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5 O'Clock Blog

What is Grappa?

We’re starting this week off back in the heart of Italy to explore the digestif known as Grappa. History hasn’t been so kind to the “poor man’s wine” and we found out exactly why, who made it a luxury item, and why it will soon be as important as wine. Cheers to learning!

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Blood and Sand

Don’t let the name scare you, this week’s Drink of the Week does not taste like blood and it doesn’t feel like sand going down your throat. This long-forgotten Scotch cocktail has been in the history books for nearly a century, so why have you never heard of it? We dug into that, plus found out where the name came from, and a little tip to make the recipe well worth your while. Cheers!

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What is Mama Juana?

Grab your swimsuit and your suitcase, today we’re heading to the Dominican Republic! We’re learning all about their national spirit Mama Juana. Never heard of it before? You’ve probably never visited DR, but worry not because we’re here to pump you up with knowledge for when you do go. This is a crazy one guys, so let’s get right to it. Cheers to learning!

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Rose Water Gin & Tonic

Flowers and cocktails are no strangers to each other, gardens and refreshments go together hand in hand. Flowers, the edible ones, also make quite the beautiful garnishes, so why wouldn’t we use them in recipes? Rose Water is nothing new in skin care, and it hasn’t been a booming trend (we see you lavender) but it is around. For Valentine’s Day tomorrow, here’s a cute little pink cocktail for all you lovers out there. Cheers!

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What is Jenever?

Welcome to another Monday lesson! This week, we’re going Dutch and no we don’t mean on a date. Jenver is the official liquor of The Netherlands and Belgium, so why haven’t you heard of it? Well, it’s got a rival cousin that kind of stole the spotlight, the story is fascinating, cheers to learning!

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What Is, Learning, LiquorMariana Ramos
Tony Gonzales

Every month, we gather intel on the best Happy Hours in LA, but where would we be if not for the dedication of bartenders? January’s honor belongs to Tony Gonzales, we met him nearly a year ago when we reviewed the Happy Hour over at District DTLA. What he’s doing with ice, flamethrowers, and medicine cocktails blew us away. Get to know Tony one on one like we did and learn all about his ice carving skills, where he likes to go for Happy Hour, and how he plans to revolutionize the industry.

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The end of January is here! We’re ready to treat ourselves to a dessert cocktail. Don’t worry, this Drink of the Week is actually as healthy as it gets in terms of ingredients and citrus deliciousness. We’re speaking Italian this week and making Sgroppino. Cheers!

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What is Arak?

If you thought we were staying in the western hemisphere to learn about liqueurs, you are dead wrong. Let’s keep heading east from Italy to the Mediterranean and learn about Arak- the anise liqueur that reigns over countries such as Lebanon or Indonesia. If we know anything about those cultures is that they know higher extremes than the rest of us, so as they say: “When in Rome…” except we’re not in Rome, so let’s dive into this wild liqueur. Cheers to learning!

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Bar Franca

Overall: 4.5/5

Happy Hour: 4.6/5

What’s cheeky, sexy, and a garnish in almost every cocktail? Hint: It’s a cherry. That’s the sign you gotta look for when wandering around the Historic Core in DTLA and if you’re not looking for this hidden gem you might miss it. Bar Franca may only be 5 months old, but the drinks have been a favorite of locals and those in the industry since day one. So when it was made known that their Happy Hour was debuting, we had to visit. Check out what we drank at our new favorite local joint where the only theme is - quality. Cheers!

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What is Drambuie?

Happy Monday everyone! We’re switching things up today and visiting Scotland to explore all about the mysterious Drambuie. Turns out the Scots have more than scotch cultivating up there! Learn all about how this liqueur played a major part in Scotland’s history, which families fought hardest to keep it alive, and where you can find it today. Cheers to learning!

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Black Velvet

We’re sticking to light cocktails this month, to help you all keep your NYE resolution, and this week’s drink is for the beer lovers. The Black Velvet cocktail is a mysterious looking mix of two very different ingredients that will certainly have you on your back if you drink too many. We dug into a bit of the history and of course provided you with the recipe for the right way to make it. Cheers!

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