Pasadena: 1886 Bar

Garrett at 1886


Being an Eastsider, it’s hard to explain why I haven’t gone to 1886 at the Raymond until recently. I checked in around last Fall after the Bols Genever Punch Crawl with Marcos who along with Aidan designed the drinks at 1886 but they weren’t quite open yet. I was reminded again recently when I had some of the drinks from 1886 at Taste of the Nation this year.

variation of a Clover Club

We stopped in after a somewhat disappointing meal at Vertical. We were too late to try the bar food but there’s always next time.

I was immediately cheered with bartender Garrett knowing exactly what I meant by being a “brown, bitters, stirred” chick. And he had the greatest memory. He recited the history of an Old Fashioned (with NO muddled oranges or cherries). Very fun! My friend stuck to gin as her spirit of choice this evening. Note we didn’t try any of the cocktails on the list this evening so I’ll have to return to do that.

Old Bay Ridge

I opened with the Old Bay Ridge. Made with rye, Aquavit, simple syrup and bitters, this was the perfect drink to kick off the night at 1886.

I rather liked my friend’s variation of a Clover Club. It was light and lovely.

Gin, Benedictine, Yellow Chartreuse

My friend’s second cocktail included gin, Benedictine and Yellow Chartreuse. They all played well together in the coupe. I would almost call this a Widow’s Kiss variation.

The Creole

Next I had the Creole Cocktail. This is a classic Savoy Hotel cocktail which includes rye, Italian vermouth, Benedictine and Amer Picon. It was love in a glass.


Garrett was showing us the housemade violet syrup and I said my friend should have an Aviation. Oh wow, it was completely different from any other Aviation I ever had. It was actually refreshing and not cloyingly sweet. I definitely was into this drink.

Manhattan Transfer

I had rye all night and for my final drink, I switched back to my beloved bourbon. For the Manhattan Transfer which is a variation of a classic Manhattan, Garrett mixed bourbon, Ramazzotti and dry vermouth. I thought it was pretty nifty but I prefered the Creole more.

bartenders Gary, Garrett, Eddie


1886 is getting ready for summer and will launch some new cocktails soon. Bartender Gary was working on a bramble. Here’s a sneak peek!



Ah, very refreshing!

We found out barback Eddie was a singer so we begged for a song or two.

Yay for a Pasadena craft cocktail bar!

1886 Bar at the Raymond

1250 South Fair Oaks Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91105