New Spring Cocktails at Drago Centro
If my last post about Drago Centro was a love letter to the kitchen, then this one is a love letter to the bar. Ten new cocktails replaced the Winter cocktails recently. The last menu didn’t feature any rye or bourbon drinks and I was very happy to see a couple of the new Spring cocktails utilizing my favorite whiskeys.
Carolina’s Finest caught my eye immediately. Not only did it have Four Roses bourbon, but it contained Aperol, Yellow Chartreuse and LaMill Earl Grey tea. Topped off with a bit of Angostura orange, it was very refreshing.
I was a huge Smashing Pumpkins fan back in the day. I have gone to more Pumpkins concerts than for any other band. Who couldn’t love a cocktail called Bullet with Butterfly Wings? With Bulleit rye, Cynar, fresh pineapple, fresh sage and fresh lemon, the style reminded me more of a rum drink but served in a brandy snifter.
Pictured above are the Orange Blossom Special (Karlsson’s vodka, Harry’s strawberries, orange blossom, rose water, fresh orange, black peppercorn) and the Maelstrom (Dos Maderas 5+3 rum, Ramzzotti, housemade blueberry thyme syrup, fresh meyer lemon).
Like Thirsty in LA, I was surprised how much I liked the Orange Blossom Special. I had given up on vodka some time ago when my love of whiskey took a strong root in my cocktailian soul. I really think the heavenly scented drink did a number on me and I’d consider drinking this again…over and over.
As for Maelstrom, I liked it but I preferred the faux rum-like Bullet with Butterfly Wings more.
Perhaps green drinks are Drago Centro’s love letters to me? Last season’s Watcher in the Woods was not as well-received (though I enjoyed it) as the latest Minty green drink, the Green Flash (Sombra mezcal, Marie Brizard Apry, coconut cream, fresh kiwi, fresh lime, fresh cilantro, navan infused raisins).
The cilantro really mellows and balances this drink.
Tomato/Tomato (Casa Noble Crystal Organic tequila, creole shrub, fresh cherry tomatoes, housemade ancho chili tincture, fresh lemon) reminded me of a cross between a Bloody Mary and a margarita.
I introduced the So Fresh and So Clean (Nolet’s gin, Creme Yvette, Lillet Blanc, white balsamic, fresh cucumber) in the last post. It’s definitely a heady drink with both fresh notes and interesting liqueurs.
More on the gin front, the Soothing Sedation (Tru Organic gin, Benedictine, housemade blackberry marmalade) was a nod to the fresh berries coming into season. Head bartender Jaymee Mandeville made the marmalade herself.
American Graffiti (Art in the Age Root, Rock Junmai sake, Luxardo Morlacco, Bar Keep baked apple bitters)– woooooah, root beer! This is one of those cocktails I love but cannot have more than one a night. Head bartender Jaymee found some silicone modes so Drago Centro now has some big ice cubes for this brown, bitter, stirred cocktail.
On the flipside, it’d be too easy to drink multiple Verona Swizzles (Francoli grappa, Velvet Falernum, fresh raspberry, fresh basil, fresh lime, Angostura). This beautiful tipple definitely reminded me of the Italian flag with its bright red and green colors. I see myself on a patio with this drink.
Some fun events coming up at Drago Centro
June 2, 9, 16 – Summer Concerts with crooner Luca Ellis in the lounge
June 12– Summer BBQ in the Vault
5-9PM, $50/ per person (food only)
June 19 – Perfectly Paired Pints with Pops
for Father’s Day, Drago Centro is offering a $70 tasting menu paired with beer (for an additional $30)
1st course Prosciutto, bocconcini mozzarella, compressed melon
Allagash, White, Maine
2nd course Horseradish crusted halibut, caramelized onions
Green Flash, Le Freak, San Diego
3rd course Lobster carbonara, egg yolks, parmesan cheese
Russian River Brewing, Damnation, Sonoma
4th course Crispy pork belly, potato gnocchi, chile foam
Broweij Bosteels, Triple Karmeliet, Belgium
5th course New York strip, gorgonzola piccante, garlic puree
Ommegang, Abbey Ale, New York
6th course Chocolate crème, cigar ice cream
The Bruery, Rugbrød, Orange County
525 S Flower St
Los Angeles, CA 90071