Los Angeles experienced only partial darkness during the Great American Solar Eclipse. Still, the city celebrated with its usual festive community spirit. There were free viewing parties at the Griffith Observatory and the Glendale Community College Planetarium, at the physics and astronomy centers of UCLA, Cal State Long Beach and the University of California at Riverside. National Park Services Rangers led hikes at the LA State Historic Park in Downtown LA and at King Gillette Ranch in Calabasas. The Big Bear Valley Astronomical Society set up telescopes at Swim Beach. You could ride the gondola to the 11,000-foot summit at Mammoth Mountain or take the Palm Spring Aerial Tramway to the Mountain Station (elevation 8,516 feet) where the Mount San Jacinto State Park provided NASA-approved solar-viewing glasses and a telescope fitted with a solar filter.

And, of course, people gathered in backyards and gardens and rooftops everywhere, including at the High Rooftop Lounge at Hotel Erwin in Venice Beach, where the drinks menu included charcoal-activated Bloody Marys, Cosmic Mimosas and Total Eclipse Mai Tais.

The next total solar eclipse won’t be visible in the United Sates until April 24, 2024. But you don’t have to wait until then to enjoy a Solar Eclipse cocktail. Here, courtesy of Jose Cuervo Tequila is a recipe.

Total Especial Eclipse

2 oz. Jose Cuervo Especial
2 oz. orange juice
1 tsp. grenadine
1/2 oz. charcoal lemonade (available at juice shops)

Shake tequila and orange juice and pour into a rocks glass over ice. Mix charcoal lemonade and grenadine and slowly pour into the cocktail. Garnish with lime wedge.

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On June 21, the MPI Southern California Chapter marked its 40th anniversary as members gathered for their annual installation gala at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. After a welcome reception in the Wetherly Garden, where cocktails were hosted by Mulholland Distilling and sparkling wine by South Coast Winery, guests moved into the ballroom for the awards program and dinner and the swearing in of the 2018-19 Board of Directors. The evening concluded with a lavish dessert reception in the Orchid Room.