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.

Mezcal Bar’s bartender, Dustin Shaw, who created the drink and named it for a well-known Mexican-American singer-songwriter, says it has been one of the most popular since the bar opened in March. More than a cocktail, the Lila Downs is, he says, “a journey.” 

"When you’re about to take a sip the nose of anise wakes up your senses, then the foam’s minty fresh flavor provides a nice cooling sensation that gives way to a surprising amount of body,” Shaw says. “It’s extremely easy to drink and has an amazing mouth feel. I’ve long been a fan of bitter, herbaceous and boozy drinks and I wanted to offer a refreshing, agave-based sour that wasn’t sweetened, weak, or a margarita.”

INGREDIENTS:
—1 oz. La Niña del Mezcal Espadin
—. 5 oz. Casamigos Blanco tequila
—. 75 oz. fresh-squeezed lime juice
—. 75 oz. Green Chartreuse 
—. 25 oz. Giffard Banane Du Bresil Liqueur

DIRECTIONS:
Combine and shake ingredients. Strain into a coupe glass that’s been rinsed with absinthe. Top with rosemary-mint foam. 

Courtesy of MEZCAL BAR AT LAUREL HARDWARE 

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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.