Archive for Left Coast Libations

Blatant Self-Promotion

Posted in Blatant Self Promotion, Left Coast Libations with tags on September 13, 2010 by Mr. Manhattan

Left Coat Libations San Francisco Launch Event, September 18th, Heaven’s Dog, 9 PM till closing.

You know that book I’ve been working on for the past couple of years? Well, it’s out. To celebrate (and sell some books, let’s face it, that’s what we’re trying to do) we’ll be holding launch events in each of the Left Coast cities over the next month and a half. The first (and certainly the biggest and best) will be held in San Francisco this Saturday (September 18th) at Heaven’s Dog (and yes, Erik Adkins will be there). The details are below. I expect all of my faithful readers (I think there are about 11) to join us. A splendid time is guaranteed for all!

Where: Heaven’s Dog, in the Soma Grand, at 1148 Mission Street between 7th and 8th Streets in San Francisco.

When: Saturday, September 18th, from 9 PM until closing.

No reservations are necessary. (We expect to RULE this place.)

A number of Left Coast bar talent will be on hand as ‘special guests’ throughout the evening, some from out of town.

We will have books for sale (courtesy of Green Apple).

We are still finalizing the cocktail offerings for the evening, but the following have been confirmed:

Ueno San, Andrew Bohrer/Seattle, Washington
Saffron Sandalwood Sour/Seattle. Washington
Filibuster, Erik Adkins/San Francisco, California
Old Bill, Neyah White/San Francisco, California
Passage to India, David Wolowidnyk/Vancouver, BC

Here are the confirmed dates for the other events:

September 27th, Seattle, Rob Roy
October 3rd, Portland, Teardrop Lounge
October 17th, Los Angeles, The Varnish


TOTC 2010: Off the Hook in So Many Ways

Posted in Bartenders, Cocktails, Left Coast Libations, Musings with tags , , , on July 25, 2010 by Mr. Manhattan

So I had promised myself that, armed with media badge and a new camera, I’d be blogging every evening from Tales of the Cocktail. That was a good idea but not much more. I did manage to tweet a fair amount, however, which left a kind of breadcrumb trail by which some of my time here could be accounted for. I suppose the good news is that I managed to take notes (and photos) at all the sessions I attended and that now, with my head beginning to clear I’ll be able to post some post-TOTC reports and reviews. Things to look forward to include a dive into the realm of amari, investigations into the origin of proof (both over and under), and how Buffalo Trace plans on crafting a perfect American whiskey.

But in the meantime…here are a few snaps to tide you over.

My Garage…My Warehouse

Posted in Left Coast Libations, Musings with tags , on July 9, 2010 by Mr. Manhattan

There’s an awful lot you wind up taking on when you decide to publish your own book. For example, once you get your books printed, you need to figure out where to store them all. Thank heavens for a large garage and a very understanding GF.

We Now Resume Our Regularly Scheduled Blog…

Posted in Left Coast Libations with tags on June 24, 2010 by Mr. Manhattan

…Already in Progress!

It’s been a little over a month since I last posted, right as I was on my way out the door for a vacation on the island of Curacao. Unfortunately, the day I returned I had a pretty serious personal medical emergency which has kept me side-lined for the last three weeks. I’m home, recuperating and ready to jump back into the blogosphere. I’ve got a number of posts coming in the next week including some overdue pre-event coverage for Tales of the Cocktail 2010. I’ve also been getting busy in the kitchen again and have been making my own candied cherries and some new noyaux.

They’re (almost) here…

One really exciting bit of news to share right away: we’ve now received our advance copies of Left Coast Libations. Yes, we’ve held actual books in our hot hands. All I can say is that they are more beautiful that any of us could have imagined. Really stunning. (Kudos to our book designer, photographer and the press.) Of course most all of those books have now been sent out to editors at various national long lead magazines. We’re of course hoping for a big media blitz in late August/early September when the book officially goes on sale everywhere.

The bulk of the books are en route to us by boat from China. Our freighter is set to dock in Oakland on July 1st and the books should be out of customs on July 5th. I’m busy clearing space out in my (fortunately) sizable garage in anticipation. Once we’ve got these books we’ll start sending out review copies to key cocktail, spirits, and food bloggers.

Ted, Scott, and I are working with the bookstore in the Monteleone at Tales of the Cocktail and will have a limited number of copies available for sale. We’ll be hosting a book signing at the Monteleone on Friday, July 23rd at 11:30 AM. Simultaneously we’ll be making and offering one of the cocktails from the book in the Domaine de Canton hospitality suite upstairs. We hope to be able to offer additional selections at other hospitality suites throughout the week. If you are interested in buying a copy of the book while at Tales, I’d recommend you don’t wait until the last day. We expect it to sell out.

OK. that’s all the news for now. Stay tuned for more!

Curaçao Bound…

Posted in Left Coast Libations, Musings with tags , on May 10, 2010 by Mr. Manhattan

Yes, that’s right. Mr. Manhattan is about to take a vacation on the lovely and cocktail culturally important island of Curaçao. I am sure to make a visit to Mansion Chobolobo, home to Senior Curaçao de Curaçao while I’m there. I’m also certain to get my share of diving and swimming and generally loafing about. I will be disconnected from the electronic teat we call the internet while away. I’ve got a number of new posts on the back burner including one last exotic citrus discovery and a preview of the amari seminar at Tales of the Cocktail. Look for ’em when I return. And keep those pre-orders coming in.

In the meantime, those of you at the Manhattan Cocktail Classic may bump into some of our spies friends distributing a lovely little postcard for Left Coast Libations. For those of you less fortunate, here’s what it looks like.

BARSmarts LIVE, Seattle 2010 (2)

Posted in Left Coast Libations, Musings with tags , on May 5, 2010 by Mr. Manhattan

Part 2: Bar Smarts

It’s been just about one week since I was in Seattle for the completion of BARSmarts Advanced, the so-called Live day. My head is a bit clearer and it’s time to record my impressions of that experience, having already gushed about all the bars I visited in the days leading up to the event. (Aside: I realize that I’ve been referring to this program somewhat incorrectly as BARSmarts Live. It’s BARSmarts Advanced and the Live day is the culmination, when everyone signed up for the program and who’s passed all the on-line exams, gets together for one final day of instruction and insanity.)

I want to start by saying that BARSmarts Advanced (and to a lesser degree its on-line only kin, BARSmarts Wired) is a serious undertaking. There’s a lot of material to learn and cramming for the exams, especially the final written test, would be foolhardy. That being said, I feel the time and effort I put into this program (many hours over several weeks) was totally worthwhile. Through the workbook, the DVDs and the on-line testing modules my knowledge of spirits, cocktail history and even practical aspects of barkeeping were greatly enriched. Through the Live day I then had the opportunity to interact with some of the best and brightest people in the business: the BAR Partners(*), BAR alumini (**), and my fellow Advanced students. While the ultimate value of the certification (which not everyone is guaranteed to obtain) might be unclear, there is no question that this is an experience from which I have and will continue to benefit as a cocktail professional.

(*) – Paul Pacult, Dale DeGroff, David Wondrich, Doug Frost, Steve Olson, and Andy Seymour are the six gentlemen who run Beverage Alcohol Resource, the organization who helped develop this curriculum for Pernod-Ricard.

(**) – Graduates of the week-long certification program given by BAR once a year in NYC. The alumni helped out through the day (often working behind the scenes) and served as judges during the practical exam.

I also want to send some props to the Pernod-Ricard production team. I think this was the very biggest Live event ever produced, with roughly 130 participants. The day went very smoothly, things were kept more or less on schedule, and if there were any major snafus, I was not aware of them. Thanks to you all!

How it works…

So first off, I should say that with the exception of the Live day, the BARSmarts Advanced and Wired programs are more or less identical. Participants in both programs are expected to learn the same materials (organized into four modules) and are tested the same way, via on-line timed tests. Wired students, having passed all four of the on-line tests then take one further on-line exam using a Flash-based ‘cocktail builder application’ which turns the process of making a drink into a series of multiple choice steps. Once that exam is passed, the Wired program is complete.

Advanced students, who must have an invitation to sign-up, are tested much more rigorously during the Live day. In addition to the on-line tests (all of which must be passed), there is a comprehensive written exam (including a small spirits evaluation) which recaps all four of the modules followed by a practical exam in which students are asked to make cocktails in front of a BAR judge. Not working behind a bar day over day, getting ready for the practical exam was the most challenging aspect of the course and, in fact, also the most rewarding. After all: how many times do you get a chance to make cocktails for the likes of David Wondrich, who turned out to be my judge. (Aside: It’s worth pointing out that even some of the pros taking the program found the practical pretty tough. You are expected to demonstrate not only that you remember how to make a given cocktail but confidence in your bartending skills and demeanor. The more confidence you showed, the tougher some of the judges were on you.)

The day Live day itself breaks downs into two parts: sessions with the BAR Partners in the morning and then the final exams in the afternoon. It’s a very full day for everyone involved. By the time I was brought into the judging room, I was pretty frazzled. I was also super happy when my practical was over. I was free to head into the hotel bar and have a cocktail on our hosts, the lovely folks from Pernod-Ricard.

Is this valuable?

One of the questions I’ve been asked several times since completing the course (besides did I pass) is whether or not getting certified has any value. I think by ‘value’ most people want to know whether the certification is recognized within the industry and would it help someone get a job.

To be certain, passing BARSmarts Advanced is not like getting a degree from an accredited university. However, judging from turn out, this is clearly a serious program, started by some of the most respected people in the business and which serious professionals are wanting to attend. That in itself creates intrinsic value around the certification. I suspect as more people learn about and complete the program, the value of saying you’ve passed will increase.

I would also say that there’s great value getting to spend a day meeting and networking with one’s peers and superiors. I met a lot of people I’d been wanting to meet and feel I made a lot of useful connections.

Could it be better?

Now that I’ve gone on about the best parts of the experience, I’d like to share a few things which I think could have been done better. Obviously this is a program still undergoing some significant evolution and rough spots remain. After mulling everything over for a week, I think there are four comments I’d share:

1- The second module, which covers all categories of spirits in one go, is massive and required reading it several times before I was confident I would remember enough to take and pass the on-line exam for it. It would be much better, I think, to split this module into two parts. Someone else in the course made the same observation during the Live day and suggested, quite reasonably, dividing that module into white goods and brown goods. Liqueurs, also covered in this module, could be made part of either half.

2- If you didn’t score perfectly on the on-line quizzes for each module, you were only told which of the questions you didn’t get right, not the correct answer to them. Worse, there are a number of questions of the form: “Which of the following is true:” or “True or False:” so you didn’t even know which question(s) you’d gotten wrong.

3- During the morning session we were given a couple of cocktails to try. It wasn’t really clear exactly why and to what purpose—i.e. did we really need to try a strawberry lemon drop? Since both were based on vodka, it came across as a bit of sales pitch to an audience possibly disinclined to sell cocktails based on this spirit. It was in fact the only time I felt ‘sold to’ during the event.

4- If feel the spirits tasting and evaluation section of the exam could have been better designed. In another life I was a very serious wine taster and attended biweekly blind tastings for many years. I found the format used for the written exam, a series of very specific multiple choice questions, to be less than inviting. I think the idea was that we were supposed to identify the primary characteristics of a given spirit by class (e.g. know that we’d been given a sample of gin rather than vodka). However, we all experience spirits (and wine for that matter) very subjectively and even experienced tasters aren’t always on their best game. Rather than making this part of the exam only about absolute right/wrong answers, I’d have found it more valuable if I had been asked to record my sensations of smell and taste as accurately as possible. Developing a good sense of ‘how’ a given spirit smells and tastes to us and learning how to communicate that seems every bit as important as the objective identification of a spirit tasted blind, which in practice will almost never happen when we’re at work behind a bar.

One last thing thing I’d add: the printed workbook contains numerous typos, grammatical errors and some seemingly contradictory information. It would be good for all of that to be remediated at some point.

P.S. As of this writing I have no idea if I passed. I *think* I made the cut but won’t know for a couple more days.

BARSmarts LIVE, Seattle 2010 (1)

Posted in Left Coast Libations, Musings with tags , on April 28, 2010 by Mr. Manhattan

Part 1: Smart Bars

I’ve been in Seattle for the past four days, here to attend the BARSmarts Live day which took place on Tuesday (yesterday). It’s certainly a relief to have the testing behind me, in particular the practical exam, which was certainly the most intense part of the program, least ways for someone like me not used to performing behind a bar day after day. More about all of that in my next post.

To be sure, when not studying or attending the Live day, I made what I think was very good use of my time here by visiting as many of the LCL bars and bartenders as I could. My guide was Ted Munat, the brainfather (?) of Left Coast Libations and the force behind Le Mixeur. (Ted’s also took BARSmarts with me so we liked to tell each other we were actually studying when we got together for cocktails on Sunday and Monday. Actually I just made that up. We had no such pretense.) Here now are some notes and photos from those visits.

Jamie Boudreau @ Knee High Stocking Company

Our first stop last night was the small and speakeasy-like Knee High Stocking Company where Jamie Boudreau is currently working. It was my first time watching him work (other than when he made cocktails for the Creme d’Yvette launch at Tales last year…we’re still waiting for product) and certainly the first time getting to try so many of his original cocktails. Most stunning of the batch was something he made for Ted using Pacifique absinthe in which an entire pineapple had been allowed to macerate ala Tequila Por Mi Amante. We tried some of this lovely stuff straight and it was simply delicious. The pineapple really complemented the herbaceous absinthe, the proof of which had been tamed by all the juice it had extracted from the fruit. I would definitely like to try this at home some time.

Here’s a couple of photos of Jamie at work. Note his incredibly swift and fluid stirring technique, just barely caught on camera.

Anu Apte @ Rob Roy

After consuming a few more of Mr. Boudreau’s ‘work in progress’ cocktails (one with topped with a delicious maple foam) we staggered made our way over to Rob Roy for a visit with Anu Apte who was working a solo shift. Anu and Zane bought Rob Roy a few months back and have been working really hard to turn it into a first-class cocktail destination. One of the things they’ve started doing is buying large blocks of ice which they then saw up to make “blanks” for carving ice balls for serving brown spirits. Here’s a shot of Anu making one for me:

In addition to the ice balls, Anu and Zane are also provisioning something you just don’t see in too many places any more, fresh cut seasonal produce in the urinals:

I can only assume this is organic or at least pesticide-free.

They’ve also seen fit to publish many classic cocktail recipes on the walls behind the urinals. Here, for example, is the recipe for an Old Fashioned:

Before I left Anu honored me by handing me one of the silver markers and allowing me to add a cocktail recipe to the collection. Visitors to the restroom will now note a recipe for the Brooklyn on the mirror to the left of the sinks.

Robert Rowland @ Oliver’s Twist

Ted used to live within walking distance of this bar, situated in the homey Phinney Ridge neighborhood of Seattle, across the river from the city center. The place has a definitely ‘locals mostly’ kind of vibe but Robert’s cocktail program really makes it a worthwhile destination. I had met Robert when he was visiting San Francisco the weekend we did the photo shoot for the book. He never seemed quite ‘at home’ when behind the bar at Flora or Beretta where he was guest bartending. But at Oliver’s he was clearly the master of his domain. Here’s a photo of him demonstrating his ability to adjust his opacity to suit any situation. Handy, dude!

Jim Romdall @ Vessel

There was a party at Rob Roy on Monday, hosted by Pernod Ricard for the BARSmarts folks. Quite the blast to be sure. A bunch of us remained cogent enough to head over to Vessel afterward. It was my first time there and I was not disappointed. However, I did fail to take a good photo of Jim or any of the cocktails I had. I know one was the Vessel 75 but I can’t recall the others. I think in part that’s because two spirits took possession of me while I was there. The first was half an ounce of LeNell Smothers’s legendary Red Hook rye. I had never even seen a bottle of this before. I knew it had been sourced from KBD, same as the Black Maple Hill bottles but Jim felt pretty sure it wasn’t from the same set of barrels. It was quite delicious.

The second was downing a shot of Fernet which had been ‘enhanced’ using Vessel’s Perlini Carbonated Cocktail System. Jacking the bitter bartender’s shot with CO2 gave it slight froth, a bit like root beer. Went down really smooth.

Oh, and this is kind of random, but Jim had mixed up some kind of potion using edible metallic powder from a baking supply store to make cocktails for some metal working/smelting group or thing or whatever. Anyway, when you swirl the bottle around it looks like a storm on Jupiter.

Andrew Bohrer @ Mistral Kitchen

I had really been looking forward to meeting Andrew. I loved making his cocktails for the book and I am a big fan of his blog, Cask Strength. Even after all the great drinking I’d done in the previous two days, Andrew’s cocktails were all standouts. Andrew started out by making me a couple of things from the menu: the Bergamot Blue Blazer (made with Earl Grey tea, served in a tea cup, accompanied by a couple of little shortbreads) and a Bee’s Knees, made with some kind of lavender syrup. Damn fine. (And what’s with the Seattle obsession with the Blue Blazer? No one makes these down here, let alone making them a regular offering on a cocktail menu.) The next two cocktails were even more exciting.

First I requested one of the cocktails from the Left Coast Libations, Ueno San, named in honor of the Japanese master bartender Hidetsugu Ueno, famous for, among other skills, his hand-carved ice balls. Andrew of course serves the Ueno San cocktail over a hand-carved ice ball, a skill he apparently learned from Ueno-san himself. (I should mention that Andrew buys ice with Anu and Zane for this purpose. He had a little freezer full of pre-sized blocks which he trimmed down as needed into lovely spheres or faceted gems.) Here’s a photo which unfortunately fails to show this drink off very well. There’s a long wide peel from most of one orange spiraled around the ice ball.

Second, I spied a bottle of the grappa-based liqueur from B. Nardini in Italy called Tagiatella, which is made with cherry and other flavorings and which has little or nothing to do with the similarly named pasta shape, tagliatelle. Andrew wasn’t content to simply give me a taste when I asked him about it. Instead he concocted what turned out to be an amazing flip. I was truly blown away by how good it tasted. I’m pretty sure the primary alcohol was the 6-year-old Russell’s reserve rye. I am definitely going to try to recreate this one at home.

Murray Stenson @ Zig Zag Cafe

After completing BARSmarts Live on Tuesday, most everyone found themselves at Zig Zag Cafe by then end of the evening where the legendary Murray Stenson was on task. I had never seen Murray work before and I have to say the man is something of a machine. There are like 15 or so seats at the bar plus all the folks milling around at the tables. Murray was handling all of it. I thought Andrew Bohrer works hard and moves fast (and, man, he does) but Murray puts him to shame.

Next: Part 2: Bar Smarts

The Proof is in the…Proofs!

Posted in Left Coast Libations with tags on April 25, 2010 by Mr. Manhattan

A few days ago we received a package of proofs from the printers (Toppan) in China. It’s another one of those significant milestones in publishing a book. In fact, it’s pretty much the very very last step before they put the whole shebang on press and turn over a year’s worth of love and labor into books for you. It’s also one’s last chance to change anything, should you find something wrong at this point in the process.

As I write this our book designer Lisa is starting to review the proofs after which she’ll hand them off to our photographer Jenn. This is their chance to make notes which can be passed to the printer regarding adjustments to any of the images and the overall ‘look’ of things when ink is applied to paper. There’s actually quite a bit that can be done ‘on press’ to adjust color balance and tonality. Ideally you don’t want to do anything at this point but should the need arise, this is our chance to provide that input.

For that purpose we’ve had two different kinds of proofs made: digital proofs for all the photos and so-called wet proofs that show how the pages will look when real inks (and not toner) are used to reproduce ’em. This is especially important for Left Coast Libations because in addition to the standard CMYK ink set we are using two additional spot inks (AKA Pantone Solids) for the page backgrounds. Up till now we’ve only seen what these will look like as simulated by an ink jet printer.

The other things you check for at this point are more mechanical: are all the pages present and in the right order? Are any of the design elements missing from any of the pages? For that we rely on a plotter proof. This proof shows the result of having taken the pages in reader order (as we submitted them), shuffling them together into what’s called an imposition form (as they will be printed together on a single sheet of paper) and then folding and cutting the form to make collections of pages, known as signatures. And if the forms were set up correctly, this results in the pages being presented, once again, in reader order. What you get with the plotter proof is a loose set of simulated signatures wrapped up with the cover and the end papers. Here’s a photo:

Did you follow all that? Good. Celebrate with me and have a cocktail! Yum!

Oh, there was one last bit in the proofing package. It’s a sample of what the finished book will look like…if they forgot to print anything on it. In other words, it’s a blank version of the book. Here it is:

In less than a month we should have a real version of the book to show you here, one of the advance copies we’re having sent back by air. A few lucky reviewers in the long-lead national press will be the final recipients of those.

A Toast to Brooke(lyn) Arthur

Posted in Cocktails, Left Coast Libations, Manhattans with tags , , on April 18, 2010 by Mr. Manhattan

Last Friday was Brooke Arthur’s last evening as Bar Manager at Range. Folks (OK, bartenders) were dropping by to say good-bye to her there and bid her good luck at Prospect, Nancy Oakes’s latest restaurant, where she’ll be managing as well. Those of us who stopped in were treated to a Brooklyn for which Brooke had so very kindly brought in her own bottle of Amer Picon from Spain (I think she said that’s where she got it). Only in writing this post did I realize how totally appropriate and fitting that selection was.

Now it’s Sunday. A beautiful day here in Oakland, California. I’ve got a few racks of baby back ribs smoking slowly in the Weber. A perfect time for a cocktail on the back deck. Remembering Brooke’s Brooklyn I decided to make one of my own, undoubtedly to slightly different effect using, among other things. Wild Turkey rye, Dolin blanc and my bottle of Amer Boudreau. Yummy never the less and more importantly, worth raising, in toast, to Brooke, where ever she may be today! Cheers!


2 oz. Wild Turkey 101-proof rye
3/4 oz. Dolin blanc vermouth
1/3 oz. Luxardo maraschino liqueur
1/3 oz. Amer Boudreau
orange peel strip, for garnish

Stir over ice to chill.
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with the orange peel.

[For more discussion on this cocktail, take a hop over to Jay Hepburn’s write up at Oh Gosh!]

And…We’re Off to the Printers!

Posted in Home Made Ingredients, Left Coast Libations with tags , on April 12, 2010 by Mr. Manhattan

It’s been a while since my last update on the book. I’m hoping to do that a bit more often going forward…

Last week we sent the completed print package for Left Coast Libations off to the printers, with no small sense of relief. All of last month was consumed with putting the finishing touches on the book: getting final hi-res color delivered, collecting releases from all the bartenders (herding cats, mon), completing the copyright page information, dealing with Library of Congress, building the index, adding a last minute section at the end for bartender updates, getting photos for our bios, etc etc. And now, that’s all done. Of course, as anyone who’s had a book printed knows, that particular stress was replaced almost immediately with concerns about things we might have missed (and that we’re going to find when we get our very expensive proof back to review) or problems in the print package itself (like missing fonts). It’s a never ending cycle of labor and joy, joy and labor.

What they are saying about Left Coast Libations

One really really cool thing we did in February was to send out early versions of the book as PDF to solicit quotes from key industry folks. These are the sorts of things you need for the back cover and for press releases which get generated before the book is made generally available for review. Amazingly enough not only did we get a 100% response from everyone we approached but everyone got back to us within a month. We didn’t have to follow up or cajole anyone. I am told that’s not always the case.

And, without further ado, here’s (some) of what “they are saying” about us…

“If cocktails aren’t your thing, buy this book anyway. Munat is delightfully entertaining, and his keen wit, coupled with a little sarcasm and a touch of attitude, have served him well here. It’s a darned good read. If cocktails are your thing you’ll get double your money’s worth with Left Coast Libations. It’s packed with fabulous formulas from all the big shots who hold forth from behind the mahogany on the west coast.”

Gary Regan, author of The Joy of Mixology and the bartender’s GIN compendium

“I am so very pleasantly surprised to learn that not only do some of our Western Territories have bars, but—if we are to believe this amusing and informative little volume—the conduct of those institutions is frequently placed in the hands of individuals who thoroughly know their business. I should like to visit them some day.”

—David Wondrich, author of Imbibe

“’Go West young man, go West!’ No truer words were ever spoken, then or now. It might seem like all of the nation’s trend-setting excitement is happening on the East Coast, but when you talk cocktails, you have to pay attention to what is happening in bars and restaurants up and down the West Coast. With Left Coast Libations, you not only have the opportunity to discover many of the great cocktails which have sprung out of the West, but also get a chance to meet the bartenders who created them.”

—Robert Hess, creator of, co-founder of the Museum of the American Cocktail

“Munat and Lazar’s book is the finest attempt anyone has made to reveal the movement that culinary cocktail-making has become. Left Coast Libations not only delivers stellar drink recipes but also includes all of the sub-recipes for each of the bartender’s hand-crafted ingredients. Working through this process gives the reader a fantastic new arsenal of garnishes, syrups, foams, airs, and other unique ingredients that enable anyone to create memorable cocktails at home. Additionally, we get the chance to learn a little bit about the creative souls who contributed these recipes with sharp, humorous, and always entertaining biographies on each bartender. If you love mixology, you will love this book.”

Scott Beattie, author of Artisanal Cocktails

“Far more than a how-to or a coffee table tome, Left Coast Libations stands as a complete and inclusive record of the state of some of North America’s finest bartenders as we wallow contentedly in the second Golden Age of cocktails. By turns humorous, stylish and evocative, Munat and Lazar open the doors to the rich world of American bartending west of the flyover zone.”

Phil Duff, door 74, Amsterdam

Makes my head swim every time I read those. More about the book soon…

P.S. And let no post end without a pretty photo…

I will be hosting a large cocktail event next month. We’ll be serving a selection of drinks from Left Coast Libations, naturally. One selection will be Jim Romdall’s El Globo Rojo which uses a homemade ingredient from Charles Baker’s A Gentlemen’s Companion. Here’s an (enormous looking) jar of what will become Tequila Por Mi Amante in about four weeks time. Slurp!