or Classic drink making.  Those of you who think ‘Sweet and Sour Mix’ is a great product, bartend only for the joy of extra cash and have no interest in the cocktail community itself, need not apply!

Leave a comment

Filed under Interview with a bartender!

Drink of the Week

Miyabi (From Eclipse Bar)

1oz Spiced Sailor Jerry rum
1oz Xanté pear cognac (Pear Brandy works even better)
3/4oz Syrup d’Antilles
3/4oz Fresh apple and pear juice
    
Served tall over ice.
 
            

“Nothing brings the neighbours together like a Solar eclipse does!”

That’s what myself and many others discovered yesterday when standing out on our driveways looking up at our big bright star.  My boyfriends father had so cleverly decided to purchase some welders glass for the event, making the view pretty spectacular without damaging our retinas!  Sadly in Southern California we didn’t get to see the ‘Ring of Fire’ due to our positioning on the planet, but it was still a great sight to witness and one that won’t happen again in Los Angeles for another 59 years!

I felt inspired to look for a drink that would match this rare occasion.  I found a couple of recipes that had Astronomical names, but decided to go with the above recipe as it was created at a bar, named appropriately, ‘Eclipse’ in London.  This bar on Old Brompton Road (which I visited when I lived in the area) offers a range of cocktails from classics, like the Aviation and the Vesper, to a selection of modern options including the Miyabi (above) and the ‘Eclipse’ made with Vodka, Watermelon and Kaffir-lime.

I couldn’t get the exact measurements that they use at the bar itself, so my mixologist boyfriend FutureGreg played with ratios and the above recipe is the version that we feel works best. Ideally use a good Pear brandy in replacement of the Xante (a product neither of us particularly likes).

This is a sweet, refreshing and strong tasting drink that is great on a hot day… also an ideal beverage to sip on when watching the sun get covered by our moon 🙂

Leave a comment

Filed under Drink of the Week

Drink of the Week

Mom-Mosa

1 1/2 oz Gin
2 Strawberries
3/4oz Lemon Juice
3/4oz Simple Syrup
 
Muddle Strawberries then add the Gin, Lemon juice and Simple Syrup to tin, shake and double strain in to a Champagne flute (or in my case, a coupe)
 
Fill with Champagne
 
Garnish: A Strawberry half
 

Mothering Sunday has already been and gone for England and Ireland (back in March), but here in the USA it is finally Mothers Day today.  Jeffrey Lee Clark a barman at Bar Chloe in Santa Monica came up with this concoction last night and I thought it was a fun and cute way to celebrate all the mums and moms out there!

It is a light, fruity and refreshing champagne drink, easy to make and a nice alternative to the classic Mimosa.  Enjoy!

1 Comment

Filed under Drink of the Week

When in Vegas…

I found myself  in Las Vegas recently, and in between bachelorette parties, black jack games and tanning time I did manage to visit some great restaurants and bars on the Strip. As you all know my blog revolves primarily around Los Angeles, however I thought it would be a good idea to put up other States and Cities when I visit them, in case you ever find yourself in those neighborhoods also.

The first spot I want to talk about, I didn’t actually make it to on this trip but is certainly worthy of mentioning for the Mixologists and real drink enthusiasts.

Herbs and Rye

I thought it would be hard to get a decent cocktail in Las Vegas seeing as the slushy type margaritas and lava flows are usually in full force, but the bartenders at Herbs and Rye proved me wrong.

This bar is a great place to get a pre-prohibition style cocktail, the service was friendly and the drinks were all made perfectly when we went. The drinks we tried (Aviation and a Whiskey Sour) were balanced and flavorful.  The menu gives an array of options listed by the periods in time in which they were created (pre-prohibition, 1800s, Golden Age etc) each drink with a little description of it’s history underneath.  If you want a speakeasy style bar on your next trip to Vegas, definitely head here.

Sensi at The Bellagio

We had a really great meal at Sensi within the Bellagio. My boyfriend (FutureGreg) and I split a 140z Rib eye steak, a side of truffle mashed potatoes and a portion of bloomsdale spinach with caramelized  onions.  It was an expensive restaurant but splitting the meal was more than enough food and about the same cost as if we’d got our own meal somewhere else. Service was great, and they gave us delicious naan bread and crackers to start with which was a fun and interesting alternative to a traditional bread basket. The bloomsdale spinach is a thicker and heartier leaf compared to other variations so it had a lot of flavor in itself and I didn’t think needed the caramelized onions at all.

The mashed potato was just divine; creamy, rich but not an overpowering truffle flavor. It went beautifully with the tender cooked steak.  I didn’t try any drinks here but the food we had was fantastic and the ambience was nice, very clean and inviting.

14oz Rib Eye Steak $50, Bloomsdale Spinach, $9 Truffle Mashed Potato $9

Chandelier Bar at The Cosmopolitan

I could probably write a two page spread on this bar’s decor alone.  Stunning crystal curtains hang from the ceiling and drape down 3 floors in the center of the Cosmopolitan Hotel creating the illusion of a massive chandelier.  The bar in the center of it, named appropriately ‘Chandelier Bar’ is equally attractive and the entire space is drowned in beautiful pink/purple light.  It was just so romantic and gorgeous to walk past that I knew we had to stop in and get a drink.

I tried the Blue Grass Shuffle and FutureGreg had the Spiced Apple Jack.

Blue Grass Shuffle- Makers 46, Egg White, Orange Bitters, Blueberry Preserves $13

Mine was fruity, strong and flavorful with a gorgeous magenta color that fit in with the pink hue of the room.  It had blueberry jam (jelly) flavor from the preserves and was a drink that would definitely be great in Autumn.  The egg white was barely noticeable but gave a light foam on top, all in all a good drink and pretty strong.

Spiced Apple Jack- Lairds Spiced Applejack, Yuzu Sour, Apple juice, Rosemary infused simple syrup, Balsamic Reduction $12

The Apple Jack drink was sweeter than mine but interesting and again with more ‘Autumn’ flavors to it, which is odd seeing as we’re already in May and clearly in to Spring.  The Rosemary had a strong presence in the drink but the balsamic reduction was hardly noticeable.

The service was ok, although the bartender didn’t seem overly attentive or personable. The drinks were good and the ambience being surrounded by crystals made it worthy of a visit.

Comme Ca at The Cosmopolitan

Having been to the Los Angeles location just a week previous I was curious to see how this Vegas version measured up.  It was almost completely empty when we arrived, which concerned me at first, but with 4 other restaurants (including STK) beside it, its understandable that competition is high.  We started with some drinks and I ordered a ‘Vegas High Rise’ which was created originally by Tony Eppolito, which was refreshing, sweet and very good.

Vegas High Rise– Vodka (although I substituted Gin), Creme de Cassis, Fresh Lemon, Sugar, Guava

We started off with a salad that was good but nothing special. I’d never had a salad with hazelnuts on it before and think I found them to be too strong of a flavor for the dish, I prefer other nuts like almonds or walnuts on my greens. The goats cheese was yummy though.

Mixed Green Salad- Toasted Hazelnut, Goats Cheese, Fine Herbs, Lemon-Shallot dressing $9

We ordered yet another steak (we do love our beef) and the sides of Macaroni Gratin with blood sausage and the Beer Cheddar Grits. The Steak was excellent and had chunky fries with a delicious aioli on the side. The Mac and Cheese was absolutely fantastic, FG and I love a good Mac and Cheese in general but this was one of the best versions i’ve had in a long time.

It was cheesey, creamy and rich with a strong flavor from the meat pieces. The baked panko breadcrumbs on top finished it off perfectly.

Macaroni and Boudin Noir Gratin $10, Beer Cheddar Grits  $9

The only part of the night I found disappointing were the grits.  They came in a cute little saucepan and I was excited to try them, but  there was way too much beer in the mix and I felt it overpowered the entire dish. I don’t recommend them.

Steak Frites- 10oz Prime Flat Iron, Hand cut french fries $32

Overall I liked the dinner at Comme Ca and would happily return for another meal there, especially for that Macaroni Gratin.  The drinks were fine and there were a decent selection of classic cocktails as well as new creations on the menu.

*****

We were only away for a short break this time so the above is by no means a comprehensive list of places to go in Las Vegas, merely a selection of the restaurants we enjoyed on this particular trip.  I will add more when we next return to Nevada, but if you ever find yourself in Sin City I definitely suggest trying one or more of these places.

Leave a comment

Filed under Great Food, Speciality Cocktails

Drink of the Week

Mint Julep (Jerry Thomas Recipe)

4oz Cognac
1 tbl Sugar
1 tbl Water
2 Sprigs of Mint
FIll with crushed ice. Serve in a Julep Cup

Garnish: Mint sprigs

The weather here in Los Angeles has been gorgeous this week and makes me feel the need to put up a nice Spring drink. The Kentucky Derby last Saturday had people drinking this all across the country, however most people think the original recipe uses Bourbon as the base.

The recipe above is from the classic book How to mix drinks by Jerry Thomas, published in 1862. The Whiskey recipe, as most bartenders know it today, is also listed in Thomas’ book however it comes under the title of a ‘Whiskey Julep’ instead.  According to Jerry Thomas this is an American drink that was introduced to England by Captain Marryatt.

In my opinion this drink is like an ‘adult slushy’ due to the copious amounts of ice and how  sweet and refreshing the drink is.  It is a member of the ‘Smash’ family, which are a genre of drinks served over crushed ice and is supposed to be served in a julep cup (a metal cup made of silver or pewter), designed to keep the drink icy cold.

The picture Jerry Thomas drew of a julep in his book shows an extravagant garnish, which I believe to be an important part of the drink and makes every sip smell of minty freshness. A perfect choice for a hot sunny day.

Leave a comment

Filed under Drink of the Week

Yes…I’ll have another!

Event: Kentucky Derby Party @ Seven Grand
Lunch @ Bottega Louie
Cinco De Mayo Celebrations @ Bar Chloe

Date: Saturday 5th May 2012

This past Saturday was quite literally a double drinking day for most of us here in the USA.  It was The Kentucky Derby Horse Race and Cinco De Mayo rolled in to one alcohol fueled package.

My day began at a fun filled event sponsored by Bulleit Bourbon in Downtown Los Angeles. Fellow drink enthusiasts and esteemed members of the alcohol community had gathered at Seven Grand to support ‘Speed Rack’ a wonderful organization that gives money towards Breast cancer research and helps women in the bar industry suffering from the disease.

As Hollis Bulleit (Brand ambassador for Bulleit Bourbon and daughter of it’s creator) said;

‘We’re here to donate and help sick boobies!’

Daniel (Thirsty in LA) sporting a pink mustache!

My boyfriend and I had a really good time, it was our first year at the event so we mingled, received Bulleit Bourbon glassware as gifts, joined in on fun hat competitions and pulled names of horses out of a hat to watch the race with. $20 to SpeedRack got you entry to the event and an unlimited supply of Bulleit Bourbon drinks, in particular the Mint Julep. I must say I never knew that the Mint Julep was known as ‘The Derby Drink’ until Saturday when my twitter blew up with photos of crushed ice and mint leaves from all the drink bloggers I follow.

For those who don’t know the drink (I will be putting it up as ‘Drink of the Week’ tomorrow,) I will say it is a very refreshing Whiskey based beverage that is sweet, minty and very cold! It’s always served over crushed ice, almost like an alcoholic slushy and is very good when made correctly. The bar men at Seven Grand didn’t disappoint.

When the race began I have to admit I was screaming pretty loud (think Audrey Hepburn in the 1964 film ‘My Fair Lady’), one because i’d had many a shot of bourbon by that point and two because there’s something really exciting about betting on something you have no power to control, I mean your horse will either win or lose.

I didn’t put any money on the race, which is probably a good thing seeing as my steed ‘Daddy Long Legs’ didn’t even come close to winning! However the horse named I’ll Have Another took the title and I thought ‘What a perfect winner for the day.’

You see it just so happened that the Kentucky Derby fell on Cinco de Mayo this year. For all my British readers or those who just don’t know, Cinco De Mayo (Spanish for ‘5th of May’) is basically an American holiday that disguises itself as a Mexican one! The date is observed now mainly by Americans as a celebration of Mexican heritage, and to commemorate the Mexicans win against France at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

Many people think Cinco de Mayo is Mexico’s Independence Day, however this is untrue, their independence day is actually celebrated on September 16. My good friend Saul is 100% Mexican and came to California a few years ago, I thought if anyone would be celebrating the day it would be him. Ironically though, when I asked if he was excited for the day he said “Not really, it’s not our (Mexicans) holiday so we don’t celebrate Cinco De Mayo” 

Whilst in Downtown FutureGreg and I decided to stop in at Bottega Louie for lunch (still my favorite restaurant) and ended up trying the incredible new Artichoke Pizza.  I strongly urge you to get this pizza, it was simply fantastic.

Artichoke Pizza- Roasted Artichokes, Chèvre, Mozzarella, Cherry Tomatoes, Italian Parsley, Fluer de Sel, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Tomato Sauce $20

I ended up heading to Bar Chloe in Santa Monica for the second half of the day and the Cinco De Mayo celebrations, the bar staff wore Sombreros and served Tequila based drinks to the rowdy crowds and yes, I wore a Poncho to get in to the Mexican theme of the night!

All in all it was a wonderful day, and helped immensely by the new metro they’ve installed between La Cienega and Downtown LA. What a God send…We didn’t have to worry about parking or drunk driving, it was just 30 minutes door to door. Brilliant!

We will definitely consider doing the Kentucky Derby party again next year. Only next time I will be sure to wear a fun ‘Day at the races’ themed hat like the ones below.  These images were taken at the actual Kentucky Derby 2012, I got the photos from http://www.abcnews.com.  The red one is just FAB!

  

1 Comment

Filed under Events