• Posted by Califia Suntree on July 31st, 2014, 12:41 PM

    When life gives you 43 bottles of random liquor…[fill in the blank]. Please, brilliant mixologists, help us fill in the blank! My dear housemate inherited four file boxes full of booze—mostly fun-trashy liqueurs, and the biggest bottle of Bailey’s I’ve ever seen—when friends of her parents’ moved and emptied their home bar. We are left wondering what to do with the abundance of things we would probably, left to our own devices, never purchase (full itemization below). Ideas so far include: a hot chocolate party, a tiki party, a…sorority party? (It appears we have all the fixings for a Purple Nurple.)

    Here’s what we got. For the wine, yes, we’ll just drink it, and hope time has been kind. For the rest, I turn to you. Leave your ideas (and recipes?) in the comments! Read on… »

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  • Posted by Califia Suntree on January 10th, 2012, 2:43 PM

    Bourbon gives us an interesting window into GMO grain, because the spirit must by definition be made with at least 51 percent corn. Consider the fact that 85 percent of the corn grown in the U.S. is now genetically engineered, and you can guess why organic bourbon won’t be appearing in a liquor store near you any time soon.


    Keep reading…Bourbon of proof: Is Kentucky’s heritage spirit compromised by GMO corn? | Grist.

  • Posted by Califia Suntree on October 3rd, 2011, 4:00 PM

    Last night, Ken Burns’ predictably great new documentary on Prohibition premiered on PBS. (For those of you who missed it, you can catch the first episode online.) Among the fascinating tidbits: the etymology of bootlegger, teetotaler, skid row, and scofflaw, which lends its name to the cocktail created by the Varnish’s head saloonkeeper. See below for the LA Weekly article and recipe.

    In our recent conversation with Ken Burns, the award-winning filmmaker with the distinctive bowl-shaped haircut admitted that many who’ve watched his and Lynn Novick’s 5 ½ hour documentary Prohibition end up with cocktail-cravings. Which got us thinking: What if we were to ask Eric Alperin, co-owner of The Varnish bar in Historic Downtown Los Angeles and Prohibition-era scholar, to suggest a suitable cocktail to imbibe while you’re learning about our country’s famously unsuccessful social experiment?

    “Let me mull it over,” Alperin responded via e-mail.

    Keep reading… What To Drink While Watching A PBS Doc About Prohibition: The Scofflaw – Los Angeles Restaurants and Dining – Squid Ink.

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  • Posted by Califia Suntree on July 26th, 2011, 8:32 AM

    I’m sorry if you are hot and sweaty and live nowhere near the beach. I don’t mean to rub it in—truly. Most of the time, we are socked in fog. Rent is absurdly high. Tourists clog the downtown, and oceanside traffic is beyond belief on the weekends. But, on a recent sunny day, I made my way to the Santa Monica pier, wending my way along the bike path, dodging roller bladers and Segways (See! The beach can be really lame!). Inside the beautiful old carousel building, which dates to 1916, there is now an old-timey soda fountain, where cute boys in bowties serve up sherbet and egg creams, nicely complementing the air of summertime nostalgia. I was intensely thirsty, so I sidled up to the fountain and asked for something refreshing, fruity, and not made with ice cream. The “jerk” then whipped me up a perfectly slushy ice cream soda made with orange sherbet. Topped with a dab of whipped cream, it was a drinkable 50/50 bar—pure beachy bliss.

    We’ve now been making sorbet sodas at home whenever the temperature rises about 70, spiking them with booze just to make things more interesting. Dreamy combos include chocolate sorbet with Bailey’s, and strawberry sorbet with limoncello. Here’s what you do: Read on… »

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