If candylike concoctions send you spinning, get back to basics with a straight-up serving. Linger over a double shot of Don Julio Real ($350), a high-end tequila aged up to five years in white oak barrels, in its very own Tequila Don Julio limited-edition glass ($350 for two). The modern crystal glassware was designed by famed restaurant architect Jeffrey Beers; its intricate cuts help release the tequila’s rich aromas as you swirl and sip Real’s initial flavors of dried fruit and roasted agave followed by toffee, chocolate, vanilla, and oak. Still in the straightup spirit? Try Milagro Select Barrel Reserve Reposado tequila ($74.99), made from 100 percent blue agave in the home of tequila, Jalisco, Mexico, and housed in an elegant handblown bottle. A bit lighter, the golden-colored tequila is triple distilled for smoothness and tinged with aromas of spice and smoke with tastes of wood, citrus, and honey. If in the end, a cocktail is what you crave, try this sweet libation from Don Julio:
11⁄2 ounces Don Julio Blanco tequila
3⁄4 ounce fresh lemon juice
1⁄2 ounce ginger syrup
Lime wheel for garnish
Combine Tequila Don Julio, fresh lemon juice, ginger syrup, and ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake well. Strain contents into a glass over ice. Top with ginger ale. Float cassis on top and garnish with a lime wheel. Ginger syrup: Strip off the skin of one ginger root. Place in vegetable juicer. Add 2 parts white sugar to 1 part ginger juice by volume.
Tequila Don Julio glassware is available at Show, 1722 North Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, 323-644- 1960; showlifestyle.com. Don Julio Real and Blanco tequilas and Milagro Select Barrel Reserve Reposado are both available at Wally’s Wine & Spirits, 2107 Westwood Boulevard, Los Angeles, 310-475-0606.
Hailed as the world’s first triple sec, Combier finally hits US shores. Created in France’s Loire Valley by Jean-Baptiste Combier in 1834, the original recipe and triple-distillation process are still in action using century-old copper stills. The result is a crystal-clear liqueur with an aromatic orange flavor that earned Combier an “Exceptional” placement in the Beverage Testing Institute’s 2008 International Review of Spirits, scoring 90 out of 100 points. Combier is perfect for classic cocktails; Father’s Offi ce’s mixologist uses it to whip up this signature sidecar:
FATHER’S OFFICE SIDECAR
1 1/2 ounces Prunier VSOP cognac
1/2 ounce Combier
1/2 ounce lemon juice
Orange slice for garnish
Combine and serve on the rocks. Available at Father’s Office II,3229
Helms Avenue, Los Angeles,
Don’t even think about green beer this St. Patrick’s Day—one of the world’s favorite Irish whiskeymakers is offering up an excellent limited-edition pour, Jameson Rarest Vintage Reserve ($250). The four Jameson Masters (distiller, blender, maturer, and whiskey scientist) blended the oldest Jameson whiskeys, combined with a rare and charismatic pot-still whiskey aged in specially selected port casks, for the richest Jameson Irish eyes have ever smiled upon. Available at Wally’s Wine and Spirits, 2107 Westwood Boulevard, Los Angeles, 310-475-0606.
Fuse the rich flavors of Rémy Martin cognac with the lighter bittersweet orange liqueur of Cointreau and you get a match made in heaven—namely, Cointreau Noir ($60). The warm, woody vanilla of cognac melded with fruity notes of Cointreau creates a sublime golden hue that pours perfectly straight up or over ice. Available at Wally’s Wine and Spirits, 2107 Westwood Boulevard, Los Angeles, 310-475-0606.