Saturday, June 5, 2010

Joel Black: Rum Amok Hatchi Mix

On Thursday night, Joel Black of Cana Rum Bar, was the guest bartender at the second Hatchi Mix at the Breadbar in Century City. Hatchi Mix is a monthly guest bartender series curated by Devon Espinosa of Venice's The Tasting Kitchen and Black's evening was titled Rum Amok.

Joel is the GM at Cana Rum Bar was previously the GM of the Doheny (in the same space as Cana) and worked at Comme Ca prior to that. Cana is known for its sipping rums and both classic and original rum cocktails and Black brought that mix with him to Breadbar.

Black (shown above with Cana head bartender John Coltharp and bar-back Derek) brought several members of his Cana team with him, which enabled him to execute the program seamlessly and at a high level. Cana has a deep bench of bartenders, not something most bars are fortunate to have (and fund).

The Blind Lemon Jefferson (above) included: Sazerac 6 Yr, Lemon Wedge, Angostura Bitters, Lemon Juice and Simple Syrup. It was refreshing and while not a rum drink, earned its place on the eight drink Hatchi menu. (The menu included eight drinks for $8 each, as well as four pizzas, each also $8.)

The Blood and White Sand (above) included White Rum, Pineapple, Cherry Heering, Carpano Antica Formula Sweet Vermouth, Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters and is a take on the classic Blood and Sand, replacing Scotch whiskey with white rum (hence the white sand).

One of my favorites of the night was the Ginger Mistress (above) which included White Rum, Apricot Liqueur, Lemon, Honey, Ginger Float of Laphroag Cask Strength. The float really made the drink. It was a rum drink but was not too sweet; it was well balanced but had a kick.

This event went smoothly and it was great to have Joel and his team making the drinks for the customers. When I got there on the later side, the event was winding down and ended by midnight but the team was enthusiastic until the last drink they made (which was for me.)

The next Hatchi Mix will be on Thursday July 2, when Julian Cox of Rivera showcases his tequila and mezcal cocktails.

Breadbar Century City is located in the Century City shopping center and takes reservations at (310) 277-3770. Website at

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