Cocktail of the Week LA: The Nightingale’s Prayer at Farida

Nightingale's Prayer
Nightingale’s Prayer

Photo Credit: Bowery St. Enterprises

Our latest cocktail of the week comes courtesy of modernist Middle Eastern eatery Farida, George Abou-Daoud’s latest venture (his seventh), located on Sunset Boulevard.

From the Arabic word loosely translating to “incomparable” and named after Abou-Daoud’s grandmother, Farida will draw heavy inspiration from the type of food Abou-Daoud grew up eating at home, utilizing centuries-old preparation techniques and expanding beyond the token dishes that have become synonymous with Middle Eastern cooking. The vibrant menu is inspired by the regional cuisine of the Middle East—including Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Morocco, Palestine and Israel—and includes both dishes that are deeply rooted in methods of traditional preparation and ones that are modern and unconventional. All plates are sharable, and will include Mountain Prep Lamb Awarma, which follows a traditional mountain-side preparation process and is served alongside hummus bi tahini, a nut and fig medley, lamb cracklins and a soft egg; Spicy Lamb Riblets, with pomegranate, kishek porridge and harissa; and Stuffed Squash, a whole gourd filled with basmati rice and le puy lentils with pistachio butter. Slightly smaller yet still sharable plates include Olive Oil Cured Eggplant Makdous and Lavender Baghrir Crepes with honey brown butter and sel gris. Rounding out the menu will be unique flavored desserts such as Muhallebi with hazelnut halawa, mahleb, chervil syrup and pine nuts, and the Basbousa, made with semolina, fenugreek syrup, almonds and rosewater yogurt.

Complementing the distinctive menu will be a selection of cocktails focusing on the sweeter aspects of Mideast flavors with rosewater, mint, orange blossom, pomegranate, and fig.  Here, mixologist  J.P. Wohl shares how to make two of the distinctive drinks from Farida’s menu including Nightingale’s Prayer, which uses the trendy sumac berry and the Arakzerac, which is one of the only drinks you’ll find anywhere that utilizes the Mideast Arak.

Says Wohl of Nightingale’s Prayer: “Sumac, a tart Mediterranean berry just recently finding its way onto all kinds of menus across the country, brings a lemony, slightly tart flavor to the vodka, and provides the drink with its deep red color.”


2oz Sumac infused Vodka

1oz Orgeat

1/2oz lemon juice

2 drops Rose Water

2 dashes Angostura bitters

1 Egg white

Dry shake, then wet shake, served in coupe

Garnish: Sprinkled sumac


Photo Credit: Bowery St. Enterprises

Of the Arakzerac, Wohl says, “The Arakzerac uses the traditional Mideast Arak, in this case from Lebanon to make an American style cocktail with bourbon. People need not be afraid of the anise / licore like flavor of Arak, which is traditionally served on the rocks taking it from clear to cloudy, because this well balanced drink takes it to a different level.”


2oz Bulliet Rye

½oz Chamomile syrup

4 dashes Angostura bitters

Arak rinse of glass

Stir and serve neat in short glass

Garnish ideas: Orange Twist


Farida is located at 6266 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood, CA 90028