Little Drummer Boy

Bartender: Dan Tapia
Courtesy of DineLBC

1.5 oz Pecan Infused Rye Whiskey (instructions below)
4-6 oz California Clementine-infusion, piping hot (instructions below)
1 Tb Cinnamon/Nutmeg Compound Butter (instructions below)Little Drummer Boy Cocktail by Dan Tapia
salt to taste

Pour whiskey into mug. Ladle clementine infusion on top. While mug is still steaming hot from infusion, add one tablespoon of compound butter to the top. Toddy should be hot enough to melt the butter to form a delicious layer on top, and the spices will diffuse into toddy as well as remain on the butter layer. Throw a pinch of salt on top of you like the butter to come out a little more, don’t if you like the spices to dominate.

Pecan Infused Rye Whiskey
For rapid infusion, take a 1L cream whipper and add 750 ml of rye. Fill to top with pecans, allowing enough space in the whipper for the gas cartridge, about a cup’s worth. Charge whipper and give a little shake. With whipper standing upright, release the gas as rapidly as possible (the rapid change in pressure is what creates most of the infused flavor). Whiskey may also shoot out, so put a jar or bottle over the business end of the whipper.

Clementine Infusion
Cut 8 clementines in half, and squeeze juice into 1.5 L of water. Add the rinds into the water as well and bring to a boil. This is probably the hardest to do behind a bar, but I imagine a clementine squeezed into a French press with some hot tea water should do the trick nicely.

Compound Butter
Here’s where the magic happens! Soften 500 g  sweet cream butter to where it can easily be whipped in a mixer. Add 300 g light brown sugar (dark brown works well too, it’s all about taste. If you like it a little more on the molasses side, use dark. Have fun, this is boozeplay), 20 g ground cinnamon, and 10 g ground nutmeg. This can be easily scaled, and kept in a deli container for quite some time.


Show 146, November 14, 2015: Master Barman Duggan McDonnell, San Francisco

Duggan McDonnellSan Francisco is a City devoted to drink and other causes. Our guest, Duggan McDonnell, is the author of Drinking the Devil’s Acre – A Love Letter from San Francisco and her Cocktails.

During the 1870s and ‘80s, the Devil’s Acre was a single, bar-filled block within San Francisco’s infamous Barbary Coast that boasted the wickedest, wildest saloons in America. A few blocks away, marble-floored drinking palaces poured the high art of the cocktail. From this, San Francisco’s electrifying nightlife was born and a few generations later, the city’s farm-to-glass cocktails have never tasted better.

McDonnell (part culinary anthropologist and part whimsical professor) masterfully weaves essays on prominent spirits, insights into San Francisco’s historic love affair with amaro, and recipes for his Bartender’s Secret Formulas together with 25 iconic cocktail recipes made famous by the City by the Bay. The recipes range from the legendary Pisco Punch and the ingenious Mai Tai, to the Gold Rush era Sazerac and the more modern Lemon Drop.

Put on the spot Duggan offers that The Martinez, a Bay Area original, is perhaps the most iconic libation associated with San Francisco. It’s gin based.

A really fun part of the book is Duggan McDonnell’s “Rules For Budding Barmen and Young Mixologists Everywhere.” This is actually the book’s last page.

Chef Andrew asks Duggan to share his five “must visit” bars and taverns in San Francisco. The ultimate pub crawl if you will…McDonnell’s recommendations are Buena Vista (Irish Coffee.) Smuggler’s Cove (rum,) WhiteChapel (gin,) Comstock Saloon (The Martinez,) and Cantina (Duggan McDonnell’s place dedicated to Artisanal Spirits and California Cocktails.)



Jack-O-Lantern Cocktail at Pechanga

Jack O Lantern Cocktail from Pechanga Casino and Resort6 oz Orange Juice
3/4 oz Triple Sec
1.25 oz Blavod Black Vodka

Combine orange juice and triple sec over ice in a cocktail shaker.

Shake and pour into a Collins glass. Float Vodka on top of orange juice and garnish with an orange slice and a whole black olive.

*Black vodka is and tastes exactly the same as clear vodka. The black is created by the vodka manufacturer by adding catechu extract from the acacia tree. The extract acts as a natural food coloring.

Show 141, October 10, 2015: Bracero Cocina de Raiz and General Manager JM Woody van Horn Continues…

Chef Javier Plasencia’s General Manager and Sommelier at the new Bracero Cocina de Raiz in San Diego’s Little Italy, JM Woody van Horn continues…

The restaurant is on two levels. Reservations are taken, and the lower level is left for walk-ins. Also check Open Table. A few reservations typically become available “day of.

Of his new restaurant, Chef Javier says, “The traditional Mexican kitchen is a central gathering place, where lively talk resonates and generations of home-crafted meals are envisioned, created and enjoyed. So it is at Bracero Cocina de Raiz. We celebrate memorable dishes and specialty cocktails, and raise a toast to the heart and soul of those who have nurtured each and every plant that has produced what goes into recipes that are both reminiscent, and perfected in a way that has never tasted quite so good.”


Show 92, October 11, 2014: Drinkmaster Michael J. Neff

Michael J NeffThe Museum of the American Cocktail (MOTAC) presents “Cocktails for Peat’s Sake! Scotching the Single-Malt Taboo,” the next edition of Touring the Cocktail:MOTAC Los Angeles. The seminar takes place on Monday, Oct. 20th at 6:30 p.m. at The Three Clubs in Hollywood. The evening is hosted by cocktail expert Michael J. Neff.

“Join The Museum of the American Cocktail and cocktail expert Michael J. Neff for an exploration of the ways in which single malt whisky can elevate mixed drinks. Classic and modern ideas will be evaluated and sampled under the direction of Michael Neff, playwright and author who opened the famous Ward III and Rum House in New York. Mr. Neff’s cocktails have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and other publications. We are pleased that he will be serve as both presenter and drinkmaster.”

“The Three Clubs, a classic 1950s cocktail lounge and one of Hollywood’s secret delights, will host and serve a light dinner as well as gourmet chocolates.”


Show 87, September 6, 2014: The 12 Bottle Bar

David and Lesley Jacobs SolmonsonDavid Solmonson and Lesley Jacobs Solmonson have penned a new kind of cocktail book, The 12 Bottle Bar. Just twelve bottles create over 200 distinct and seasonal cocktails, including beer and wine cocktails. When we first interviewed the Solmonsons we ran out of time before we could discuss the clever “Acknowledgements” section of their book. We’ll resume the conversation…

“When we considered the acknowledgements, we realized that the people we had reached out to were folks with whom we would want to have a drink. So herewith, as a gesture of our gratitude, we offer our contributor’s response to the question, “If you could share a drink with anyone at any time, who would it be, where, and what would you drink?”

On Saturday, September 13th at 10:30 a.m. the Solmonsons will present “Sin and the Silver Screen: The Age of the Hollywood Nightclub.” It’s a free program in the Mark Taper Auditorium at the Los Angeles Central Library.


Show 83, August 9, 2014: The Golden Foodies

Golden Foodie AwardsOrange County’s answer to the prestigious, red carpet awards shows is The Golden Foodies. Voting has started for this year in the first group of categories and the public is invited to vote for their favorite restaurants and related categories. There are two more weeks of voting cycles…

Winners are chosen by the people. It’s a People’s Choice Food Awards. The Golden Foodie Awards Gala at The Fairmont in Newport Beach is Saturday evening, September 28th. Good luck to all…

Voting concludes on August 9th for the categories of : Mexican, Vegetarian, Pizza, Beer, American Cuisine, Burger, Cocktail, and Best Food Talk Radio Show.

The Founder of The Golden Foodies, Pamela Waitt, and J.C. Clow of The Winery Newport Beach join us. It’s been announced that J.C.’s The Winery Newport Beach has been nominated (one of three nominees in the category) for Best New Restaurant. Congratulations…!


Show 78, July 5, 2014: Tal Ronnen, founder and executive chef of Crossroads restaurant, Los Angeles Part Two

Jet Tila Sunday Supper at Crossroads KitchenOn June 29th Jet cooked a sold-out Sunday Supper at Crossroads.

Jet adapted his signature Drunken Noodles (Giada De Laurentis’ favorite) for the evening substituting tofu for pork. The dish earned high praise from the guests.

The Featured Cocktail was Mekhong Smoke. It’s Mekhong rum, mescal, thai basil, tamari salt and blistered shishito pepper.

Tal revealed some of the secrets of his wildly popular Caesar salad dressing which replaces the anchovies and egg with plant based ingredients. Think miso (bean paste) and capers…

The new Summer menu has just arrived at Crossroads. Look for melon, okra, and corn.


Show 68, April 5, 2014: Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, author of Gin: A Global History

Lesley Jacobs SolmonsonThe Museum of the American Cocktail (based in New Orleans) is kicking off their “Touring the Cocktail Series” in Los Angeles with Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, the author of Gin: A Global History. She also is the food and cocktail columnist at LA Weekly. The provocative program is “A History of Gin in Five Cocktails.”

Gin is the undisputed king of cocktail spirits. Built upon a neutral spirit base, great gin is a symphony of juniper, spices, botanicals, and citrus.

Five signature gin cocktails will be available for sampling that evening. It’s set for Monday, April 7th at Dominick’s Restaurant in West Hollywood.