I veer into cocktails on occasion, actually bulking up my bar this year for once, so I was excited to try Thunderbolt and their primarily pre-made drinks.

I started with one of two cocktails on the menu that had a charity component to it. $2.00 from the Highball of the Month goes to the Another Round Another Rally fund for hospitality workers. The glass and the slab of ice was very eyecatching with the red/pink of the brambled gin. This is a raspberry drink that you can drink all day.

Next was a final attempt at the famous Negroni. I have had two before this and the strange Campari flavor had left me unfulfilled. The Thunderbolt version was fine but it put the nailin the coffin of me liking Negroni’s.

The location on Temple is done up real well with a dark bar vibe that is pierced by sunlight from two sides. They also have beer and cider but the star is the spirited concoctions.

Bittered Sling

Each alcoholic beverage has its own rabbit holes that you can plunge into. What if you combined two of them together?

The world of cocktail bitters and the aromas of hops maybe…

That is what the Canadian company the Bittered Sling has done with one of their aromatic bitters…

Review – On the Rocks Old Fashioned

I have passed by the RTD’s from On The Rocks at both Whole Foods and Vons, thinking, next time. Well, I finally got to next time and here is my review of their Old Fashioned made with Knob Creek whiskey.

This is strong. Take the over ice suggestion seriously. The alcohol is hot here. There is a nice citrus undertone here as well as a nod to sweetness at the top but this is basically a shot of whiskey. A little rounding off of the edges would do wonders.

If you like a up in your face Old Fashioned this will work for you but if you are looking for more depth, you may need to add extra to it.

Summit Sipping

I enjoy a good walk but I am a city streets kind of guy and not one to venture into the out of doors and hike in nature. That being said, if I knew there were cocktails (or of course, beer), I could be tempted to find a dusty trail. That is what makes the Summit Sippers such a cool idea. They haul up cocktail ingredients and fancy dress to welcome hikers to the summit. Hauling a keg would obviously be a harder endeavor plus that first draft might get messy but maybe there could be a halfway beer stop too.

Jackson Ranch

Cellador Ales is going fancy on Friday November 15th when they release two Jackson Ranch wild ale variants.  They are whiskey inspired beers as described by the brewery as, “one aged in a High West Double Rye Single Barrel and the other in a Knob Creek Cask strength Single Barrel.”

Cellador will be making cocktails with the beers that night and if you have had one of them before, you know it will be tasty and interesting.


Cocktails and beer can go hand-in-hand and Gigantic is doing it right. Primarily, they have learned how to use Old Tom gin barrels to re-create flavor profiles of a drink like the bramble. Now I am not a fan of blackberries IRL, but as a flavor, it really works for me and I hope to see #97 in L.A. stores.

#LABW8 – Polly Want a Whiskey?

Reverse barrel time for #LABW8 as Steve Lipp, owner of Alexnder Murray & Co, and the esteemed David Walker, of Firestone Walker Brewing Company, will be pub crawling this Saturday, June 25th to showcase their collaboration Polly’s Casks in Santa Monica.
What are Polly’s Casks? It is a “Highland Single Malt Scotch that has been aged in Bourbon Casks previously used to age American Craft Beer.”

The three bar crawl will feature specialty cocktails with Alexander Murray Scotch whisky line along with Firestone Walker’s core and specialty beers (Parabajava Coffee, Sticky Monkeee Qua). Participating bars include: The Basement Tavern, Areal, and The Library Alehouse.

Style + Herb

I think there is a sub-trend lurking amongst the nitro beers and fruit IPA’s and it is the cocktail themed beer….
Following on the heels of their Pumpkin IPA from last year and their cookie beers from Christmas comes this Mint Julep beer from Flying Dog. And I gotta say that I think the label is one of the better ones. Not as cluttered as the usual and I do hope to see this beer here in L.A.



The job of creating cocktails for a nationwide chain must be hard enough. Trying to please corporate and managers without ever seeing an actual customer and finding out what they would actually like with their Red Robin burger.

Then fold in having to satisfy tie-ins and “synergy” must just add a whole new level of difficulty.

I imagine the discussion was, “tell the cocktail person that they need to use this brand of vodka and this brand beer and to use the can too ’cause the dishwasher costs are too damn high.”

On a side note, I like how they slyly add craft into the tag.  It dresses up the Coors.

I would rather buy Paula Deen butter because these cocktails look absolutely gross.