DTLA: New Winter 2012 Cocktails at Drago Centro
Drago Centro launched their new Winter cocktails just after the holidays just when I was embracing the Fall cocktails. The cocktail list is the genius of Bar Manager Jaymee Mandeville. Former Drago Centro Sommelier Michael Shearin said he hadn’t tasted a single one of the cocktails before the launch and he was so proud of Jaymee’s list.
I can never talk enough about the all-day, every day “happy hour” at Drago Centro. Really, it’s more like “happy days.” Food ranges from $3-10 and the the $10 calzone is amazing with truffles. I always get oysters if available and love that they change up the sauce for the calamari. The Kobe sliders are great and the sausage pizza is my favorite. Really, you’ll need the food to go with the fine cocktails.
I started the night with Remedy X (Blackbush Bushmill’s Whiskey Infused With Rosemary, House Infused Ginger Agave, Lemon) which was perfect. I also tasted Eve’s Demise (Black Grouse Scotch, Brillet Pear Cognac, House-made Hibiscus Apple Cider, Maple Syrup) which is a warm drink. The drink came in an adorable glass jar.
I also liked Breaking Castagne (Hardy VSOP Cognac, Sombra Mezcal, House-made Italian Chestnut Syrup, Bitter Truth Mole Bitters, Egg White, Fresh Nutmeg). I happen to like chestnuts a lot so this was a perfectly creamy, almost “dessert-y” drink.
For girly drink lovers, I’d recommend the Storjson or Grimhilda which aren’t actually too sweet. I tasted a friend’s Storjson (Karlsson’s Vodka, Ramazotti, Dimmi, Lime, Peychaud’s Bitters, Rambutan) and thought the halved rambutan fruit garnish was so cool. The Grimhilda (Laird’s Bonded Apple Brandy, House Infused Chipotle Honey, Pama, Lemon) was an attractive pink color with a sugared rim.
I was informed that my Fated Seeds (Nolet’s Gin, House-made Persimmon Shrub, Miracle Mile Bergamont Bitters, Basil, Soda Water) wasn’t completed garnished. This drink should also have basil which I probably would have just muddled into my drink with my straw if it came that way. However, I don’t think it really detracted from the easy drinkin’. I was particularly into the house-made persimmon shrub. The cocktail geek in me squealed. I also met Louis from Miracle Mile Bitters that evening. It was so fun to learn he uses the Sour Cherry bitters sometimes as a cold remedy. Good to know!
I was going to try the Dead Man’s Tale (Wray and Nephew Overproof Rum, Bombay Gin, Bertagnolli Grappa, Oloroso Sherry, Orgeat, Lemon, Bitterman’s Amer Nouvelle, Orange Juice, Galliano Mist) but others suggested I should try Silver Screen Quotations (123 Blanco Tequila, House-made Thai Chili/Cinnamon Syrup, Lime, Red Bell Pepper, Mint). The former is similar to a Mai Tai which is what I normally drink at Drago Centro when not trying other cocktails and the later is similar to a Margarita. I didn’t get to try the Dead Man’s Tale (not pictured) so I’ll have to see how it compares my regular Mai Tai there.
It turned out one of my favorites of the night was the Western all’Italiana (High West Double Rye!, House-made Cranberry/Oregano Molasses, Cointreau, St. Elizabeth All Spice Dram, Fresh Apple). I also liked the Rode Duivel (Bols Genever, St. Maria Al Monte Amaro, Miracle Mile Sour Cherry Bitters) – not pictured. My cousins took one sip each of it and muttered something about it being strong. Ha! It was perfect to me. They style is brown, bitter and stirred which is my favorite sort of cocktail.
Chef Ian Gresik at Drago Centro will be teaching a class on pasta making on January 18 and 25th (5 PM). The $55 class includes personalized pasta tastings and a drink.
525 South Flower Street, Los Angeles, CA 90071 – (213) 228-8998