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  • Wet Wednesdays: Between the Sheets Cocktail

    Stay wet where it matters the most: Between the Sheets. That’s right, it’s Wet Wednesday and the flappers at Under Raidar are staying in theme with the risque classic cocktail Between the Sheets.

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    Between the Sheets can best be described as the sexy, older sister of the Sidecar with the addition of rum. Back in the day of illicit drinking, it was uncommon for a cocktail to contain 2 spirits. This is why it was only appropriate that this co-mingling cocktail is named Between the Sheets.

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    Wet Wednesday’s Between the Sheets Recipe

    1 oz Cognac
    1 oz Triple sec
    1 oz Light rum
    ¼ oz Fresh lemon juice
    Lemon twist

    Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice.
    Shake, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
    Garnish with a lemon twist.

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  • It's Pour New at Pour Vous

    It’s easy to get overtaken with Pour Vous, you know, with every fine detail of a Parisian speakeasy in the heart of Hollywood. There’s no corner cut from anything less than the finest cloth - or marble in their case. Let’s also not forget the obligatory aerialist burlesque dancers suspended from the ceiling in cages - as one should always expect. With all this it’s even easier to forget that the real stars of the show are the fanciful new cocktails. Unlike the dancers, bar manager Francois Vera’s feet are firmly on the bar floor.

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    Francois (Cole’s/Chateau Marmont/Harvard & Stone) has been with the Houstons for 4 years and just recently became the bar manager at Pour Vous. He’s also an accredited member of No Vacancy’s Dirty Dozen (12 of L.A.’s most notable bartenders) and creator of their cocktail, The Professor. Today he’s nabbed his niche at Pour Vous and is shaking up a storm behind the bar with his humdinger of a drinks list.

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    Francois’ bartending style strikes you immediately as different. Every artisan cocktailier develops their own style but Francois’ is rather captivating to watch. He likes to make drinks the classic way without all the smoke and mirrors. He’s about straight up classic cocktails - but with his own unique twist in the tail. Interestingly, his ‘alcademics’ are Japanese influenced. Watch him coalesce the ingredients; he’s very agile with a deft motion of nimble hands meticulously crafting each drink with such dexterity. 


    The Japanese bartending technique of pouring, measuring, stirring correctly and shaking, with the ‘hard shake’, is very much honed and owned by him. For us, the enjoyment of a cocktail is equal parts ingredients and equal parts watching the live creation. After spending some time talking and drinking with Francois it’s evident that he’s extremely knowledgable about the craft of cocktails and invests time in refining his mastery.


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    Now to the drinks

    We’re as talented in the imbibing, as Francois is in the making, and with 14 cocktails on offer there was no way we’d be able to try all of them in one sitting – and definitely not standing. So we paced ourselves; 4 on the Friday and 10 at the official launch. The drinks were perfectly balanced - unlike us. We may have been zozzled but we do it with such profession, class and many an empty glass!

    The menu boasts 14 cocktails with each one as distinct or complex as the next. Each drink is imbued with Francois’ creative vision, and cocktail mastery, with a firm grip on advanced level bar tending. Out of the 14 cocktails two from last season’s menu still remain; the Moulin Rouge and De Peche Mode, (because we just can’t drink enough), and the introduction of the nouveau cocktails are being embraced with open hands and mouths.

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    Remember The Maine   Photo: Frank Ishman


    Remember The Maine
     - Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey, cherry heering, sweet vermouth and Pernod Absinthe. This prohibition cocktail harks back to 1898 when U.S.S. Maine exploded in Havana Harbor and touched off a period of global aggression that began with the Spanish-American War. “Remember the Maine!” became the rallying cry of yellow journalists seeking a strong, American response to what they saw as a Spanish act of war. While the truth is as muddied as the origins of this drink, this “Manhattan with Heering” is clearly delicious and definitely memorable. Oh and how.

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    Mademoiselle & Remember The Maine

    Mademoiselle - Akvinta Vodka, lime juice, Raspberry Gomme, Miracle Mile Yuzu bitters, basil, aged balsamic, salt, soda. Balanced, citrusy (from the Yuzu bitters), sweet and the aged balsamic and touch of salt, balanced out with the basic and the unsurpassed kick from the Akvinta organic Croatian vodka - you’ve got a cocktail where all formalities and politeness will be out the window. It turns a mademoiselle into a right madam. 

    L'Aphrodisiac - Cabeza Tequila, Mezcal, Aloe Vera liqueur, lime juice, orgeat No story on L'aphrodisiac. I came up with that drink. It’s def aphrodisiac cocktail because nuts are aprodisiac (orgeat-almond syrup), tequila and Mezcal are definitely aphrodisiacs.

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    Sazerac   Photo: Frank Ishman

    The Sazerac - You don’t often see this quintessential cocktail served the way it was traditionally invented. In around 1870 rye whiskey replaced cognac as the main ingredient due to the cognac shortage at the time (here’s a bit of history swizzled in for you). At Pour Vous there’s no shortage here. You’ll find the traditional Sazerac made with Martel Vs Cognac and dash of Angostura bitters which really opens up the flavors.

    L'Resistance - Fords Gin, Dolin Bianco Vermouth, yellow chartreuse, citrus oil. This drink was named by Simon Ford (of Fords Gin) and it’s Francois’ favorite drink to make. This bitter, sweet, bittersweet, tangy cocktail is certainly the piece d’ resistance.

    French 75 -  A twist on the classic French 75 with the choice of D'usse VSOP Cognac or Beefeater Gin and lemon juice, fine sugar and Brut Champagne. In a French speakeasy bar this drink has 75 reasons and two ways to be drunk.

    Brandy Sour - I got really excited about this one. Traditionally the national drink of Cyprus and was introduced as an alcoholic substitute for iced tea. Francois’ Brandy Sour features D'usse VSOP cognac, lemon juice, fine sugar, Angostura bitters, citrus oil and egg whites, which made it fluffier and less dense than your traditional sour. Yes, it was worth the excitement.

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    La Bete Verte & Puff Puff Pastis


    La Bete Verte
    - Pernod Absinthe, lime juice, cucumber, fine sugar and purified water. In French this means the stupid green and, yes, it’s stupidly green but will make your cheeks stupendously rosé. Francois ensures all the flavors are balanced to perfection and even cuts off the skin of the cucumber as it adds bitterness. Take a winning bet on La Bète Verte for some gargantuan green-eyed sips. 

    Puff Puff Pastis - Lovingly named and 'packed’ with the wonders of Plymouth gin, cherry, Ricard Pastis, orgeat and mint. No need for manners here; it’s too good to sip, sip, share. 

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    East India Negroni - by Jim Meehan (PDT)    Photo: Frank Ishman


    East India Negroni - Made by one of the mastermind mixologists from PDT comes a variant of the traditional Negroni and uses a smooth, yet funky, blend of aged rums. The addition of the East India Sherry amps up the drink’s exoticness and sweetness. We definitely enjoyed this classic drink with a twist.

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    Uisce Buck    Photo: Frank Ishman


    Uisce Buck - After about 10 drinks things start to look blurry and we thought this drink was called Uncle Buck, until we took a closer look to see this drink is called UISCE Buck. Uisce is the word for whiskey in old Irish. It used to be Uisce beatha and the word "whiskey" itself is simply an anglicized version of this phrase - not that you give a buck really. Charming drink though.

     

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    Monte Carlo

    Monte Carlo
    - This is Francois’ favorite drink to make and it is definitely going to be a favorite to order. It contains Wisers rye whiskey, benedictine, angostura bitters and citrus oil.  We don’t recommend getting behind the wheel after this one!


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  • Wet Wednesdays: Bourbon Old Fashioned

    It’s Wednesday, let’s get Wet!

    Talk about old, this classic cocktail was being sipped on before there was even the word cocktail. During the 1800’s a cocktail was better known as “hair of the dog” and drank in the morning. This breakfast of champions was later referred to as an Old Fashioned and included a spirit with water, biters, and sugar. 

    The first known Bourbon whiskey Old Fashioned peeped it’s straw out at the Pendennis Club, which was a gentlemen’s club in Louisville, Kentucky. It’s possible the Old Fashioned wasn’t the only thing born out of the Pendennis Club, but it sure is the most memorable. 

    Stay up to fashion with an Old Fashioned!

    Bourbon Old Fashioned Recipe

    • 4 dashes Angostura Bitters
    • 1 tsp Sugar (or 2 sugar cubes)
    • Orange wheel
    • 1 Maraschino cherry
    • Splash Club soda
    • 2 oz Bourbon

    In an Old Fashioned glass, muddle the bitters, sugar, orange wheel, cherry and a splash of soda. Remove the orange rind, add the bourbon and fill with ice. Garnish with a fresh orange wheel and cherry.

    Cheers from Under Raidar!

  • Wet Wednesdays: Mary Pickford

    Hump day? More like wet day! Yup, it’s Wednesday and we’re ready to get wet here at Under Raidar.

    Today we toast to the classic cocktail named for Mary Pickford, who is well known for her silent movie career in the early 1900’s. The Mary Pickford was created by Eddie Woelke, who moved to Cuba during Prohibition to create cocktails we still pour to this day.

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    The Mary Pickford Recipe

    • 1.5 oz White rum
    • 1.5 oz Pineapple juice
    • 1 tsp Grenadine
    • 6 drop Maraschino liqueur
    Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker and fill with ice.
    Shake, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
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    Wet Wednesday cheers all around from Under Raidar!