LA Magazine: Liquor Aisle Insider

Who better to stock a liquor store than a craft cocktail bartender? What about one who also happens to help run one of the most acclaimed cocktail programs in the city at Bestia? Yeah, we think our booze choices are safe in their hands. Having worked with restaurant cocktail director Jeremy Simpson on the downtown eatery’s cocktails and spirits inventory beverage director, Nick Krok knows which quality bottles are flying under the radar. And fortunately for cocktail enthusiasts, he now stocks them at his brand-new liquor shop Courage and Craft in downtown’s Grand Central Market.

"There are so many bartenders and folks who appreciate finer spirits, wines and beers but not a lot of places to go to get them [in downtown]," says Krok. "This is a way for me to share my passion with my community and the community of bartenders that surrounds me."

HIDDEN GEMS: Belle Meade sour mash bourbon ($45): "It's got a high rye content and a 90.4 proof. Maple and citrus aromas with a nice caramel-vanilla palate. The high rye content really balances it all out and you get nice cherry and cinnamon notes on the finish with very little hat considering the proof."  READ FULL LIST