The Spirits are Calling. Will you answer? Join us July 15-19, 2015 as the international spirits community answers the call, returning for another spirited round of Tales of the Cocktail®.
avatar for Eric Alperin

Eric Alperin

The Varnish
Los Angeles
Eric hails from New York City and has been a resident of Los Angeles for more than seven years. He feels fortunate to have found a small, passionate, and ever-growing cocktail community in LA. Eric’s first venture out West was as part of the team that opened Osteria Mozza (owned by Batali, Bastianich and Silverton), for which he created and managed the restaurant’s epicurean liquor and cocktail program.
He has been profiled in the Tasting Panel magazine for America’s Best Bar Chefs, Imbibe magazine, The New Cocktailians for LA Weekly, Vogue, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NBC and other national and international print and video publications.
Eric started serious bartending by making cocktails at breakneck speed while at The Screening Room, a downtown NYC lounge/restaurant/film venue. Eric’s desire for more crafted cocktailing brought him to Lupa (owned by Batali, Bastianich, Denton and Ladner), where he made and created cocktails with a strong Italian accent. Eric’s experience with Italian liquors, amaros and grappas provide him with a broad base for cocktail creation and modification. From there he moved on to Sasha Petraske’s Milk & Honey and Little Branch, both in NYC. At these two classic cocktail bars, Eric learned the method, precision, style and roots of making classic cocktails. The importance of fresh ingredients and the care that goes into choosing liquors were hallmarks of his time there.
In May of 2008, Eric trained at the Beverage Alcohol Resource (B.A.R.) in New York City, where he received his B.A.R. Ready certification. He consults on his own and helps run B.A.R. Smarts with Pernod-Ricard and the B.A.R. Team.
In early 2009, he opened THE VARNISH, which he co-owns and operates (with Cedd Moses and Sasha Petraske) in downtown Los Angeles. At Tales of the Cocktail 2012, THE VARNISH won the award for Best American Cocktail Bar and was a finalist for the World’s Best Bar award. In 2013 and 2014, THE VARNISH received a James Beard nomination for Outstanding Bar Program and was a 2013 Tales of the Cocktail finalist for the World’s Best Bar award. Eric was also a finalist for the 2013 Tales of the Cocktail Best American Bartender Award and a finalist for the same award in 2012.
He is also acting Beverage Director for 213 Nightlife, a co-owner of Penny Pound Ice LLC in Los Angeles as well as partner in the recently opened HALF STEP in Austin, Texas, which garnered a 2014 Spirited Award nomination for Best New American Cocktail Bar.

My Speakers Sessions

Thursday, July 16

12:30pm CDT

Friday, July 17

12:30pm CDT