Newsletter 66: Few Spirits

Posted in Newsletters on September 27, 2015 by becca

We were back at our regular format for September, thank you to the amazing Emily Delicce for hosting our meeting at the Boathouse Collective. It was a perfect setting to taste through the Few Spirits line-up and learn about this great distillery.

We had some great drinks! Here are the recipes courtesy of Emily:


Lovely drinks from Emily Delicce

Meyer Lemon Oleo
Gancia Aperitif
FEW American Gin

Watermelon Drink
1/2 Giffards Vanilla
1/2 Gran Classico
2 oz FEW Standard Gin
2 dash Fennel Bitters
3 oz Watermelon

Bourbon Drink
1/2 Lemon
3/4 Cynar
3/4 Grapefruit cordial
11/2 FEW Bourbon


Dave Lieberman presenting on Herbs

Our educational topic for the evening was a hands-on overview of herbs from OCBC member and resident farmer’s market expert, Dave Lieberman! We slapped, tore, sniffed & tasted a great variety of herbs from a local Vietnamese market, tried & true favorites and crazy fish-smelling exotics!


Here’s a helpful handout: OCBC Vietnamese Herb Primer (Dave Lieberman)


OCBC Vietnamese Herb Primer


Our next meeting will be on Monday, October 5th at 7pm in Seal Beach. We have a very special guest, bartender and author, Duggan McDonnell. His new book, Drinking the Devil’s Acre was just released and he joins us for a Q&A, led by our very own Dave Stolte. They’ll discuss the subject of his new book- San Fransisco & her cocktail history. Our sponsor is Encanto Pisco so you know we’ll be having some tasty drinks!

As always, to maintain the quality of service, presentation, space, food and drink we have a limited capacity for the meeting and must insist on RSVPs. Please get your RSVP in early and send it to Let us know if something comes up so we can make your spot available to someone else if you can’t make it.

Hope to see you there!

Newsletter 65: Beam Suntory

Posted in Newsletters on September 27, 2015 by becca

Thanks to Beam Suntory- our August meeting was one for the books! We got to hang out with our friends from USBG San Diego and USBG So Cal at the super cool Beam Suntory headquarters in Irvine. We did round-table tasting & educations on Irish Whiskey, Bourbon and Scotch led by the great guys at Beam. Every awesome bottle of booze you could imagine was available for tasting & testing, OCBC members tinkered at the bar throughout the day taking breaks only to eat at the Kogi truck! All guests left with a generous backpack of goodies, and a wonderful appreciation for our friends at Beam Suntory.



Tasting Irish Whiskey



Talking bourbon and rickhouses with Bryan Hansen!



Travis Tidwell presenting on Scotch



Kogi truck for lunch



OCBC & USBG having a blast (photo bomb by Michael Patrick Rooney)

Newsletter 64: Loft & Bear Artisanal Vodka

Posted in Newsletters on September 27, 2015 by becca

July was a special treat, we were hosted by the wonderful Ecco Pizza Shoppe at the Anaheim Packing District. We tasted and got the cool story of Loft & Bear Artisanal Vodka. This award-winning vodka is straight out of downtown LA and it’s distiller is one rad dude.

OCBC at Ecco

OCBC at Ecco

Brand representative Natasha Valdes and brand mixologist Karl Steuck provided some wonderful drinks for the group, recipes are below!


Karl Steuck, Loft & Bear recipe boss & yummy drink-maker


The uber-cool Ms. Natasha Valdes!

A big THANK YOU to the Ecco team for tasty cocktails and wonderful food.

Left Coast Greyhound
1.5oz Loft & Bear Vodka
.5oz Campari
1oz Grapefruit
.5oz Lime
.25oz Serrano syrup

The Loft Martini
2oz Loft & Bear Vodka
1oz Dolin Blanc
2 Dashes of Orange bitters
Stirred and garnished with a Lemon Twist

Cardamon infused Loft & Bear Vodka
Carpano Antica
Gran Classico Bitter
Orange Oil
Dash of Rosemary Sea Salt

OCBC member, Joel Caruso then dazzled the group with an awesome education on Limoncello. He is the master of house-infusions for cellos, nocinos & more!

Joel Caruso Limoncello presentation

Joel Caruso Limoncello presentation

Newsletter 63: Negroni Week Launch Party

Posted in Newsletters on September 27, 2015 by becca

Hello BarCab! Sorry for the radio silence- we mixed things up a bit this summer with some great meetings & events. Hope you were able to join us for one or more. We learned a lot and had tons of fun- wrap-ups from each month are coming.

To kick things off in June, OCBC participated in a Negroni Week launch party at Mesa in Costa Mesa. The event was sponsored by Infinium Spirits and was a fundraiser for Inspire Artistic Minds, a great charity that supports educational goals for the hospitality industry. OCBC members were out in full force, including the showcased bars: Little Sparrow, Social, Broadway, Mesa, 320 Main, plus our friends from the LBBC- Sky Room & the Stache! Thank you to Mesa for hosting a really fun event and the great food.

The winning bartender was Corbin Brown from Little Sparrow with his super delicious tiki-inspired Sandy’s Peaches. He won a trip to Tales of the Cocktail so I’m sure hand crushing all that ice was worth it, go Corbin!


Winner Corbin Brown from Little Sparrow (photo by kayla glass photography)



(photo by kayla glass photography)



(photo by kayla glass photography)

Newsletter 62: Intensive Tasting with the Dions (& Matt!)

Posted in Newsletters on May 28, 2015 by becca

We switched up the format this month and trained our palettes with an intensive tasting hosted by the OCBC board. Chris & Gabrielle Dion opened up their well stocked personal collection thanks to Young’s Market Company and The Mixing Glass! We tasted through white spirits and aged spirits- vodka to brandy and used a handy tasting grid to identify tasting descriptors. Everything from limestone to fruitcake to dill were found and it gave us all a great baseline to rock a blind tasting where the members identified each spirit category, right down to the grappa wild card!


Intensive Spirit Tasting

Here’s a copy of the tasting grid, a great reference to keep training yourself on blind tasting and identifying spirits: Bar Tasting Grid

We started the meeting out with a punch from 320 Main:

Sbagliato Punch
1 part Gancia Americano Apertivo
1 part Sweet Vermouth
1 part Sparkling Wine
Green Apple garnish


Sbagliato Punch


and had a second punch to gear up for the blind tasting:

Raspberry Beret
2 parts Crater Lake Whiskey
1 parts Fresh Lemon Juice
.25 parts Housemade Raspberry Shrub
.5 parts Simple Syrup


For the month of June we will be participating in a Negroni Week launch party in lieu of our normal meeting! Monday, June 1st from 6-9pm at Mesa (725 Baker Street, Costa Mesa, CA), OCBC members are welcome to attend for a discounted door donation of $10. Of course, Inspire Artistic Minds is a great charity that supports our members so if you feel so inclined, you can still make the full donation of $20. The donation at the door will allow you to have up to 10 tastes of Negroni variations from participating bars! Some of your fellow OCBC members will be competing and you get to vote on your favorite drink so come down and support, it’s sure to be a great time. Full details and advance tickets are available here:

To get on the list for the discounted donation at the door, RSVP to by Sunday May 31st. Hope to see you there!