At the Tiki-Tiki-Tiki-Tiki-Tiki Class

Boy am I hungover.

I tend not to drink (heavily) on weekdays, but when you take a class on Tiki drinks, there is a lot of rum involved.

The Cocktail Lab is by far my favorite store in Los Angeles, and not just because of the subject matter, the owners are awesome too.  Every month they host a different class to further your education on craft cocktailing (the schedule is here), and last night was all about the Tiki cocktail.

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When you are handed a giant colorful tiki cocktail when you walk in, the class is off to a good start.

The class was hosted by Randy Tarlow of Liquid Alchemist, a very sought after mixologist by bars all over the country. His syrups are unique, and fresh, and can take your cocktails to a whole new level.

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We got a lesson in the history of Tiki and where it came from, as well as how it became big in the USA after World War Two thanks to Don the Beachcomber, and Trader Vic, two men who had to battle it out for Tiki dominance.

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EPIC. (ish)

After that first drink, a Zombie, it was time to learn about the classic that people love: The Mai Tai. Contrary to everything I thought I knew, mai tais are actually very simple, don’t have pineapple or coconut in them, and are very, very strong. Plus you can set them on fire.

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Flaming Mai Tais and Coconuts.

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Roz’s Punch knocked me out.

The third and final drink was called Roz’s Punch, and it was a doozy. A mix of rum, bitters, syrups, and topped with some nutmeg, the drink had an unexpected spice that you don’t normally associate with the sweetness of Tiki drinks.

Obviously more extensive research is needed on the topic of Tiki cocktails, and I will have to experience many samples until I can call myself an expert. That’s my type of scientific research.

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Randy is intoxicating to listen to. Or, maybe we were all just intoxicated.

If you’re in Los Angeles,  you should check out the next class at The Cocktail Lab, or at least stop by and buy some Liquid Alchemist syrups!

March? Already?

It’s March already! How did that happen so quick, weren’t we just celebrating the New Year (in Vegas. With Britney.)?

The days have been getting longer, and this weekend we lose that precious hour of sleep. But it also means the trees are in full bloom, the days are warmer…well, not for a lot of you non-Californians, I hear. But the point is, we’re heading into my favorite time of year: Spring! Full of renewal, bright greens, fresh flowers, and maybe my birthday. So if you’re thinking of gift-giving, a few of the following ideas might be helpful. *winkwink*

 

1. WONDER VALLEY OLIVE OIL

Wonder Valley

From not-too-far out in the desert comes a new olive oil that sounds delicious and full of promise. Described as “buttery, herbaceous, fruitful, and grassy,” Wonder Valley Olive Oil captures the history of Ancient Rome along with the magic of Joshua Tree.  I love anything made in California, and with a limited first pressing, this olive oil definitely lands at the top of my wishlist this week. I can’t wait to try it!

Grab a bottle at Wonder Valley. 

 

2. VINTAGE FRENCH BAR

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I’ve decided that 2015 is the year I put together a proper bar area in my apartment.  A place I can keep my fine liquors and barware, and impress my guests with my cocktailing skills.  And by “guests” I mean “myself.”  Most nights of the week. This antique bar from Restoration Hardware is classic yet modern and will make you feel like the most civilized bartender in town.

Check it out at Restoration Hardware.

 

3. VODKA COASTERS

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There’s not one of us who can’t relate to this. Cell phones + alcohol = awkward next-day conversations where you try to convince someone that, really, it wasn’t you who said that weird thing, it was that saucy minx, Vodka. She’s got sticky fingers when it comes to cell phones, and she knows just the wrong thing to say.  But if they don’t believe you, this subtle reminder will help.

Available at Sur La Table.

 

4. TEA(M) TOWELS

You Cook I'll Clean

 

 

A good couple is made of people who are a great team together. The type who can dance around each other in the kitchen at optimum efficiency, and who complement each other in every way. These hand-printed, cotton Tea(m) Towels epitomize great teamwork in the kitchen and make a nice conversation piece.  Though, now that I’m thinking about it, there seems to be a lot of “I’ll cook, I’ll clean” in my house…

Buy from Blackbird Tees on Etsy. 

 

5. METAL CANISTER SET

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Who doesn’t love a little bling in the kitchen? These stylish copper/silver/gold hued stainless steel canisters are perfect for storing your dry goods in a place you can have them on show, instead of hidden in a cupboard. Coffee, tea, rice, polenta, quinoa, whatever it may be, I’m sure it will feel much more exciting to scoop it out of a gold canister.

Glam your kitchen up at CB2.