Since the weather has been off and on since March, we came up with a way to put a little swerve into your spring. We spoke with a number of our most revered L.A. bartenders to get the recipes behind their colorful cocktails and then arranged them for you by color. From new, bright spring libations to peculiarly-hued classics, here are some of our favorite cocktail recipes being served around the city. The lights go up on 1886 at the Raymond's white Ramos Fizz and, as always, we fade into black with The Gallery Bar's Black Dahlia martini. In between, a glowing range of colors that make our drinks even more irresistible. Take a peek and get mixing! Then, if you need even more liquid courage, check out the recipes back at HQ (New York Mag rounded up 107 delicious drinks), plus kaleidoscopic quaffs in Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, and San Francisco.
1886 at The Raymond
1250 South Fair Oaks Ave. Pasadena; 626-441-3136
In a shaker, combine ¼ oz. fresh lemon juice, ¼ oz. fresh lime juice, ¾ oz. simple syrup, ½ oz. fresh cream, 1 1/2 oz. Broker's London Dry Gin, and 3 drops Bitter Truth orange-flower water. Add one egg white and whip ingredients. Shake and strain into a highball glass and top with club soda. Garnish with round orange peel.
11633 San Vicente Blvd. # 100, Brentwood; 310-826-0028
Gently stir 1 oz. bitter Campari, 1 oz. M&R Vermouth Rosso, and 2 oz. Nino Franco Prosecco di Valdobbiadene. Serve in a chilled rocks glass with an olive salt rim and garnish with an orange slice, lemon peel, and fresh thyme.
The Irish Vandal
515 W. 7th St. Downtown; 213-614-0737
In a shaker, combine 1 ¾ oz. Jameson Irish Whiskey, ¾ oz. fresh lemon juice, ½ fresh grapefruit juice, ¾ oz. simple syrup, and a handful of muddled raspberries. Shake dry and dump over shaved ice in a Collins glass. Garnish with a zested lemon peel.
Bartender's Bloody Mary
7360 Beverly Blvd. West Hollywood. 323-933-5300
Bloody Mary Mix: blend together 3 ½ oz. tomato juice, ¼ oz. lemon juice, ¼ oz. lime juice, 1 teaspoon olive brine/juice, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon ground black garlic, ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon red pepper hot sauce, and 1 dash each of horseradish, celery salt, mustard powder, and ground cumin.
Put a pinch of basil, heavy dashes of Agnostura Bitters, and 2 oz. of rye whiskey into a tin or glass. Lightly tap the basil with a muddler. Add the Mary mix to the alcohol and basil and pour between two glasses with ice once or twice to incorporate the ingredients. Serve in tall glass with ice and garnish with a basil leaf.
515 W. 7th St. Downtown; 213-614-0737
Combine 1 ¾ oz. Old Overholdt Rye Whisky, ¾ oz. pomegranate grenadine (recipe follows), ¾ oz. fresh lemon juice, 1 oz. Dolin Dry Vermouth. Shake with ice and strain over ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a zested lemon peel.
Pomegranate Grenadine: Reduce Pom pomegranate juice to half its original volume by bringing to a boil in a saucepan. Add 2 cups of sugar to 1 quart pomegranate juice, stir, and simmer. Cool and use as needed.
Strawberry Kir Royale
Le Saint Amour
9725 Culver Blvd. Culver City; 310-842-8155
In a champagne flute, pour 1 oz. rhubarb syrup (recipe follows) and 1 oz. strawberry coulis. Carefully pour 4 oz. champagne over fruit syrups. Garnish with wild strawberries. Serve immediately.
Rhubarb Syrup: Combine 1 lb. chopped rhubarb, 8 oz. sugar, and 8 fl. oz. water in a stainless steel sauce pan and bring to a boil. Simmer until the liquid has thickened slightly, roughly 25 minutes. Remove from heat. Strain through a cheese cloth-lined colander, pressing solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Cool over ice bath and refrigerate.
1356 Palmetto St. Downtown; 213-613-0766
In a shaker, muddle 1 full strawberry and two slices of cucumber, then add 2 oz. Eagle Rare 10-Year Old Bourbon, ¾ oz. fresh lemon juice, ¾ simple syrup, and 2 drops of orange flower water. Shake and serve on large ice cubes in a mason jar. Garnish with cucumber and strawberry on top.
515 W. 7th St. Downtown; 213-614-0737
In a shaker, combine 1 ¾ Suntory Yamazaki 12-Year Single Malt Whiskey, ½ oz. fresh lemon juice, ½ oz. simple syrup, ¼ oz. fresh grapefruit juice. Shake and serve in a chilled snifter. Grate cinnamon on top. Garnish with a zested grapefruit peel over rim of glass.
1147 3rd St. Santa Monica; 310-451-0843
In a shaker, combine 2 oz. Yamasaki 12-yr Single Malt Scotch, ¾ oz. jalapeno and bell pepper simple syrup, 1 oz. lemon juice, 1 oz. grapefruit juice, and a dash of Chipotle Tabasco. Shake with ice and serve over one large ice cube in a lowball glass. Garnish with a slice of jalapeno on top and a spring of cilantro on the rim.
246 26th St. Santa Monica; 310-394-8455
In a shaker, muddle 4 fresh kumquats, ¾ oz. of agave syrup, 2 oz. of reposado tequila, and leaves from a sprig of lavender. Shake with a shaking cube of ice and strain over a fresh 2-inch ice cube in a lowball glass. Garnish with a lavender flower.
Made in Mexico
8479 Melrose Ave. West Hollywood; 323-782-1104
In a shaker, lightly muddle a small handful of fresh mint leaves and 2 slices of English cucumber, and combine 1 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice and ¾ oz. simple syrup. Add 2 oz. high-quality silver tequila and shake with dense ice. Strain over block ice into a Cosmopolitan glass and garnish with a slice of cucumber.
6290 Sunset Blvd. Hollywood; 323-327-9355
In a shaker, muddle oro blanco, then add 1 ½ Broker's Gin, 1 teaspoon green Chatreuse, ½ oz. cilantro simple syrup (recipe follows), and splash of lime juice and shake with ice. Finish with a splash of tonic and serve in a pint glass.
Cilantro Simple Syrup: Bring 2 cups water, 1 cup sugar, and 1 bunch cilantro to a boil. Strain, cool, and store in a bottle for later use.
The Estate Swizzle
118 East Sixth St. Downtown; 213-622-9999
In a shaker, muddle 1 oz. of fresh lime juice, ¾ oz. simple syrup, 1 small sugar cube, 2 slices of cucumber, and 4-5 red seedless grapes together in a shaker. Next add 2 oz. of Appleton Estate Reserve Jamaican Rum and shake all ingredients together, without ice, vigorously. Dump ingredients into frozen Collins glass and add crushed ice. Swizzle ingredients together making sure to push cucumber and lime to the bottom. Garnish with a grape and cucumber slice speared with a toothpick.
The Library Bar
7000 Hollywood Blvd. Hollywood; 323-466-7000
In a shaker, muddle one kiwi with 3 pieces of a quartered lime with 3/4 oz. of agave syrup and 3 medium size basil leaves. Add 2 oz. of Starr Rum with ice. Shake and strain into a rocks glass with a big ice cube and garnish with a basil leaf.
14 N. La Cienega Blvd. Beverly Hills; 310-358-0922
In a shaker, muddle 3-4 fresh arugula leaves with 1 oz. cantaloupe-infused rum, 1 oz. Flor de Cana Dark Rum, ½ oz. arugula-infused simple syrup, ½ oz. fresh lemon juice, and 1 egg white. Dry shake. Add ice and reshake. Serve up in cocktail glass and garnish with whole or chopped fresh arugula.
6356 Hollywood Blvd. Hollywood; 323-469-0040
In a shaker, combine 1 ½ oz. Gran Sierpe Pisco, ½ oz. St. Germain, ½ oz. simple syrup, ¾ oz. lemon juice, 1 oz. Chardonnay, and 7 muddled grapes. Shake and strain over ice into a wine glass and garnish with three whole red grapes.
Caña Rum Bar
714 West Olympic Blvd. Downtown; 213-745-7090
In a shaker combine 1.5 oz. Campo de Encanto Pisco, ½ oz. yellow chartreuse, ¾ oz. guava syrup, ¾ oz. lime, 1 dash Peychaud's, and one egg white. Dry shake to emulsify, then shake with ice. Strain to a fizz glass over ½ oz. of club soda. Top with club soda as needed and garnish with Peychaud strips on head. Drink quickly in classic fizz fashion.
El Betabel Michelada
800 W Olympic Blvd. Downtown; 213-746-0001
In a Collins rimmed with lime juice and kosher salt, combine ¼ oz. lime juice, 2 dashes of Cholula hot sauce, and 1 oz. beet juice with ice. Top with 8 oz. Pacifico beer and garnish with a lime wedge.
2640 Main St., Santa Monica; 310-396-2469
In a shaker, combine 2 oz. vodka, 1 oz. peach Schnapps, 1 small handful purple basil (torn), 1 medium strawberry (sliced), 1 dash Tabasco, and a splash of fresh lemon juice. Shake with ice and pour entire contents in a Collins glass. Top with a splash of soda water and garnish rim with a slice of blood orange.
The Black Dahlia Martini
The Gallery Bar at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel
506 South Grand Ave. Downtown; 213-624-1011
In a shaker, combine 3 ½ oz. of citrus vodka, ¾ oz. Chambord raspberry liquor, ¾ oz. Kahlua. Shake with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with orange zest.
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