Custom Cocktailing For The Hollywood Fringe Festival


Bryan’s Bar during Hollywood Fringe Opening Night 2018 / Photo by Matt Kamimura

Pierce and Luna is proud to create custom cocktails for The Hollywood Fringe Festival Sponsored Drinks Program. The sponsored drinks program allows fringe participants to feature a drink themed after their show at the infamous Bryan’s Bar. Participants submit a base liquor of their choice as well as their favorite mixers and we create a specialty drink that captures the flavor of their show and gives them a delicious way to promote their production! We have happily created over 60 cocktails for the LA theatre family since 2017 and look forward to many more.

Click here for more information on the Hollywood Fringe Festival.

Midori

Let’s talk Midori!

This bright green Japanese melon flavored liqueur, like most, is fairly low in alcohol content, just over 20% abv (42 proof) always pops up on cocktail menus twice a year, once for St. Patricks and again around Halloween but is one of our favorites for summertime because it makes a refreshingly fruity drink that sips well poolside or at a bbq.

The base for Midori is made from grain neutral spirits (with a bit of brandy). It’s signature flavor is derived from a several varieties of sweet Japanese melons and more similar to honeydew or cantaloupe than watermelon, and the color (sad to say) is mostly food coloring.

Midori (the Japanese word for green) was the brand name added to Suntory’s Hermes Melon liqueur when it began selling in the United States in 1978. That same year it was featured in the cocktail that won the US Bartender’s Guild championships “the Universe” by tiki cocktail legend Bobby Batugo.

Midori is a very sweet and heavy. Tastes great as an accent flavor and works well as a float for a sour or cream drink but can be a bit too much on it’s own. If you’re looking for a sweet summery sipper try it with rum (Bacardi silver is our favorite) and sprite/7up.

Image courtesy of Brenda Lewis Gomez, via SCVhistory.com

Amaro

“What was I drinking”

If you’ve ever been out drinking with a bartender, they’ve probably convinced you to try drinking some Montenegro, Campari, Aperol, or the “Bartender’s Handshake” Fernet Branca. One of two reactions were likely, 1: you enjoyed it and appreciated the complex herbal flavors, or 2: you wanted to slap them for not warning you that you’d be drinking something that’s akin in flavor to cough syrup. Either way you’ve just experienced an Amaro!

Amaro actually isn’t a brand or even specific type of alcohol, it’s essentially a classification of a variety of spirits that has been around for hundreds of years.

Amaro literally translated from Italian means “bitter”, and Amari (the plural form of the word) can be used to describe any herbal liqueur. These range in flavor from lighter orange and citrus flavors to bold heavy anise or mint, and have alcohol content ranging from just above 20 proof to nearly 100.

Generally drank as a “digestif” after a meal these spirits are presumed to help the body digest and calm any indigestion. There are also legends of hangover prevention associated with them, though we have no personal research to prove the truth of these claims.

Traditionally consumed without mixers, and slowly trickling into the cocktail scene since around 1920. Amari have become more and more understood and available in recent years. This means they are quickly finding their way into a variety of adventurous and herbaceous cocktails.

Some of our favorite Amari and their Cocktails are:

Aperol (11% abv): Red in color, orangey, herbal and wood flavors blend well into this very mixable amari.

Aperol Spritz

Light, refreshing and easily sippable, close your eyes and the classic Italian aperitif cocktail might make you feel like you’re on a balcony with a view of the Mediterranean.

3 oz Prosecco

2 oz Aperol

1 oz Soda

Orange Garnish

 

Averna (29% abv): The flavor profile here is lighter with crisp notes of pine, juniper, and licorice

Black Manhattan

This cocktail is a newer spin on a classic. Taking the traditional Manhattan and switched out the sweet vermouth with Averna resulting in a richer, more earthy, more herbal finish.

2 oz rye whiskey

1 oz Averna

2 dashes angostura bitters

 

Campari (24% abv): Bright, vibrant and above all bitter, Campari has a good middle of the citrus-herb spectrum flavor.

Negroni

Classic cocktail exemplified, this drinks origins are direct from Italy itself, as a result of the popularity of the Americano in 1920, Count Camillo Negroni asked his local barman to add some gin, and thus the Negroni was born.                  

1 oz gin

1 oz Campari

1 oz sweet vermouth

 

Cynar (16.5% abv): Full of citrus, lavender, sage, and basil flavors, means that Cynar tastes a bit like walking through an Italian herb garden with a basket of fresh lemons, and that’s not a bad thing.

Presbyterians Revenge

Lemon and Grapefruit accentuate the citrus notes of Cynar while balancing the smoke and wood notes of the scotch.

2 oz Scotch

1 oz Cynar

.5 oz sweet and sour

Squeeze of Grapefruit

 

Fernet Branca (39% abv): Definitely on the herbal end of the spectrum, Fernet kicks hard with menthol, cinnamon and anise flavors strong enough to “put hair on your chest”

Hanky Panky

The Hanky Panky was originally created in 1903, by Ada Coleman at the Savoy hotel. A boozy balance of gin, Fernet Branca, and sweet vermouth, this classic cocktail packs a smooth and savory punch.

1.5 oz gin

1.5 oz sweet vermouth

2 dashes Fernet Branca

Photo Courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Montenegro (23% abv): A fairly lightly flavored Amaro, rich in citrus and vanilla notes.

Monte Pres

This boozy bitey beverage is one of our favorite after meal cocktails, the ginger flavors pair harmoniously with the fragrant aromatics in the Montenegro and create a delicious digestif.

1.5 oz Amaro Montenegro

2 oz Ginger Beer

2 oz Soda

 

Nonino (35% abv): Sweeter than most Amari, orange and mint are the most forward flavors.

Nonino Fashioned

An interesting twist on a classic, this cocktail came straight from the Grappa Nonino folks. Sweet, strong, bitter, and smooth perfectly matched in this drink.

See recipe here

 

 

Jägermeister (35% abv) (Yes, that Jager): Though not technically a true amaro, it’s herbal qualities of anise and its syrupy sweetness make it worth mentioning and it works well in a cocktail.

Surfer on Acid

You’d expect a Jagermeister based cocktail like this to be something you’d order from a beach bar on spring break, but the flavors are actually very mature in this almost Tiki cocktail.

1 oz Jägermeister

1 oz Coconut rum

2 oz Pineapple juice

Going Green: Our Favorite Cocktails For St. Patrick’s Day

 

Ditch the green beer and class it up this March with a Champagne cocktail! The Sparkling Shamrock is a simple combination of Midori and Champagne that will have your tastebuds singing.

see the recipe

 

 

Show some respect for the Emerald Isle with this Irish Flag shooter. Sweet and smooth with a brandy kick!

 

see the recipe

 

 

The Grasshopper is a minty green treat that comes to us from New Orleans, specifically a bar called Tujague’s in the French Quarter. Try adding vodka to make it a Flying Grasshopper!

see the recipe

*Side Note* You may not automatically think NOLA when you think St. Paddy’s but you should! The luck of the Irish reigns for a full week and is celebrated with parades, block parties, and plenty of corned beef.

 

Delicious, light, and tropical – The Green Eyes Cocktail just screams “Kiss Me”.

see the recipe

 

 

 

 

Citrusy and sweet, Emerald Rain will sneak up on you like a leprechaun searching for his pot of gold.

see the recipe

 

 

 

And finally, the drink that will gleefully finish anyone off – The Tokyo Tea. This concoction of vodka, rum, tequila, & gin will leave you needing to be pinched!

see the recipe

Completing The Grog Log ~ Day 1

The journey of 78 drinks begins with a single cherry…well, at least mine did.

Hey everyone! This is Bella, the Luna half of Pierce and Luna, and I’m going to take you along on my alcoholic adventure to completing the famous Grog Log at Tonga Hut in North Hollywood. Bradley completed his log and earned induction into the “prestigious” Loyal Order of the Drooling Bastard in March 2017. At that time I was about 5 months into my first try at the log. You are given one year from the date of sign up to finish all the drinks on the list and I, shamefully, EPICALLY, failed. I think I only got through 25 of them.

But this time will be different!

…she proclaimed, fist high in the air. This time I will be triumphant and you’re going to be with me for every drink. My second go at the Grog Log started on March 14, 2018.

I began with a Blue Hawaii because vodka is my goddess. Throw in some Blue Curacao and pineapple juice and you’ve got yourself a sweet and simple drink. Then comes the cream to laden this puppy down! Overall, it’s quite yummy, but sits heavily and is filling. Probably not the BEST way to start off a night of drinking, but lovely if you’re going for just one or looking to knock yourself out for the night! Bradley said: “S’alright. Nothing special.”

I decided to follow with dealer’s choice. With all the power at her finger tips, Lisa Marie decided to serve me up a Mango Cooler. This drink followed in the vodka vein but added Cointreau, and juices, including orange, lime, and mango nectar. It was so fresh, it asked for my number the moment it hit the table. It’s funky citrus aftertaste definitely ruins it’s chances at a second date though. Try it! You may love it, if you’re into that sort of thing. Bradley said: “Vodka!” (He may have been drunk when giving this review)

“We’ve only just begun…”

So that’s the first two off my list of 78! Well…technically three because the Mai Tai is checked off as a freebie. Let’s face it, if you’ve never had a Mai Tai, you’re a sad excuse for a tiki drink imbiber!!!! Okay, not really, but seriously, get on that ASAP because they are delish.

I’ll be back with plenty more in the weeks to come!

xo, Bella Luna