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November 7, 2012 | By S. Irene Virbila
Is it too early to talk stocking stuffers? Maybe so. OK, think of these chubby little bottles of gin from St. George Spirits in the Bay Area as emergency supplies, ready to tuck in a bag for a camping trip or a long, cold trek. It's a great way to sample some of St. George's unique gins without committing to a full bottle. Break open that wee 200-milliliter bottle of Terroir gin or Botanivore gin to share while listening to a new record or CD. My fave, though, is the pot-distilled dry rye gin infused with juniper (twice as much as usual)
November 7, 2012 | By Betty Hallock
Deep-pocketed bartenders in need of some extra pockets, the backpack of your dreams is here: Gin & Luck , a "lifestyle brand" created by bar consultant Proprietors LLC , introduces its first accessory "for the epicurean lifestyle. " It's a bag for carrying your bar tools and a couple of bottles of booze. It costs $395. (Think about it -- that's only 40 days of under-$10 lunches.) What you're paying for: heavyweight canvas, leather, nickel-plated hardware and waterproof compartments; a 1,540-cubic-inch main compartment that includes a lined pocket for a 15-inch laptop; a toolkit and shaker sleeve; and two side pockets that hold a 750-ml bottle each (there are holes in the flaps that allow the necks and tops of the bottle to stick out)
November 3, 2012 | By S. Irene Virbila, Los Angeles Times
Here's the problem: "I'm a wine lover," says Hans Reisetbauer, spreading his hands for emphasis. But he was unlucky enough to be raised in upper Austria, too far north to grow grapes. The son of a farmer, at school he studied agriculture, but normal farming, like wheat or corn, didn't interest him much. So when Reisetbauer took over the family farm, he thought he'd try planting some old varieties of apple trees and selling the fruit. Bad timing: In 1993, his first harvest, the apple crop in Austria was huge and prices were paltry.
June 26, 2012 | By Mikael Wood, Special to the Los Angeles Times
It's difficult to tell if the Summerland Tour - which brings Everclear, Sugar Ray, Lit, the Gin Blossoms and Marcy Playground to the Greek Theatre on Friday night - represents the apex or the nadir of the current 1990s revival. None of these alternative-rock acts (with the possible exception of Everclear) managed to extend its initial run of hits into a career of continued relevance. So there's no denying the role nostalgia is playing here: Most fans will show up Friday to hear "Santa Monica" and "Every Morning" and "Sex and Candy," as opposed to anything from Everclear's new "Invisible Stars.
May 18, 2012 | By Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times
Cranberry is not vodka's best friend. Real vodka drinkers know this, but for years their taste has been marginalized by a craft cocktail scene obsessed with whiskey. Change is on the horizon, however. As Los Angeles bartenders vie to keep up with the next trending drink wave, venues all over town are favoring clear spirits. Well-regarded mixologists including Aidan Demarest and Marcos Tello of the cocktail consulting firm Tello/Demarest Liquid Assets are leading the way, serving as brand ambassadors to Stoli Elit vodka and Bols Genever (a grain-based, gin-like spirit)
February 1, 2012 | By Karen Wada, Special to the Los Angeles Times
In 1949, Eugene Kinn Choy built his family a home in Silver Lake. Deftly set in a narrow hillside lot, it was praised as a model of modernism, photographed by Julius Shulman and its merits noted in national architecture magazines. And yet the house might not have been built at all, if not for Choy's ingenuity and resolve. When racial covenants had threatened to keep him out of the area, he went door to door, seeking neighbors' permission before he moved in. "Even after he got an OK to purchase the land, no mainstream bank would offer financing," says Steven Y. Wong, the curator at the Chinese American Museum.
June 7, 2011 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Travel & Deal blogger
There are few things sweeter than going on vacation and plugging into summer beach concerts -- especially when they're free. If you're traveling up the coast to Santa Cruz , you can catch a variety of concerts at the historic boardwalk, including the 1960s British invasion band Eric Burdon & the Animals and '80s rock band Gin Blossoms. You can even BYOB -- that's your own  blanket, not booze. The deal: The " Bands on the Beach " concerts on Fridays at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk will start June 17 with Starship starring Mickey Thomas, featuring hits of Jefferson Starship.  The Animals will appear June 24 and the Gin Blossoms on Aug. 5. Among other bands are Loverboy (July 15)
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