San Francisco and Las Vegas Rock the Radio Room


~ photos by Lena Watanabe

With budgets as tight as they are, why spend precious dollars on airfare to visit the country’s top bars, when the Edison flies in the country’s best bartenders every month? On July 28, the Edison’s latest installment of its Radio Room series featured visiting mixologists Amanda Gager (StripSteak, Las Vegas) and Jacqueline Patterson (Heaven’s Dog, San Francisco). As with other Radio Room nights, the cocktail menu featured signature drinks created by the guest bartenders, who mixed drinks alongside the Edison’s own crack team.

Jackie Patterson shakes things up.

Jackie Patterson shakes things up.

Below is the night’s featured cocktail menu (drink creator in parentheses):

Radio Room Cocktails (7/28)

  • Red 507 (Jackie) – Casa Noble Blanco, vermouth, apricot brandy, bitters
  • Russe-Franc (Amanda) – Hangar One Mandarin Orange Blossom Vodka, Fernet Branca, agave, soda
  • Cat’s Dream (Jackie) – scotch, Carpano Antica Formula, ginger liqueur, Fernet Branca
  • El Melocoton (Amanda) – Casa Noble Silver, peach jam, vanilla syrup
  • Rum Diary (Jackie) – Zaya Reserva Rum, organic honey, house made ginger solution, lime
  • Mr. McIlhenny (Amanda) – Carpano Antica, freshly muddled basil, tabasco
  • AM Punch (Marcos Tello, the Edison) – Casa Noble Anejo, fresh lemon, elderflower cordial, apple brandy, champagne
Amanda Gager mixes a couple of Cat's Dreams.

Amanda Gager mixes a couple of Cat's Dreams.

By the time I arrived, my friends Amy and Lena had already ordered. My first cocktail was the Cat’s Dream, which turned out to be the consensus favorite of the night. It was excellent, the smokiness of the scotch offset by the smooth, herbal sweetness of the Carpano vermouth. The Fernet and ginger could have been overwhelming, but instead provided depth and complexity. Served in a coupe, the Cat’s Dream is definitely a cocktail to seek out the next time I’m in SF.

Mr. McIlhenny, I presume?

Mr. McIlhenny was a fave.

For Round Two I went with a Rum Diary, a straightforward and refreshing drink that was also created by Jackie. I’m sure that naming it after a Hunter S. Thompson novel had nothing to do with why it tasted so good. Lena had the misfortune of ordering the Red 507. We all tried it, and though we couldn’t decide where it went wrong, somewhere it definitely did go wrong. This isn’t to say that the original recipe was bad, but since we weren’t at the bar and didn’t know who actually made our drinks, we decided not to assign blame. Another miss was Amy’s Russe-Franc; she thought the Fernet was too dominant and undermined the overall flavor profile.

Thankfully those were the only misfires of the night. Lena loved the Mr. McIlhenny, so much so that it was her first and last cocktail of the night. I followed her lead and ordered another Cat’s Dream, a great way to end an enjoyable Radio Room session.

~ ~ ~

As always, the dancers were fantastic.

As always, the dancers were fantastic.

Radio Room at the Edison
Every fourth Tuesday
(Dark Aug. 25, returns Sep. 29)
108 W. 2nd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 613-0000

The Radio Room returns September 29, featuring guest mixologists John Lermayer (the Florida Room, Miami) and Jeffrey Morgenthaler (Clyde Common, Portland).

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