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Brand

Tunatinis Might Be Your New Favorite Cocktail

Dirty martinis and tapenade are an appetizer combo that makes the absolute most out of the humble olive. The martini, a mix of gin and vermouth, takes a savory spin when it gets a dash of olive brine, and when paired with the olive-based spread, a combination is formed that’ll whet any palate. Similarly, this can work with many deliciously briny foods besides olives, like Bumble Bee® Tuna.

Let’s see how.

The tapenade is going to require a little prep, so we’ll start there.

As with any good tapenade, crostinis are needed. First, preheat an oven to 350 degrees and slice a baguette into half-inch thick slices. Then brush each one with olive oil, garlic, and salt to give them some oomph. Bake these for 15-20 minutes until nicely toasted. While those are doing their thing, start the tapenade.

Finely chop a ½ cup of not one, but two, kinds of olives that are called for: Castelvetrano and black. Also chop a ¼ cup parsley and roughly 2 tablespoons of pimiento peppers as well.

Grab a mixing bowl, and dump the chopped veggies into it. Add two tablespoons of both olive oil and non-pareil capers, and a 5oz can of Bumble Bee® Solid White Albacore Tuna. Make sure to reserve the tuna brine for the incoming martini. Once everything is in the bowl, give it a good mix and set it aside.

Before we pronounce the tapenade a done deal, mix a cup of creme fresco (sour cream or crème fraîche work too) with a teaspoon of paprika. Spread about ½ a tablespoon on each crostini (once properly toasted, of course) and then top each with a tablespoon of the tuna tapenade. The creme fresco gives the dish a needed dose of freshness to cut through the unctuous tapenade, so I implore you to not skip this step under the guise of it being an optional addition.

With the crostinis and tapenade finished, the only thing left to do is give them a good drink pairing.

The tunatini is pretty straightforward. Throw 6oz of vodka (this drink will surely kickstart a good night) in a cocktail shaker. Add 2oz of vermouth, 2oz of tuna brine, a teaspoon of lemon juice, and a cup of ice. Give it a vigorous shake, then pour and garnish with a lemon peel and as many olives as desired.

Prep as many crostinis and tunatinis as needed, whether that’s for yourself or guests. Maybe it’s been a long day, maybe you just really love tuna and want to share that with your closest friends.

Either way: the prep is over, so time to enjoy the fruits of your labor, and the true gastronomic diversity of a can of Bumble Bee® tuna.

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Alcohol Pop-Ups

Los Angeles Is Getting A Tiki Bar On Wheels This Summer

After staring at a blank screen for a minute, I let out a loaded sigh and realized that any sort of tropical getaway is much needed right now. But being in the middle of a global pandemic hampers that thought — unless you switch up your frame of mind a bit and imagine the essence of said tropical getaway coming to you. Enter the Lost Parrot Tiki Pop Up.

Dubbed a ‘tiki bar in a bag’, this mobile pop up cocktail experience just recently launched with service to the Greater Los Angeles area, serving up delicious tiki-inspired cocktails to Angelenos looking for some tropical vibes this summer.

For $49.95, you get a cocktail kit that includes a 16-ounce pre-batched tiki cocktail (enough for four drinks), a branded reusable cooler bag, two tiki tumblers, straws and swizzle sticks, crushed ice, and a link to an
‘Island Getaway’ Spotify playlist.

Indulge in one of five of the Lost Parrot’s cocktails, including The Funky Polynesia (Zacapa Rum, coconut, pineapple, cream, dragon fruit and angostura bitters), Silky Saturn (Tangueray Gin, lemon, passion fruit, orgeat, falernum), and the Lost Parrot Swizzle (Vida Mezcal, mint, mango, lime).

If you’re looking to vibe exponentially on the island vibes there’s add-ons available which include: a ‘Conch Punch’ ($69.99) complete with large format tiki bowl; additional pre-batched drinks; collectible tiki glassware; Lost Parrot merch including Hawaiian shirts and hats; and a selection of hard-to-source rum varietals.

The entire experience is coming to you via a Lost Parrot Tiki Van, which is a collaboration with California artist, Jonny Pucci. Delivery service will be determined by neighborhood on ‘Tiki Tuesday’ (Eastside/Valley), ‘Fruity Friday’ (Culver City/Venice/Santa Monica) and ‘Silky Saturday’ (Mid-City/West Hollywood/Beverly Hills) between 12-5PM with a dedicated courier alerting customers when their delivery in transit and upon arrival.

For pick-up orders, they are available daily between 3-5PM are located at Lost Parrot Cafe in South Pasadena.

To order and schedule a delivery/pick up visit www.LostParrotTiki.com or via Instagram (@LostParrotTiki).

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Alcohol Restaurants

Yard House Is The First National Restaurant Brand To Add Hard Seltzer On Tap

Yard-House-Ginger-Citrus-Hard-Seltzer-Cocktail

You can’t throw a can of White Claw and not hit another can of hard seltzer. In fact, the category has seen 200% growth over the past year. Now Yard House is bringing them to their taps with some help from Truly Hard Seltzer.

All Yard House restaurants have more than 110 taps, all of which have been dedicated to beer and cider since the restaurant opened in 1996. Now, it is the first national restaurant brand to add the bubbly beverage on tap at all 81 locations.

The restaurant chain, known for having “the world’s largest selection of draft beer,” recently introduced four handcrafted cocktails, making it the first restaurant brand to add the popular bubbly on tap nationwide. The four cocktails are Black Cherry (filthy black cherry syrup, Truly and drenched cherry), Lime Refresher (Truly and lime), Ginger Citrus (seen above – house made ginger beer, Truly and lemon) and Passion Fruit (passion fruit syrup, Truly and mint).

Categories
Adventures Alcohol Art Features

Gate Bar Centro Is The Most Unique Cocktail Experience in LA

Imagine globetrotting around the globe without ever having to step foot in a congested TSA line, all the while enjoying a delicious one-of-a-kind cocktail at each stop you make. No, teleportation has not been miraculously figured out. And trust, no sorcery is involved — unless you count the magic the bartenders are working at Gate Bar Centro, a new cocktail tasting menu at The Bazaar and SLS Hotel Beverly Hills in Los Angeles, CA.

Here, the mixology masters of the program are taking your tastebuds on a traipse around the world via distinct ingredients and drinks indicative to the area. For instance, imagine being shifted into the warm, inviting shores of Copacabana in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil via an “LN2 Caipirinha,” which is essentially a traditional Brazilian caipirinha cocktail miraculously turned into frozen sorbet form.

Or picture yourself headed to Russia’s Caspian Sea by experiencing an unparalleled interpretation of a Dirty Martini — in caviar form. The application of molecular knowhow along with the thoughtful approach to using key ingredients unique to each location is a testament to just how singular the experience is at Gate Bar Centro.

So don’t worry about the fasten your seatbelt sign, instead turn your attention to the twelve destinations you’re bound for, all in cocktail form. It’s jet setting at its finest, complete with masterfully crafted cocktails that capture the essence of the country they’re most proud to represent.

Categories
Alcohol Hit-Or-Miss

The Holidays Aboard the Queen Mary Isn’t Your Usual Holiday Haunt


Photo: Greg Nagel

Picture this: You’re sitting aboard a historic luxury British ocean liner, drink in hand, yet the spirits outside the glass are just as entertaining as the ones in.

It’s just past midnight and we’re sitting in one of the most haunted places in America — deep in the belly of the historic Queen Mary, as the cool dry winter sea air pours through small cracks and port-hole windows nearby. I’m not much of a ghost hunter per se, but if I was, the old mail room where guests of yesteryear would drop off postcards from around the globe is a flurry of paranormal activity. I have a craft cocktail in one hand, and a ghost-hunting multimeter in the other… and it’s lighting up like a carnival ride after asking some questions out loud, “What’s your favorite food…do you like pizza?” The ghosts are so cool.


Photo: Greg Nagel

The Queen Mary during the holidays keeps its regular haunted ghost tours, but the real spook is with Aiden Sinclair’s Ghosts of Christmas Passed show that runs in a small theater called the Reverent Room on the B deck. Pre-show, you’re treated to a cocktail hour filled with museum of curiosities and a handful of classic-themed cocktails, such as a Smoke & Mirrors that’s a take on a classic Manhattan, complete with smoked maple bourbon, black walnut bitters, sweet vermouth, and hickory smoke on service. Make sure to grab a drink for the show, you’ll need it.


Photo: Greg Nagel

If you’re into ghost-free dining, Sir Winstons aboard the ship offers fine dining with some of the best views of Long Beach overlooking the bay. At sunset, light pours through the dining room, making for some epic selfies while ordering off of their hidden gem sunset menu (3-course prix fixe for $50). I went off the regular dining menu with the classic British Sir Winston’s beef wellington that’s a perfectly cooked hunk of beef encased in crispy puff pastry, a bit of pork belly, and a schmear of pâté Campagna. It’s seriously umami heaven.


Photo: Greg Nagel

The Queen Mary’s Royal Brunch is also a perfect place to spend a Sunday in their grand ballroom, complete with all the mimosas you can handle. The spread is deep with fresh hand rolls of sushi made to order, a raw bar, more crab legs than you can sword-fight with, and every other cuisine and carving stations than you can handle. When I’m a ghost someday, I’ll gladly haunt the Queen Mary.

The Queen Mary, Sir Winston’s, Aiden Sinclair’s Ghosts of Christmas Passed, and more is all found at QueenMary.com

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Drinks Film/Television Restaurants Video

These Over The Top Cocktails Are Inspired By Cinematic Classics

Castaway Burbank can really hold its own when it comes to mouthwatering dishes like their Lobster Pot Pie. However, the hidden Los Angeles Gem also holds another secret that only locals know about. Film buffs and alcohol aficionados, you’ll want to check this out.

The Green Room, a secret bar/cocktail lounge inside of Castaway is home to a community that loves everything film. At the bar, one can order from a menu of intricate cocktails that are each individually inspired by a cinematic classic.

Here are some that you’ll find on the menu.

 

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Short Round, named after Harrison Ford’s sidekick in the classic Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, is a visual masterpiece. The cocktail is made with Macallan 12, Dolin Blanc, and Suze. Stired and strained, it’s placed in the chest (on a bed of grass) and served alongside a dry ice skull.

Belle, based off of the iconic rose from Beauty and the Beast, features Ketel One Botanical, St. Germain, Clarified Lemon, and 1-1 simple syrup. The cocktail is presented with a special technique that features smoking incense and the use of dried flowers to create an atmospheric aromatic rather than one that simply comes from the cocktail or garlic.

It’s served in a bell jar that’s filled with smoke.

Pirates of the Caribbean fans will want to order the Flying Dutchman, a cocktail that serves two people.

They stir and strain stolen smoked rum, Novo Fogo cachaça, Smith & Cross, honey, clarified citrus, and Allspice, and finish the drink by infusing the ship carafe with orange wood smoke. As the drink is poured into the glass, the ghost ship arises within the foggy cocktail sea. A haunting beverage that’s perfect for a melancholic evening.

You can find these cocktails and more movie-inspired beverages inside the hidden Green Room at Castaway.

Categories
Alcohol Drinks

Bar Recreates One Of George Washington’s Favorite Drinks By Sticking A Red Hot Poker Into Beer

Photo: Cian Lahart

Everyone has a drink they like to unwind with at the end of a long day, even a Founding Father. In case you ever wanted to experience what a prolific figure like George Washington would order at a bar, one of his beverages of choice is now being recreated in the 21st century.

Porterhouse Brew Co. is offering the historical drink known as a Hot Ale Flip for a month at the New York Bar, located in the Financial District.

Made with molasses, egg whites, rum, and ale, the drink is completed by sticking a red hot fireplace poker straight into the concoction to warm it up. Though, as health precautions changed over the past few hundred years, the fireplace poker has since been replaced with an ale warmer loggerhead.

Originally served at the iconic Fraunces Tavern, sister restaurant to Porterhouse Brew Co., Hot Ale Flips were believed to be one of George Washington’s favorite orders back when he visited the Tavern and a was also a popular sailor’s drink that was served during the Colonial era.

Not sure how I feel about warm ale quite yet, but my curiosity is piqued.

The Hot Ale Flips will be available now through March 19 for anyone hoping to experience a taste of history to enjoy.

Categories
Culture Restaurants

There’s A Hidden Speakeasy Inside The First Permanent US Hello Kitty Cafe

The cultural phenomenon that is Hello Kitty has opened a few popups in the United States over the last few years. These mini “cafe stands” served treats and beverages inspired by the animated feline and were beacons for fans to venture forth, visit, and get to know one another through a shared love of the iconic cat. Now, Hello Kitty is finally opening her own brick and mortar location complete with a secret immersive experience for enthusiasts to enjoy: a hidden Hello Kitty tea room and speakeasy.

Located in Irvine, CA, the Hello Kitty Grand Cafe front of house features fresh baked cakes, cookies, donuts, beverages, merchandise, and apparel — all inspired by the beloved Sanrio character.

In the back of the cafe, tucked away against the far wall, is an inconspicuous white door where a single golden bow hangs. When you knock on it, the door opens, transporting you to the wonderland known as the Hello Kitty Bow Room.

It turns out that magic comes in all shapes and sizes, including the form of a tiny white Japanese cat. Who knew?

By day, the secret space operates as a tea room that serves Hello Kitty bites and teas. Afternoon tea assortments include paprika-smoked egg salad in a cone, cucumber bread with dill cream cheese, smoked salmon served with cream cheese on a pretzel croissant, strawberries and cream, and Hello Kitty mini cakes.

At night, however, the Bow Room transforms into what’s essentially a speakeasy — complete with a wide array of cocktails inspired by Hello Kitty and her animated animal friends.

Along with the cocktails, guests can also choose from a selection of wines which are available during both the afternoon tea service and the cocktail service.

Once you’re inside the Bow Room, really take it all in and let yourself become one with the become one with the euphoric pink atmosphere. Dress to the nines, take tons of pictures, make Hello Kitty puns, and immerse yourself in the experience. How often can you really say you’ve been inside a secret Hello Kitty speakeasy?

The Hello Kitty Grand Cafe (and Bow Room) will remain inside the Irvine Spectrum Center as a permanent location. To experience the Bow Room, reservations will need to be made ahead of time by calling the store or visiting the cafe’s website.