The presence of craft cocktail bars has been growing exponentially since the early 2000s, and finding a craft bar in many cities (even smaller ones) is becoming easier and easier. It’s strange, then, that one of the largest metropolitan areas of the United States, Los Angeles, has lagged behind other cities in the U.S. in the development of their own cocktail culture.
The reason for this, I’d hypothesize, is that there was no central location for bars to establish themselves as Downtown LA had only begun its revitalization in the early 2000s. In 2007, though, one craft bar launched in Downtown and has built a great reputation since then.
I have several cocktail books that I find recipes in, and while I love books like The Savoy and Jerry Thomas, these 100-year-old guides often have recipes that are hard to follow or antiquated. With drinks like smashes and sangarees and measurement sizes like ponys and wineglasses, I browse through them regularly, but hardly ever choose recipes to make cocktails from.
One of the most useful recipe books I have, though, with a nice balance between old school and modern, is Trader Vic’s Bartender’s Guide. I was flipping through Trader Vic’s this weekend and found a tasty recipe for a Los Angeles cocktail. It’s rich and refreshing, with similarities to a Whiskey Sour. Try it out:
Los Angeles Cocktail
in a shaker, combine:
1 1/2 oz of bourbon
1 dash of Italian (red) vermouth
1 teaspoon of sugar
juice of 1/4 lemon
dry shake (no ice) the ingredients, then add ice and shake well
pour into a cocktail glass or small old fashioned and garnish with a lemon slice