An occasional roundup of L.A. cocktail culture in various media.

LA Times Magazine
The monthly Los Angeles Times insert continues its excellent series of articles on the L.A. cocktail scene. Mezcal was the focus in the November issue, which featured an in-depth look at Ron Cooper, the man behind Del Maguey. There are also several mezcal cocktail recipes by Raul Yrastorza (Cole’s Red Car Bar), to be featured at Las Perlas, the upcoming “shrine to mezcal” from Cedd Moses and Mark Verge.

Just in time for the holidays, the December issue featured artisinal punch recipes from Vincenzo Marianella, Eric Alperin, Ted Haigh, and Marcos Tello.

LA Times
During Thanksgiving Week, the LA Times featured a “Culinary SOS” gallery of 47 recipes from readers’ favorite restaurant dishes. One of them was the Chilling with the Coolidge Cocktail, created by Danielle Motor at The Hungry Cat for actress Jennifer Coolidge. It’s no longer on the menu, but here’s the recipe.

Also in the gallery: the “Gin”-ger Basiltini (the Girl & the Fig, Sonoma) and the Stella! Sazerac (Stella!, New Orleans).


America’s Top Bartender

The weekend before Thanksgiving, Copa d’Oro’s Joe Brooke was named America’s Top Bartender and won $100,000. Congrats and way to represent, Joe! You can watch Joe win the Final Challenge at LXTV’s On the Rocks site.

After his victory, Joe made an appearance on the Today Show, mixing a couple of holiday cocktails: The Linus and Single Serve Eggnog.

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NY Times Winter Drinks
On December 1st, the NY Times published its Winter Drinks issue, which went heavy with the rum. One article featured an aged rum taste test, while another made the case for rum being the new gin. Featured prominently in the latter article was the Night Watcher, an insane-looking tiki drink (ball gag anyone?) from The Tar Pit, opening December 18th. Photos and recipes included the Night Watcher and the Top Notch Volcano, from San Francisco’s Smuggler’s Cove.

Also in the Winter Drinks issue, an article focused on day drinks, including the Ramos Gin Fizz at The Hungry Cat.

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The Tar Pit
With opening night (hopefully) just days away, anticipation for The Tar Pit has reached a fever pitch. Audrey Saunders (Pegu Club) and Chad Solomon and Christy Pope (Cuff & Buttons) are collaborating on the cocktail menu, so it’s no wonder that the New York Times has led the way in coverage, beginning with an article that broke the news that Saunders was part of the Tar Pit team. Subsequently, the LA Times, Los Angeles Magazine, LA Weekly, and Eater LA provided additional info and images. Then came the Night Watcher mention in the NY Times, the first cocktail to emerge from the project. Thrillist has just posted a few more Tar Pit cocktails, including:

  • The Old Cuban – aged rum mojito, Angostura bitters, topped with champagne
  • Flame of Love (invented by Chasen’s Pepe Ruiz for Dean Martin) – bay leaf-infused vodka w/ fino sherry, and a flaming corkscrew orange peel
  • Fiddy-Fiddy – gin-vermouth (50/50, natch), orange bitters, and a lemon-twist

A press preview night has been announced for Monday the 14th, so expect a flurry of posts and pics on Tuesday. As for me, I’ll be spending the weekend trying to blag a +1 for Monday. Cheers!

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