SAN DIEGO — When a famous actor like Alan Arkin tells you to do something, you do it. In this Zevely Zone, I went to Carmel Valley where three friends discovered gold with a new liquor called Batch 22.
Every bar has its regulars and that includes alcohol such as rum, tequila and vodka. Three best friends think it's time to invite aquavit to the party. I met the three friends, Marc Marosi, Bruce Glassman and Matthew Arkin at a cocktail bar called Understory. "It's like the same references, same sense of humor, finish sentences," said Marc when describing their friendship.
I then asked about Matthew's father. "A really nice guy and a very good father," laughed Matthew who says he'd feel like a schmuck if he bragged about his famous father Alan Arkin, but there's no way to tell this story without dropping the name.
"This was actually in Austria," said Matthew while telling me a story about when he was a child, and he was on a movie set with his dad. The crew started drinking a mysterious elixir out an unmarked bottle. "Pulls the cork, pours shots for the whole crew everybody is like 'yeah' and cheering," said Matthew.
For decades, they wondered what that mystery drink was? Until one day, Alan Arkin called his son. Matthew told us what his father said next. "You know you can make aquavit at home? And I said why would I do that?" And he kept bringing it up and would say did you make the aquavit yet?" said Matthew.
Maybe that mystery drink was aquavit! Matthew brewed some up and when his friend Marc tasted it. "I think we can sell this and he's like you do? I said yeah, don't take my word for it, I'm not a drinker," said Marc.
But do you know who is? Alan Arkin gave it a taste. They have a video of Alan Arkin tasting their drink for the first time. "Wow. That is really great. That is really great, ha, ha, ha," said Alan.
Aquavit is a Scandanavian spirit. The best friends' first 21 attempts at perfection failed. "We realized that at that point we could call it Batch 22 because it was the 22nd formulation and it was also a perfect opportunity to give a tip of the cap to his dad who played Yossarian in Catch 22 and it was his dad who gave us the idea to start it in the first place," said Bruce.
Scott Slater, owner of Understory, is launching a new cocktail called the Pygmy Three Toed Sloth. "This will be served all month of April," said Scott. The drink includes Fords gin, amaro, champagne simple, cardamom and egg white back; but the bone of the drink is Batch 22. "Perfect," announced Scott after taking a drink.
"This is a flavor that people have not had before," said Matthew about Batch 22. If Batch 22 has a Catch 22? "It is dangerously smooth," said Marc.
By the way, Alan Arkin took his first sip at his home in San Diego County. "I am not going to give address because his three fans might show up, ha, ha, ha," laughed Matthew. Maybe that'd be okay if they brought a bottle of the good stuff. "Oh, that is good, it's good stuff, good job guys, cheers," said the three friends while toasting.
Batch 22 has already won several awards. For more information about the spirit click here.
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