Forget about screwdrivers: when it comes to modern-day cocktails, simple is out and fusion is in. Brace your tastebuds for the explosion of flavor that comes with this new brand of hybrid libations while you surreptitiously add the phrase “molecular mixology” to your vocabulary. It’s about time you traded your ‘on the rocks’ for dried ice… Like Haute Living Los Angeles? Join our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter @HauteLivingLA. Want Haute Living Los Angeles delivered to your inbox once a week? Sign up for our newsletter.
1 Bar Centro
Everything about Bar Centro is a bit surreal, not the least of which is how utterly amazing its innovative cocktail menu is. This stand alone bar inside The Bazaar by Jose Andres is the very first and most famous bar in LA to feature liquid nitrogen. Try the completely haute “Smoke on the Water”, a libation made of blackberries, atomized Islay Scotch, liquid orange and a flaming orange peel. Looking cool never tasted so good.
2 The Varnish
The Varnish has won an AIA/LA Restaurant Design Award for its haute interior, and it’s received just as many accolades for its daring designer drink menu. Eric Alperin and Sasha Petraske opened this downtown haunt just over three years ago and it still constantly manages to exceed expectations. While you’re checking out the booths made of vintage New Orleans trolley cars in this haute downtown haunt, give your bartender the base alcohol you want and let him make his magic.
3 Copa D'Oro
There are many kind of drinkers that head for a cocktail at Copa d’Oro: “the classics”, the “fast”, “the furious” and those who drink, well, “because they can.” Regardless of who you are, you’re going to fall hard for one of the many cocktails at this Prohibition-era style Santa Monica boîte. Man up and try the T T of Man, a complex mix of Famous Grouse black Scotch, walnut liqueur, house-made ginger syrup, lemon and apple juice and pasteurized egg whites.
4 The Edison
As soon as you step into The Edison, a light bulb should go off in your head. Why haven’t you been here yet? The downtown lounge now rests has turned a historic spot – LA’s first private power plant – into a dramatic Industrial Gothic meets Modern Nouveau space. Luckily, you’ll adore the beverages just as much as the location and The Edison’s ingenuity. Be sure to order “The Happy Herbie”, a blend of Templeton “rye” whiskey and baked apple bitters named after Disney Imagineer Herbert “Herbie” Ryman. Not only does it taste like apple pie, but proceeds from each drink purchased will benefit the Ryan Foundation, which is dedication to the traditions of “Adventure, Exuberance and Innovation.”
5 The Roger Room
It’s fitting that the Roger Room has circus-themed walls, as a similar spectacle is going to be occurring in your mouth there. Jared Meisler and Sean MacPherson have turned their 1920’s-era lounge into a dark and sexy funhouse. The West Hollywood speakeasy brings their modern take on vintage drinks to libations like the Ginger Rabbit – Basil Hayden’s bourbon, Crème Yvette, ginger, star anise and Chinese black tea – and The Thug, Maker’s Mark, organic lemon juice, Barenjager honey liqueur, bitters and habanero peppers.