The running line about Los Angeles is that it’s a city with no seasons. I think this is false for a variety of reasons, but for those of you who still feel adamant about this point, might I direct you to Drago Centro, which has been doing a bang-up job this year is heralding each quarter with a new batch of seasonal cocktails. I was lucky enough to partake in tastings of the Spring and Summer options, and recently, I was invited back to a media-comped meal at Drago where mixologist Jaymee Mandeville provided us with yet another new slate of drinks to celebrate fall.
After the jump, take a look at pics of the cocktails and a few of the nibbles.
The Break Maiden: Larceny bourbon, Byrrh, fig shrub, mint. This may look fruity, but it was a seriously bourbony cocktail.
The whimsically named Autumn’s Deluge. This bright and flavorful drink is a mix of Karlsson’s vodka, Breckenridge bitters, lemon, white grapes, arugula, and prosecco. Truth be told: I like pretty much any drink that comes with a splash of prosecco.
One of my favorites of the night: the Campfire Dawn. Why campfire? Maybe because of the smokey mezcal that forms the backbone of this cocktail. And y’all know how much I love mezcal. Also present are Clear Creek Douglas Fir eau de vie, sugar, Scrappy’s lime bitters, Fee Bros. and mint bitters. Yummbers.
Some snacks soon arrive and are quietly inhaled by yours truly. In the background are some delicious meatballs. The foreground, however, is a porcelain canoe filled with the sort of olives that one can only dream– okay, I’m stopping this sentence. It’s entirely too pretentious, even for me. Bottom line: THEM OLIVES WAS GOOD.
The Indochina Tí. And yes, there’s an accent aigu on the “i.” We’ll let it slide because this mix of rum, coconut milk, serrano date syrup, red bell pepper, lime, thai basil, and Angostura bitters is deserving of any accents, cedillas, or tildes that you may want to adorn the letters with. One of my fellow bloggers adored this cocktail. We were like SHADDUP ALREADY. Just kidding. She cool.
Paging Robert Froth. That was a literary pun, for all you out there. Anyway, this is the Through The Looking Glass, which features Oxley gin, Cardamaro, Earl Grey tea, sugar beet syrup, citric acid, cream, and nutmeg. Gin fans will love this one.
This striking drink was one of my favorites of the evening. Called The Paraiso, the cocktail is a blend of tequila, prickly pear (which I love), cardamom infused honey, chives, lime, and orange blossom water. Based on the color alone (not to mention the presence of honey), one might think this would be hella sweet. Wrong. It was perfectly balanced (much like all the cocktails).
Whitney from HoopLA and I thought we were being so clever by each chomping on the edible flower. Turns out that pretty lil’ think packed a garlicky punch that stayed with us for hours. Be warned.
Well hello, you elegant libation. This is the Savoy Rouge (not to be confused with The Savoy, which was the assisted living facility that my late grandma Sally lived in). Made with Scotch, crème Yvette, housemade rose vermouth, Reagan’s orange bitters, and Cocktail Kingdom wormwood bitters, the Savoy Rouge is smooth and classic in its style. Definitely a sophisticated option for a sophisticated man (LIKE ME).
This is just water. JUZZ KIDDING. Why am I the only one laughing? I guess water jokes just don’t have the same resonance as they used to. Anyway, this clear cocktail contains a lethal combo of gin, vodka, and lillet rosé. Oh, and smoke-infused ice. Sexy.
The American Hillbilly (is there any other kind of Hillbilly?). This one was a big hit at the table, and not just because it arrived in a jar — face it, drinks are always better in a jar. Here’s the official description and try to tell me why this wouldn’t be a hit: “Bulleit rye, pancetta rosemary infused maple syrup, baked apple bitters, Miracle Mile forbidden bitters, lemon.” Yeehaw!
A basket of cannoli descends on the table. They are divine. Probably the best I’ve ever had (to be fair, I’ve had very limited cannoli exposure).
It’s that part of the night where I feel drunk enough that I want to take random photos of spaces.
ERMAHGERD. KERKTAILS! I loved this neat little drink. Called the “Long For Yesterday,” this beverage was a playful take on the classic cream soda. I mean, I couldn’t get enough. Chocolatey, bubbly, slightly sweet (but not too much), it’s a perfect dessert cocktail. What’s inside, you ask? Rum, crème de cacao, xocolatl mole bitters, esplette syrup, cream, and soda. I’ll be honest: I remember my reactions to all the cocktails, but this is the only one whose taste I can instantly recall. Craving it as we speak.
Apologies to Drago Centro. They were so kind to make a perfect D on this tiramasu, and I had to go and take a picture of it upside down. For shame.