Simon Ford (most recently known as Plymouth Gin brand ambassador) and Dushan Zaric (co-owner of Employees Only and Macao Trading Company bars in NYC) co-founded The 86 Company offering Tequila Cabeza, Ford’s Gin, Aylesbury Duck Vodka and Cana Brava Rum. They were in Los Angeles recently promoting the brand and did a stint at the R&D Bar at Harvard & Stone.
I’ve seen Simon a few times in my booze travels and it’s hard not to be happy around him. He has an infectious grin and I enjoy his wring on Liquor.com and Food Republic. Also, this video I took of him and others at Tales of the Cocktail was probably one of the highlights at the Absolut party (see pics).
I’ve been to both Employees Only and Macao Trading Company but I know Dushan best from Tales as well. He also was at the Absolut party bartending along with one of nominated The Minty Hot Bartenders, Jaymee Mandeville from Drago Centro.
With Simon and Dushan highly respected in the Industry, their spirits offerings were highly anticipated.
I got to Harvard & Stone a bit too late to try the offerings from The 86 Co but I’ve tasted the Cana Brava Rum a few times and tasted the others in cocktails.
That evening, I tried the Cana Brava in the Daiquiri Classico. The Cana Brava works best in cocktails. On its own, I felt it’s a bit sharp but the general consensus is it’s a great mixing rum.
That was evidenced in the Mum’s Apple Pie. Here, the Cana Brava is mixed with apple cider, lemon, Demerara syrup and ground cinnamon. It was the perfect Fall cocktail. I could have had another and considered the other drinks on the menu; the Tom Ford Collins made with the Ford’s gin and West Side Cocktail made with the Ayelesbury Duck vodka. That was basically an Eastside but with vodka.
But alas, I had to call it an early night so I’ll have to try to catch the Ford’s gin and Tequila Cabeza at some other point. I’ve seen the Cana Brava at a number of LA bars now including most recently at the Varnish.
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© The Minty // LA Cocktails 2012