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Cognac Cool at Bottega Louie B right light fi lls the room on a busy afternoon at Bottega Louie, one of the sharpest, bustling-est restaurant/retail environments now sparking the “new” Downtown Los Angeles. The Italian eatery is packed, so we wait at the bar, entranced by Head Bartender Jamieson Rhyme, who takes the New Orleans classic, the Vieux Carré, and changes it up a bit for our liking. And what do we like? Bache- Gabrielsen VS 3 Kors, aged for about four years in oak casks, a youthful and lively cognac with a charming fruity nose, which surges out of the drink to sweeten up our winter blues. —Meridith May Jamieson Rhyme, Head Bartender of Bottega Louie in Downtown Los Angeles, uses Bache Kors VS for a refi ned version of the classic Vieux Carré cocktail. The Gurus of Gin E ven though “it all began with gin,” explained spirits expert Steve Olson about this spirit’s history, which dates back to the 14th century, “Tanqueray No. Ten led the way for a new procession of brands in the category. There are now over 70 gins available in the market today.” Tasting California bartend- ers blind on the aromatic profi les of about a dozen Steve Olson and Andrew Seymour (front row), of AKA Wine Geek, lead a gin symposium for California bartenders, assisted by (back row, left to right) Marcos Tello of Tello Demarest Liquid Assets, consulting mixologist Leo DeGroff and L.A. barmen Chris Bostwick and Eric Alperin, both from The Varnish. gins—and serving up samples of cocktails that fi t the styles, from London Dry to genever— Olson and his associate Andy Seymour entertained and educated the group for over two hours. Reaching all our senses, the group sniffed, eyed and then tasted appealing drinks and listened to the fascinating lecture. “Gin has rules,” he insisted. “Vodka doesn’t.” —M.M. M Y CM MY CY CMY K C PHOTO: MERIDITH MAY PHOTO: MERIDITH MAY

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