Radio Room Preview Event and Announcing the Edison New York

Since its relaunch last February, the Radio Room at the Edison has hosted guest mixologists from top bars such as Bourbon & Branch, Death & Co., Milk & HoneyDrinkHeaven’s Dog, Clyde Common, and Cure. Last month, the Radio Room brought in San Francisco’s Erick Castro (Rickhouse) and New York’s Brian Miller (Death & Co.).

Zane Harris finishes his Vieux Cerde.

On Tuesday, March 30, Radio Room returns to The Edison with Joseph Brooke (Edison Director of Spirits) and visiting mixologists Simon Ford (Pernod Ricard, London & NYC), Zane Harris (Rob Roy, Seattle), Giuseppe Gonzalez (Dutch Kills & Painkiller, NYC) and Don Lee (Momofuku Restaurants, NYC). The Radio Room cocktail menu will feature signature cocktails from each guest, a great way to sample drinks from the best bars in the country.

The Radio Room has updated its format for this edition. Each guest mixologist will be stationed in individual serving areas, and will offer only their own specialty cocktails. Drink tickets for the visiting bartenders will be sold to guests at ticket locations or can be bought from servers. This new format is intended to give guests a more personal experience with each visiting bartender. Edison staff will serve all other cocktails, food and beverages.

Speaking of food, the Radio Room will feature “Meroir: A Sense of the Sea,” from Matre Ecailler Christophe Happillon (The Oyster Gourmet). The evening’s specials will include freshly shucked oysters and crab claws.

March Fourth dancer, Sep. 2009.

Entertainment will be provided by Portland’s March Fourth Marching Band, “a charismatic big band spectacular that takes audiences on a musical journey around the globe.” I saw them perform at last September’s Radio Room, and they were fantastic. March Fourth’s eclectic mix of funk, big band, jazz, gypsy and other music genres, along with sensual dancers and stilt walkers, blew the roof off the Edison.

Radio Room at the Edison
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
108 W. 2nd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 613-0000

Guest mixologists: Simon Ford, Zane Harris, Giuseppe Gonzalez, Don Lee

Featuring: March Fourth Marching Band and DJ Jonny


  • Wild Orchid (Giuseppe Gonzalez)
  • Infante (Giuseppe Gonzalez)
  • Rite of Spring (Don Lee)
  • Globo Rojo #2 (Zane Harris)
  • Vieux Cerde (Zane Harris)
  • Good Morning, Vietnam (Simon Ford) – gin, ginger, orange marmalade

See the Press Preview recap below for notes on the Radio Room cocktails.

The Infante

Last night, the media was invited by Dan Cox PR to a special Radio Room sneak preview event. After checking in, I made my way downstairs and joined Esther (e*star LA), Maya (ShopEatSleep), and H.C. (L.A. & O.C. Foodventures) at the bar along with many more familiar faces. The big topic of discussion was the press release we received: The Edison is opening a second venue in New York! Details on the new location in Manhattan are being finalized. Edison owner Andrew Meieran expects The Edison New York to debut in about 18 months, with a design that will “build upon architectural artifacts in the new location,” just as the original Edison did here in Los Angeles. After that bit of exciting news, we were ready for our cocktails.

Giuseppe Gonzalez

Wild Orchid

Our first guest mixologist was Giuseppe Gonzalez, who mixed his Infante (Casa Noble tequila, lime, orgeat, orange blossom water, freshly grated nutmeg) for Esther and Maya, while H.C. and I had the Wild Orchid (Beefeater gin, orgeat, St. Germain elderflower, and a red wine float). Both cocktails are featured at Dutch Kills in New York. As he mixed our drinks, Giuseppe talked a bit about Painkiller, the tiki bar he’s opening soon in New York’s Lower East Side. If nothing else, the interior design should be interesting: a mashup of tiki culture and New York in the ’70s.

Giuseppe informed us that normally the Wild Orchid is made with crushed ice, while the Radio Room version called for a red wine float to simulate the layering. It was certainly refreshing and a great way to start the night. He also told us the Infante is the bar’s best-selling tequila cocktail, and after taking a sip it’s easy to see why.

The Rite of Spring

As we sipped Giuseppe’s cocktails and nibbled on crab claws, we were also offered a cocktail from Don Lee of Momofuku, New York. The Southern California expat, who runs the spirits program for Momofuku Ssäm Bar, came on strong with the Rite of Spring, a fresh, seasonal twist on the classic Gibson. For his variation, Don infused Absolut 100 with onions, Korean peppers, and rice vinegar. The result was overpowering; the onion aroma hit me well before I took a sip. The spice and vinegar were there as well, but didn’t have a chance against the onion.

Don Lee

We thought maybe a different spirit (gin, for starters) would hold up better in the infusion. Don told us later that, because others had used gin, whiskey etc., he had to vary the base spirit and use Absolut. It’s too bad, because I actually like the concept and I think the potential is there for something really good. We even tried tasting the Rite of Spring with different food, such as the crab and oysters on the half shell. This improved the experience somewhat, but it still didn’t quite work for me. That said, I found out later that other guests really liked it.

Zane Harris

Vieux Cerde

Next up was Zane Harris, co-owner of Seattle’s Rob Roy, and (according to his bio) voted by his fellow bartenders as “most likely to survive the Zombiepocalypse.” Alas, I didn’t get to ask him about this last night, so Zane’s mysterious survival skills will have to await further investigation. One thing is certain, though; Zane mixed my favorite cocktails of the night. For me the standout was the Vieux Cerde, made with Jameson 12 year old Irish whiskey, VSOP Cognac, a light drizzle of Elisir M.P. Roux, and bitters. It’s a superb, balanced cocktail with complexity and depth. The whiskey is highlighted, rounded by the cognac, enhanced by the liqueur and the bitters.

Esther really enjoyed her Globo Rojo #2 (mezcal, strawberries, tawny port, bitters). As with the Vieux Cerde, the Globo Rojo was an excellent balance, in this case between smoke and sweet, with deeper flavors provided by the port and bitters.

Good Morning, Vietnam

Simon Ford

Our final drink was the Good Morning, Vietnam from Simon Ford, Director of Brand Education and Trade Outreach for Pernod Ricard USA. His “breakfast of champions” is made with gin, ginger, orange marmalade, and lemon juice. It was hard to discern the ginger, but the sweet citrus of the marmalade and the tart lemon played well with the aromatics of the gin. Simon’s cocktail was the perfect way to end our Radio Room session. And if we ever take Simon’s suggestion, his drink could make for a very interesting way to start the day, as well.

Update 4/2 – Press Preview Recaps:

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  1. SinoSoul on March 30, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Drats, looks like we missed a good time.

  2. yolanda on March 30, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Love the new look. Damn you got that up fast.

  3. […] out Thirsty in L.A.’s post, which has lots of detail. Tags: Don Lee, Downtown LA, Dutch Kills, Edison, Giuseppe Gonzalez, […]

  4. e*starLA on March 30, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Excellent write-up! 🙂

  5. Matt Robold on March 30, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Bummed I couldn’t make it to the preview…I’ll have to attend tonight to ensure that Zane and Simon are properly pestered.

  6. thirstyinla on March 30, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    SinoSoul: there’s always tonight! Or next month…

    yolanda: thanks, great to see you last night.

    e*starLA: thanks! Always fun to hang out with ya.

    Matt: it’s my friend’s b-day, so I *have* to go tonight. See you there!

  7. March Edison Radio Room Tonight | e*star LA on March 30, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    […] Radio Room Preview Event & Announcing The Edison New York – Thirsty in LA […]

  8. H.C. on March 30, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    Great meeting you (again!) at the Radio Room — I love that Vieux Cerde a.k.a Vieux Carre’s sexier cousin w a little black dress. And I certainly don’t mind saying good night to a Good Morning, Vietnam (actually, I wouldn’t mind waking up to it either!)

    As for the Rite of Spring, I definitely love the idea of ramp-infusing the vodka to give it that seasonality and a savory contrast to the mostly sweet and sour drinks featured that night, but yeah – the onion-garlicky flavor came on way too strong and I think it’d be much better as a cocktail paired with food rather than to be sipped alone. Unless you have a vampire nearby…

  9. thirstyinla on March 31, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Gave the Rite of Spring another go last night, and this time Don offered the option of gin or vodka. I have to say it tasted *much* better with Beefeater! 🙂 Nice seeing H.C., Matt, and others, too.