Mortar & Pestle, the Bay Area craft cocktail bars, are known for their globally inspired drinks that feature traditional Indian flavors. The Bangalore Old Fashioned is an Indian-inspired take on the classic Old Fashioned, made with an Indian rum blend, housemade garam masala syrup, and Bittercube’s Blackstrap and Jamaican #2 bitters. A staple in Indian cooking, garam masala is a mix of warm winter spices like cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. That makes this cocktail perfect for imbibing around the fireplace during the holidays.
Feisser Stone, founder and creative director, of Barlingual, a full-service bar consulting company, created this summer-ready take on the daiquiri for the Mosaic Hotel in Beverly Hills. “A daiquiri is an entry-level cocktail, which is so simple to make, I thought about how I could make it more interesting,” Stone says. “I was inspired by chartreuse, which was one of the fi rst distilled spirits made by monks several centuries ago. The Daiquiri Vert could be a cocktail those monks would have made.” With only three ingredients and a photo-ready emerald hue, it’s an ideal cocktail for events.
Mixologist Freddie Sarkis curated a custom cocktail menu to reflect the globally inspired cuisine at the newly opened Scroll Bar Waterside Kitchen in Redwood City. The fare at the eatery that’s inside the Pullman San Francisco Bay Hotel ranges from an ahi poke stack appetizer to the $350 Scroll Kitchen luau pig that has to be ordered 48 hours in advance and requires a minimum of eight diners.
— 2 oz. mezcal
— 1/2 oz. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
— 1/2 oz. simple syrup (1:1 water to granulated sugar)
— 1 oz. fresh-squeezed blood orange juice (when blood oranges are out of season, substitute Perfect Puree Blood Orange)
— 2 oz. San Pellegrino Aranciata Rossa
» Glass: San Pellegrino can (use a can opener and remove top of can)
» Ice: crushed
» Garnish: blood orange wheel
Riviera 31, the cocktail lounge at Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, recently had a swank makeover, to offer what’s described as a “sensual baroque take on flowers and their mystery and elegance.” Now guests can sink into deep ruby red and blue velvet sofas under the gold Rococo ceiling and flattering hushed lighting. To complement the redesign, a new cocktail menu has been ushered it, featuring drinks that play off their surroundings. Among them, this striking take on the martini.
This is the kind of cocktail you don’t want to attempt to reproduce at home. To create that rosemary mint foam you will need both a nitrous-oxide whipper and an eyedropper (to dispense precisely two drops of rosemary essential oil). It’s the type of complex specialty drink you can find only at specialty bars, in this case the newcomer Mezcal Bar, which is tucked behind a curtain at the West Hollywood restaurant Laurel Hardware, and features nearly 100 different Mezcals sourced from more than 50 distillers.
Earlier this year, Matt Klette, the West Coast ambassador for Redemption Whiskey, gathered Los Angeles food and beverage influencers to introduce them to the small-batch Redemption Rye. The 95-percent rye is aged in new American charred oak barrels, with each bottle hand-numbered to reflect the batch. Clark Street Bread created a special sandwich for the occasion; called “When Pigs Rye,” the sandwich featured roasted pork, spicy mustard and whiskey dill pickles served open face on Danish rye bread infused with Redemption Whiskey.
The Mr. Plant cocktail is named for Robert Plant, legendary vocalist and lyricist of Led Zeppelin. He is one of many rock legends, including The Doors, The Who and The Rolling Stones, who used to stay at the hotel that was known as Riot House back in the day. Reports have it that Plant shouted “I am a golden god!” from a hotel balcony overlooking the Sunset Strip, inspiring the well-known scene from the movie Almost Famous. Mr. Plant has been a house favorite at the hotel since. After changing hands several times, it became Andaz West Hollywood in 2009.
This singular cocktail, created by Chris Burmeister, lead bartender at Outpost (the restaurant at The Goodland hotel in Santa Barbara), was inspired by one its ingredients, Avua Amburana Cachaca—a distilled Brazilian spirit made from fresh sugarcane juice. The ageing of the amburana wood of the cachaça releases intoxicating notes of cinnamon and baking spice. Burmeister wanted to highlight those flavors. He decided to do a riff on a milk punch, using the masala chai syrup as a sweetener to complement the cachaça.
Hard cider, a centuries-old beverage, is gaining new fans among the craft beer and wine set and beyond, with sales quintupling over the last three years. Some of the very best hard cider is being produced in Healdsburg by the fatherand- son team of David and Robert Cordtz. The two founded Sonoma Cider in 2013 and their ever-expanding line of certified organic ciders has been winning accolades and awards ever since, including being named the 2015 Cider Producer of the Year at the New York International Beer Competition.