Archive for May, 2015

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!

Newsletter 61: Park Cognac

Posted in Events on May 2, 2015 by becca

Santé! We all had a great time sipping through the Park Cognac lineup with the lovely Naomi Schimek at the always gorgeous Social Costa Mesa.

Naomi discussing the Cognac regions

Naomi discussing the Cognac regions

Naomi guided us through the history and regulations of Cognac and shared the exceptional artistry of the Park brand. We tasted several expressions with broad differences due to aging.

Courtesy of Naomi, here are some resources to explore further:

BNIC website -It is very comprehensive and full of official information from the Cognac Board – if you dig deeper into the site a little there are some great interactive maps as well:

Cognac Park Line Up
Park & Tessendier Background
Park On-Premise Price Sheet

We had some great drinks courtesy of Mike West of Social as well as Naomi:

Park VS Punch

Park VS Punch

The Punch
by Mike West
Park Vs Cognac, Rhum Clement, Smith n Cross, Becherovka, Kalani Liqueur, Banana Oleo, Lime Juice, coconut Water, Fennel Bitters and Pineapple Juice.

Maison Manor

Maison Manor

Maison Manor (stirred)
by Mike West
1 1/2 oz Park VS
1/2 oz Rittenhouse Rye
1/2 oz Gran Poppy
1/2 oz Zucca Liqueur
One dash Chocolate bitters
Punt e mes rinse
Grapefruit oils

Orange County Suite

Orange County Suite

Orange County Suite
Created by Naomi Schimek
2 oz. Cognac park VS
.75 oz. Rooibos tea syrup
.75 oz. lemon juice
1 oz. jasmine/ sandalwood scented egg white*

Prepare in the style of a traditional egg white sour: dry shake, cold shake. Served up in a coupe, garnished with a dehydrated lemon wheel. *If you have the time, the best way to scent egg whites are overnight. Wash and dry the eggs and place into a paper towel lined Tupperware with an airtight lid. Drop essential oil onto the paper towel and, as the eggs’ shells are permeous, over a 24-36 hour period the eggs inside will be scented. Always use food grade oils. Then separate all the whites from the yolks and funnel into a bottle for speed pouring!

Our educational topic for the evening was a very special treat! OCBC member, Michael Patrick Rooney shared a personal history and some great research on bitters as a digestive aid. Michael covered the historical use of bitters for their medicinal properties and discussed how their uses apply today to aid digestive ailments and promote a healthy gut!

MPR talks bitters

MPR talks bitters

Our next meeting will be on Monday, May 4th at 7pm. We will be changing up our format and doing an intensive spirits tasting & analysis.

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!