"Wow, I haven't made one of these in a long time," the cute, raven-haired waitress at Capital Grille confessed as she poured out my Sweet Basil Gin Rickey into a martini glass. I understand why: a Rickey is the Mr. Burns of classic cocktails--none of the Mad Men chic of an Old Fashioned or a Manh ... More >>
The group of county libation crafters is teaching you to drink as you've never drunk before
You walk up to a bar to get a drink and you notice they've got six types of rye, one kind of vodka, a lineup of brown-glass medicine bottles with eyedroppers, infusing jars where the line of beers normally sits, and really freaking pretty ice. Congratulations: you've stumbled into a craft cocktai ... More >>
You probably don't know it, but every time you go to a Starbucks, 14 people behind you in line are shooting daggers at you and trying to kill you by modulating their alpha waves . . . and yes, it's your fault. You're the inconsiderate, self-absorbed douchebag, and you infest every coffee shop in ... More >>
We're sometimes accused of being too North County-centric around here. We can't help it; even leaving aside the snark about Laguna Engabachada, the fact is the population's up here in the 714, and choice in restaurants tends to follow the population.Coffee, however, is a different story. There's ... More >>
The Copper Door brought the creations of nearly 50 craft breweries to downtown Santa Ana when it opened in 2010. The (literally) underground beer bar has approximately six beers on tap at a time but dozens upon dozens bottled delights. Their simple menu is broken down into categories (beer connoi ... More >>
Martin Diedrich. The father of the coffee revolution in Orange County, owner of the first coffee shop to make an unapologetic, small, truly Italian cappuccino, as well as the first to introduce la naranja to the idea that coffee needn't be roasted to dust in order to taste like something.Jeff Dug ... More >>
LA Beer Week begins today, and this year, it's two whole weeks of craft beer mayhem. Beer crawls! Beer dinners! Beer workshops! The lineup is extensive with things to do for drinkers of every budget and neighborhood. Here's a sampling of the beer events happening in Orange County and Long Be ... More >>
The Wild Turkey distillery tour in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky isn't the most popular on the Bluegrass State's Bourbon Trail--that would be the Maker's Mark one--or the most-thorough--that honor goes to Woodford Reserve--but in many ways, it's the best. It's absolutely down-home, starting with a docum ... More >>
This teahouse caters to Korean chicks, but you should go, too
Flickr user Mark CrawleyLooks like we now know what's the next food trend hipsters out here will bring back from the dead or, conversely, hijack from the lower classes: sodas! It's no longer enough to merely stock regional brands ala Mello Yello and Cheerwine: now, you have to concoct your own se ... More >>
From a Placentia industrial park, Patrick Rue and his Bruery have revolutionized craft-beermaking in Southern California
Jessica FordSome nights, I just want a cocktail delivered to me without having to leave the comfort of my apartment. I've come one step closer to making this a reality with VnC Cocktails--bottles of premixed, just chill-and-serve cocktails.VnC Cocktails include Strawberry Daiquiri, Banana Daiquir ... More >>
Kate Kohl Fancher/OC WeeklyBarley Bandits John Edwards (left) and Spencer Colman enjoy a brew. Call them chefs, artists, craftsmen. Or simply call them guys (and some gals) who love good beer. It's Brew Day for the Barley Bandits, Orange County's oldest homebrewers club. Standing beside a ... More >>
Courtesy of KDBKDB in Long Beach, your "neighborhood kitchen, den and bar," is a Dave and Buster's-esque fun zone for adults. It happens to trump its competitor, however, with two full bars, a bowling alley, karaoke, pool tables, a restaurant, and games that actually give you a decent amount of t ... More >>
Dave LiebermanKean Coffee's Italian cappuccinoAs hard as it may be to believe, I am not a die-hard coffee snob. I do not care to memorize the names of coffee estates as though they were domaines in Bordeaux, I don't trust any place that gives me a palate cleanser before my espresso, and I'm not y ... More >>
Rows of homemade grappa in a bar in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy.Grappa. Just the word sends waves of warmth down the esophagus.Grappa is brandy distilled from pomace--the solids left over during the wine-making process; the stems and pips and skins and pressed pulp. The French call this leftover gun ... More >>
Flickr user InfrogmationThe saviors of Oktoberfest?The big food story going around the Internet right now is Slate's piece on the decline in Germany's beer culture. It's a relatively well-written piece, with a lot of history and anecdotes thrown in, but something nagged throughout--hadn't I read ... More >>
From Twitter, from a gal whose name I can't remember, whose question I can't quote verbatim because it's buried under a pile of tweets, but which went like this:Where can I find a good mimosa near the beach?Actually, she first asked about a good mimosa, period. I recommended Memphis at the Santor ... More >>
Tobin SharpThis week's adventure found me at the popular Seal Beach watering hole, 320 Main, a place where the mixologists take the creation of cocktails very seriously.
About two weeks ago, Edwin spotted a pallet of Adult Chocolate Milk in Costco. I also witnessed that same gigantic stack of bottles right by the entrance and had to try it out.It's a 40-proof-vodka beverage packaged in a retro glass bottle with a swing-top lid--the spiked version of your favorite ... More >>
OC's own Haven Gastropub is opening a second, Pasadena location in late 2011. It's not just a clone of the Old Towne Orange restaurant, but an ambitious expansion into their own, on-site beer brewing operation.
Edwin GoeiThe Place: Ecco, 2937 Bristol St., Ste. A103, Costa Mesa, (714) 444-Ecco (3226); http://www.eccocm.com The Hours: 5-7 p.m.The Deal: $4-$8 appetizers. $3 domestic beers. $4 import beers. $6 well martinis. $4 well drinks. $5 house red or white wines by the glass. $10 cocktails.
Yucatan Grill in Seal Beach is my go-to spot for tasty margaritas. This Caribbean-Mexican restaurant always makes their margaritas stiff (you have to get your money's worth in this recession!) and offers a variety of choices from a Suprema Yucatan (equivalent to a Cadillac Margarita) to a Pomerit ... More >>
ProfessorSalt.comTustin barista Brien Flanagan shows off latte artIt's not the silt-rich cup of mud that is real Turkish coffee, brought to a simmer several times in a traditional ibrik. Kéan Coffee's twist on caffè latte is nonetheless my favorite OC coffee drink of the moment.
After tasting the Mojito at Brea nightclub/bar Entourage last night, it occurred to me this concoction is slightly out of season. It's a clear drink made with mint leaves and evokes fond memories of summer.
Flickr user jo-hIf you're a regular reader of Fork, you've probably noticed I haven't been around much lately. This is because I am stuffing myself silly doing research on regional French food and drink. While I love Paris, get out into the countryside and French food becomes more approachable, c ... More >>
Jessica Ford The menu at K'ya Street Fare in Anaheim features dishes you'd find from street carts around the world, but the cocktails are far from something you would be able to find on the street. The restaurant is located inside Hotel Menage and the signature drink is the Menagetini--a co ... More >>
Tim SeidenMango MojitoIt's not every day you can sip on mojitos and munch on guava barbecue meatballs while watching a sunset--unless you are at The Rooftop Lounge in Laguna Beach, of course.
Where to go for the best deals and drinks
John GilhooleyYesterday, we called Jeff Duggan a coffee geek. This, it turns out, was not 100% accurate; he is really more of a coffee mad scientist, the Dr. Emmett Brown of java, except, you know, with better hair. On the Line usually features a recipe from the featured chef on the third day; si ... More >>
John GilhooleyHead into Irvine's Layer Cake Bakery on a Saturday and your senses will be assaulted as soon as you enter. The man responsible for this attack on your nasal passages is Jeff Duggan, proprietor of Portola Coffee. While "On The Line" usually features restaurant chefs, it's not e ... More >>
Our coffee culture, sadly, tends to run toward Starbucks and drive-through at It's A Grind. Largely missing from la naranja is the local, artisanal small-batch roaster whose singular focus on the product raises the coffee bar. Sure, we have Martin Diedrich, and the lines out the door at his two coff ... More >>
Cherry BombCelebrating Independence Day comes down to three simple things: fireworks, barbecues and booze. And since I can only help you with the last one, continue on for two Fourth of July-inspired cocktail recipes.
Chris A. Michaels/ / CC BY 2.0Santa Barbara VinesIf there was a moment for California wine--one in which it went from being something that only came from Napa and Sonoma or was just two buck chuck--and became something relevant in pop culture, it was the release of Sideways.
cogdog / CC BY 2.0Mothership WitWith the masses of craft beers now widely available--many coming out of our southerly neighbors in San Diego County--American beer doesn't have quite the same stigma as it once did. There is certainly still the watery, cheap swill to uphold that stereotype, but wit ... More >>
Willy BlackmoreStephanie Anglim at Anglim Winery White wine is certainly worth drinking year round, but with the heat making its way back to Orange County, a cold, crisp bottle has become evermore tempting in the past weeks. We've tasted some wines from nearby Temecula in previous editions of Due ... More >>
The proprietors of Tranquil Tea Lounge in Fullerton do it all for the love of the leaf
Dave LiebermanOne day last week, our editor-in-chief came out of his Editors of the Roundtable discussion with a proclamation."Verily, go thou out into the shire and imbibe, that all may be shewn the way of the publican.""Um, what?""Go find happy hours, then write about them.""Did you just tell u ... More >>
Dave LiebermanAs we posted at the end of last year, PepsiCo bottlers are making limited-edition "Throwback" versions of Pepsi and Mountain Dew. These are made the old-fashioned way, with sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). While OC is no stranger to sugar soda (a lot, but not all, o ... More >>
Living in California and drinking locally, alcohol-wise, is by no means difficult. From the world-famous wine regions in Northern California to the craft beer Mecca of San Diego County and a few other noteworthy sources of wine, beer and booze (SF's Anchor Distilling makes thoroughly interesting and ... More >>
Jessica Ford Will Templin pouring a red blend at Total Wine in Tustin.To honor the new year, things are changing for this edition of Drink of the Week. Instead of "order this drink at such-and-such bar," we recommend you take advantage of Total Wine's inexpensive wine tasting. At onl ... More >>
bevreview.comJason Arango at the Daily Fork posted yesterday about Pepsi Throwback and Mountain Dew Throwback, versions of the popular soft drinks that are made with sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup, sold in the usual plastic bottles with retro labels.Not to be outdone, the Dr Pepper Sna ... More >>
marcoveringa @ flickr.com CC BY-NC-ND 2.0Because the farmers' markets are mostly closed this week, here is an extra recipe for you all. Drink enough of this and you won't care that you can't get your Chinese long beans or grass-fed bison.
Dave LiebermanRemember two weeks ago, when I posted mockingly about 7-Eleven's move into the ultra-budget wine world? I made a snarky comment about not doing one's research about specialty retailers that might also have a decent chunk of the market share for really, really cheap wine, and I threw ... More >>
Wine Lab Newport
It's not often that you'll see "free" and "Pelican Hill" in the same sentence, so grab the chance while you can. From this evening, OC residents can enjoy Vertical Ladder Wine Tastings plus hors d'oeuvres in the resort's Great Room. What on earth is a Vertical Ladder Wine Tasting, you ask? Weeell ... More >>
First up, Saturday July 25, is the monthly 50 for 50 event at the Next Vintage Wine Shop next to Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale's, South Coast Plaza. From 3 to 5.30 p.m., around 30 top wines and champagnes will be sold off for half their original price. Expect some stunners among the bargains. ... More >>
Good independent cafés are few and far between, so I count myself lucky that one of them, Javatinis, is right on my doorstep. Admittedly, the setting isn't the nicest, set in a lackluster strip mall on what feels like the edge of the world. The drinks list is familiar (including frozen drinks with ... More >>