The Tasting Panel magazine

October 2016

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Page 43 of 108

Jack on the Penny Pound Rock by Eric Alperin, Penny Pound Ice, Los Angeles, CA ◗ 2 oz. Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey ◗ 1 Penny Pound Ice rock cube UD.TN* by Vincenzo Marianella, Copa d' Oro, Santa Monica, CA ◗ 1½ oz. Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Select ◗ ½ oz. Grappa Nonino Riserva Antica Cuvée 5 Years ◗ ¾ oz. Amaro Nonino Quintessentia ◗ 2 dashes Peychaud's Bitters ◗ 2 dashes The Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas' Bitters Rinse a rocks glass with absinthe. Build cocktail and garnish with an orange peel. *UD stands for Udine, the Italian province that Vincenzo Marianella is from, and TN stands for Tennessee, the birthplace of Jack Daniel's. PHOTO: BRENT CAMPANELLI PHOTO: CAL BINGHAM Rocks cubes from Penny Pound Ice. october 2016  /  the tasting panel  /  43 PHOTO: CAL BINGHAM "A drink is only as good as its ingredients," he explains, "which is why we decided to build the bar program at Copa d' Oro [in Santa Monica, CA] around the local farmer's market before anyone else in the city." Marianella matches these ingredients with a high quality spirit, like Jack Daniel's. He continues: "No matter where I travel around the world as a bar- tender, people know Jack Daniel's as a well-respected whiskey. I saw the passion that goes into it myself when I went to the distillery three to four years ago." Another longtime friend of ET's, Eric Alperin chose to bring a cool (quite literally) product of his city to the glass. Founder of Penny Pound Ice (and partner in The Varnish), he uses inspiration from the old- fashioned practices of harvesting ice from frozen lakes and his seven Clinebell machines to slow freeze nine types of ice, including rocks, pebbles and spheres, that he deliv- ers to roughly 30 accounts in the L.A. area. As the water freezes over the course of two to three days, it is agitated, which allows impurities to escape the ice naturally. The end result is an incredibly pure, super dense ice cube, meaning it melts slower, making it the perfect fit for a Jack on the Rocks (or two). "I grew up with a French mother, who was used to having local markets and producers," says Alperin. "With that European influ- ence, it felt natural to offer this type of local service to my area. It's not just about cocktail bars either—we want to take the pretention out of ice and show how it can make a great simple drink, like one of my favorites: a Jack on the Rocks." That drink also happens to be ET's favorite. Jack Daniel's ability to shine in such a simple drink speaks volumes to the high quality of the spirit, which has never strayed in 150 years. It doesn't succumb to fads; it stands proudly without the gimmicks, because as Alperin quips about the simplicity of his favorite drink, "If it's not broken, why fix it?" And Jack Daniel's certainly isn't broken. PHOTO: BRENT CAMPANELLI Eric Alperin, founder of Penny Pound Ice, located in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles.

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