Drizly, the Liquor Delivery App, Now Live In Los Angeles

Drizly Screen Shots

Last week, I got a chance to beta test some awesomely useful smartphone technology. It’s an app that’s called Drizly, which ended up delivering spirits and ice cold beer to where I was within 25 minutes, stat.

On the heels of some significant seed funding, they’ve launched today in L.A.. And the official advertised delivery time frame is 20-40 minutes, in which they’ll have your purchased goods to you. That is, whatever you’ve ordered on their app from a total of 2,500 different products.

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Giveaway: Tickets to Screening of “Viva Mezcal” with Free-Flowing Mezcal and Oaxacan Antijitos

Viva Mezcal Documentary

What’s better than a documentary about Mezcal accompanied by free-flowing Mezcal and Oaxacan antijitos (street food dishes, if you will)? Probably the setting – which will be the iconic La Guelaguetza in Koreatown.

Viva Mezcal, a film directed by Pedro Jiménez, addresses the current state of the Mezcal industry, complete with interviews from biologoists, agronomes, ‘maestros mezcaleros,” researchers, distributors, bartenders and experts. Following the film, tasty treats by Chef Rodolfo Castellanos will accompany a Mezcal tasting.

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Four Questions With Rob Samuels, COO of Maker’s Mark

Rob Samuels, COO of Maker’s Mark

We all know Maker’s Mark. So when I had a chance recently to catch up with Rob Samuels, I jumped at the chance. He’s the 8th generation bourbon maker of the Maker’s Mark family, and just succeeded his father last year in the position. Theirs is the only bourbon distillery designated as a National Historic Landmark. With the amount of history behind the company, there were a few things I had to know…

What’s your favorite cocktail to drink with Maker’s in it? And how do you feel about how Maker’s fits in with the ongoing cocktail scene?

I was just at a nice event at Morton’s, where the bartender made a great Manhattan – [a cocktail] which I really enjoy. More than anything that’s what I love. With the growth of premium spirits, handmade spirits, and that’s the history of my grandparent’s legacy, when they started in 1952. That was the beginning of the modern era of bourbon. To incorporate their craft, what they created with the handmade craft of a unique cocktail is really nice. I love just working with bartenders.

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L.A. Times Celebration of Food & Wine: September 5, 2010

L.A. Times Wine & Food Festival at Paramount Pictures Studios | Photo credit to isayx3 on Flickr

It’s another culinary bazaar (we here in Los Angeles know how often these come around) but this time, it’s our city-wide flagship publication pulling out all the stops. It looks like the L.A. Times will live up to their name, too, because there are names to be had at this event held at on New York Street (yeah, pretty funny) in the backlot of Paramount Pictures.

Feelin’ a little indie with your wine? There will also be music, as She & Him are scheduled to headline the event with a full set. Angela McClusky will support.

Demonstrations will be taking place for your pleasure and education, as will panels by the following:

  • Michael Voltaggio – Winner, Top Chef Season 6
  • Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo – Animal Restaurant
  • Mark Peel –Campanile, The Tar Pit, Top Chef Masters Seasons 1 & 2
  • Suzanne Goin –AOC, Lucques, Tavern and The Hungry Cat
  • Jimmy Shaw -Loteria Grill
  • Ludo Lefebvre – LudoBites
  • Betty Fraser – Grub, Top Chef Season 2
  • Chris “C.J.” Jacobsen – The Yard, Top Chef Season 3
  • Alex Reznik – Ivan Kane’s Cafe Was, Top Chef Season 7
  • John Sedlar – Rivera
  • Barrie Lynn – The Cheese Impresario
  • Ricardo Zarate – Mo-chica
  • Russ Parsons – Food Editor, Los Angeles Times
  • Noelle Carter – Manager, Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen
  • Rene Lynch – Assistant Food Editor, Los Angeles Times
  • Jessica Gelt – Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times
  • Betty Hallock – Deputy Food Editor, Los Angeles Times
  • Krista Simmons – Associate Editor, Brand X

And of course, high brow or not, it wouldn’t truly be a Los Angeles food event without food trucks present. Don Chow Tacos, Wahoo’s, The Sweets Truck, The Buttermilk Truck, DosaTruck, Coolhaus will all be there if you so prefer your food off a 4-wheeler.

Wine, sake and spirits from various vendors will help you wash down your bites. Blackheart Spiced Rum, Broc Cellars / Broadside Wines, Conway Family Wines, Dutcher Crossing Winery, Evan Williams Hong Reserve Bourbon, Flora Springs Winery & Vineyards, Gekkeikan Sake, Hook & Ladder Winery, Lunazul 100% Agave Tequila, Kook Soon Dang Beer, Michael David Winery, Rideau Vineyard, Sinatra Family Estates, and Venteux Vineyards will all be present during the event.

If you buy in advance, you’ll save $10. The best part is that general admission attendees also get to enjoy a good number of pours (8 to be exact) with their food. But if VIP is more your speed, you’ll get unlimited pours and in addition, you’ll get to taste bites from these participants. Benefiting from ticket sales are Share Our Strength and the Los Angeles Times Family Fund, so you can feel good that you’ve spent your day also supporting worthy causes.

Seems like a it’ll be a great debut. I’ll see you there.

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Sunday, September 5, 2010

12 – 8 PM

$125 VIP Admission ($135 door)
$55 General Admission ($65 door)
$40 Concert Only, advance and door

Tickets

L.A. Times Celebration of Food & Wine at
Paramount Pictures
5555 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90038

L.A. International Wine & Spirits Giveaway

L.A. International Wine & Spirits Competition

A couple weeks ago I had the privilege of tasting the fruits of labor of those having judged over 4,000 wines for the L.A. International Wine & Spirits competition. Originating at the L.A. County Fair 71 years ago, the competition arose out of awarding medals to the finest California wines. Since then, it’s expanded to not only international wines but liquors and even olive oils. The competition is also symbolic of a love of wine from all different walks of life, including the sports star power of Tommy Lasorda, Mario Andretti and Greg Norman – who are all entrant winemakers. And let’s not forget Francis Ford Coppola and his winery. How very L.A., indeed.

This is where you come in. I’m giving away a “swag bag” with a $75 value. Included are:

  • A variety of winning wine and spirits from this year’s competition
  • A pair of tickets to the upcoming L.A. County Fair
  • Vouchers to the wine-tasting seminars at this year’s Fair

The L.A. County Fair this year is from September 4 – October 3, 2010. So make sure you aren’t out of town during that entire time so you can take advantage of the tickets should you win. I think the most exciting part are the vouchers to the wine-tasting seminars at the Fair. OK – free booze is great, too. 😉 But you might as well learn about what you’re drinking, while you’re at it, right?

To enter, leave a comment below, detailing what you’re most looking forward to at the Fair. You can also enter by Tweeting:

“I entered to win LA Int’l Wine & Spirits swag bag & LA Cty Fair tix at: http://estar.la/e/6t via @estarLA”

So, you can enter a total of 2 times!  Contest is closed a week from today, July 4, at 4 PM. At that time I’ll pick the winner using a randomizer. Then, I’ll contact you to get address info, and the goodies will be shipped directly to you. Good luck, and have a great weekend!

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Saturday, September 4 – Sunday, October 3, 2010

L.A. County Fair
1101 W. McKinley Ave.
Pomona, CA 91768
909.623.3111

Open Labor Day weekend, closed subsequent Mondays & Tuesdays (23 days and nights)

Balblair All-Vintage Single Malt Scotch Arrives on U.S. Shores With Fanfare

Getting a taste of Balblair 97 vintage

I can always use a lesson in single malt Scotch – it’s a chance to widen my experience and palate, and let’s face it: I’m partial to it. A few weeks ago, I tried Balblair – the distillery of which dates back to 1749 – for the first time. So did many other Americans since it just got introduced to the U.S. market. It was a privilege to be amongst the first to partake and celebrate. Incidentally, I met a few members from the Los Angeles Whiskey Society. Indeed, whiskey – or more specifically Highland Single Malt Scotch – brings us all together.

Balblair is a Highland Single Malt and the only that is all-vintage (older than 10 years). The 1991 ($129.99) and 1997 ($64.99) are the first two vintages available here, and needless to say – I thought the 1997 was very good but was very impressed by the 1991 vintage. Both have an ABV of 43% and are full-bodied. In the 1997, I experienced a rather spicy nose as well as a few citrus notes. The taste gave off much oak as well as spice – and some vanilla. The 1991, on the other hand, was a bit more sweet on the nose as well as taste with warmer notes overall than the 1997, even giving off the essence of toffee. Very delicious.

If I had occasion to give a generous gift to a seasoned whiskey drinker – I’d certainly pick up one of these bottles. Since it’s new to our market, your giftee will appreciate both your expertise and good taste. 😉 If you want to sip here in the city, try The Edison, Checkers and The Thirsty Crow (thanks to Maya of ShopEatSleep for that tip).

Further reading:
Loving Scotch Like Ron Burgundy – ShopEatSleep

Tasting the World’s Only Vintage Single Malt Scotch – Gourmet Pigs

Trying Balblair Highland Scotch – Tara Met Blog

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The Balblair tasting was held at:

Edison Downtown
108 West 2nd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012-1585
213.613.0000

Wed – Fri: 5 PM – 2 AM
Sat: 8 PM – 2 AM