×

Flights of fancy liquor

Liquor flights are the answer to the curious drinker

Liquor flights are the answer to the curious drinker. Variety Weekend set out to prove that good things come in small glasses.

Ciudad, Rum
How to order: Request the “top shelf bartender’s choice,” a flight of three select rums served with simple syrup, lime wedges and ice for mixing your own cocktails. $10-$15 per flight
How to drink: From the young, light, dry and acidic to the aged, dark, sweet and smooth
Standouts: Flor de Caña 7 Year, spicy with a toffee and vanilla finish. Zaya Gran Reserva 12 Year, caramel and oak pairs perfectly with flan
What you might learn: “Venezuela, Nicaragua and Guatemala are the ‘new world’ producers,” says resident rum expert Cesar Flores. “The rich South American soils are producing high quality rums.”

Arroyo Chop House, Scotch
How to order
: Sample each of the five Scotch producing regions (Campbeltown, Islay, Highland, Lowland and Speyside) to get a sense of each distinct terroir. Single malts from $11-$35 a glass
How to drink: Before dinner, try the lighter, peaty Islay Scotches like Laphroaig and Macallan; after dinner, go for aged and complex like Balvenie, Springbank 10 Year and Dalmore.
Standouts: The Balvenie 12 Year, aged in both whiskey oak and sherry barrels, imparts a sweet, woody complexity and a light sherry finish. Dalmore 1973 Vintage, smooth with light smoke–it’s hands-down the best Scotch we tasted.
What you might learn: It’s all about the water. Says GM Patrick Kirchen: “The most important part is fresh water from a local creek or river; it’s where the whole Scotch-making process begins.”

The Vodbox at Nic’s Martini Lounge, Vodka
How to order: Reserve 20 minutes in the 20-degree Vodbox (coats and hats provided). $21 for two shots, or rent a vodka cubby inside the Vodbox for $2500/year, includes 4 bottles of your choice
How to taste: Start with the stolid Russian vodkas and then sample a few infused varieties. Or sip by gender–rye and potato vodkas are considered “male;” rice and barley are considered “female.”
Standouts: Imperia from Russia, distilled six times (the maximum) for a smooth and crisp taste. Reyka from Iceland, distilled through lava rock and ice, crisp and slightly sweet.
What you might learn: “People think that vodka doesn’t need to taste or smell to be good,” says resident vodka maestro Leopold Nunan. “But real connoisseurs are looking for grain taste and complexity.”

Frida, Tequila
How to order: Try different ages: Blanco (aged minimum of 1 year), Reposado (aged a minimum of 2 years), Añejo (aged a minimum of 3 years). $8-$20 per shot
How to taste: Youngest and lightest to oldest and darkest
Standouts: Herradura Añejo, a rich, caramel flavor and smooth finish. Don Julio 1942, a spicy vanilla nose and a silky sweet finish
What you might learn: True tequilas are made from 100% blue agave grown in the Jalisco region of Mexico. Tequila was North America’s first distilled liquor.

Ciudad: 445 S. Figueroa Street, 213-486-5171, ciudad-la.com
Arroyo Chop House: 536 South Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena, 626-577-7463, arroyochophouse.com
Nic’s Martini Lounge: 453 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, 310-550-5707, nicsbeverlyhills.com
Frida: 236 S. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, 310-278-7666, fridarestaurant.com

More Scene

  • Mj Rodriguez, Alexis Martin Woodall, Ryan

    Peabody Winners Talk Empowered Women and Social Justice Challenges on Red Carpet

    The theme on the red carpet at the 78th annual Peabody Awards? Empowering women. On Saturday, Peabody winners gathered at Cipriani Wall Street, and one of the hot topics on everyone’s mind was the wave of female empowerment spreading across the industry. From Peabody’s Career Achievement Award recipient Rita Moreno to shows like ‘Killing Eve’ [...]

  • CAP D'ANTIBES, FRANCE - MAY 18:

    Cannes: Robert Pattinson, Shailene Woodley Attend Starry Vanity Fair Party

    It’s true what they say about Batman being a loner. On Saturday night, Robert Pattinson made his first public appearance since being cast as the new Dark Knight at this year’s Vanity Fair Party at the Cannes Film Festival. But while all the other A-list guests mingled and worked the crowd at the restaurant of [...]

  • Taron Egerton Cannes Film Festival 2019

    Taron Egerton Addresses ‘Rocketman’ Comparisons to ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ Takes Subtle Jab at Bryan Singer

    Taron Egerton says that he’s flattered by comparisons between his Elton John musical “Rocketman” and “Bohemian Rhapsody,” last year’s smash hit about Queen frontman Freddie Mercury. “I’m proud that we’re mentioned in the same breath,” says Egerton, who plays John in the upcoming “Rocketman,” which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival to a five-minute standing [...]

  • Ethan Hawke, Bobby Cannavale and Griffin

    BAM Gala Marks Leadership Change, Celebrates Brooklyn as 'Cultural Center of New York'

    Wednesday’s annual gala celebrating the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) served as a poignant moment of transition for the New York stalwart of contemporary performance. As long-time artistic director Joe Melillo, who along with Harvey Lichtenstein transformed BAM into a vanguard of progressive art, prepares to pass the torch to new leadership, gathered patrons and [...]

  • Dua Lipa Tom Jones

    Dua Lipa and Tom Jones to Perform at amfAR's Cannes Gala (EXCLUSIVE)

    Variety‘s Marc Malkin is on the scene at the Cannes Film Festival. Get the scoop on all the news, parties and more straight from the Croisette below. AmfAR’s upcoming Cannes gala is shaping up quite nicely. Sources tell Variety that the evening will feature performances by Dua Lipa and Tom Jones. And they’re not the only [...]

  • "Deadwood" Cast Describes Emotional Homecoming on

    'Deadwood' Cast Describes Emotional Homecoming on the Historic Set

    The phrase “Welcome the f— back” marks the billboards and posters for the return of “Deadwood,” but that sentiment doesn’t just apply to the audience. Returning to the town of Deadwood was a homecoming of sorts for the cast and crew of the HBO show, who shared that stepping back into the meticulously recreated late-1800s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content