New Cocktails at Ray’s & Stark Bar
Ray’s and Stark Bar recently launched their new Winter cocktails. I was recently invited to check some of them out. Please note the pictured photos do not represent full-sized cocktails. These were taster samples.
Bar Smith and Sommelier Paul Sanguinetti has made a gin by infusing two different vodkas (potato and grain vodkas) with garden botanicals including lemon verbena. These herbs are grown on the premises.
The G-Funk Era made with the housemade gin, Fever Tree tonic, bitters and grapefruit peel can easily be the best gin and tonic I’ve ever had. Paul better start distilling by the batch because this is a sure to be a best seller.
There are at least three cocktails named for regulars. First we have Mike’s Medicine (Tariquet Armagnac, Licor 43, lime, egg white). I had a laugh about this drink because I know Mike and have actually been to a party where he used Licor 43 in quite a few cocktails. This drink was very balanced. I appreciated the refined armagnac and the lightness of the lime and egg white. It’s pretty much a sour on the rocks or rather, one large rock. Check out Mike’s new Mixology site, mxlgy.
For Max’s Daiquiri (dark rum, Fernet Branca, simple syrup, lime), it was love at first sip. “I’m really into amaro right now” For someone like me who’s into bitters (plus tinctures and infusions), amaro, beautiful ice, this drink is the perfect craft cocktail. Simple and bold. But if you don’t have tastebuds of steel as a friend would say, I don’t recommend this cocktail if you like girlie drinks. It’s for those who love bitter flavors.
Singers Vacation (Scotch, Benedictine, honey, Japanese green citron tea, Stark housemade lemon verbena bitters) on the other hand represents the other side of craft cocktails. I thought this hot drink would be perfect for everyone. It was my favorite of the three hot drinks on the menu now.
The other two hot drinks; Bobbin’ for Bourbon (apple infused bourbon, raspberry rooibos tea, lemon) and Oaxacan Holiday (cocoa infused dark rum, creme de cacao, chocolate chili bitters, whipped cream, nutmeg) are perfect for the cooler nights. I particularly liked the Oaxacan Holiday. It was like spiked hot cocoa. I can just imagine these apre ski.
If you have time for a bite, try some of the pizzas. The mushroom and sage had a great cheese. I also liked the cheeseless olive one. It’d be a great one to share if you don’t want dairy. I also tried some charcuterie. Chef Kris Morningstar put up what he’s calling summer sausage to cure when Ray’s and Stark first opened and is now serving it. It was delicious.
We also tasted a terrine made with venison. Then it was covered with apple slices which accented the dish.
Night at the Museum fortunately didn’t come with a side of Ben Stiller. Rather this cocktail features Caprock organic gin, Aperol, Lilet blanc and fresh rose geranium. It and the Park La Brea Power Lunch (Calvados, Green Chartreuse, lemon, basil) were genteel drinks. Still, enough of these and you could have a madcap adventure around the museum.
I am a brown, bitters and stirred sort of cocktail chick and my ultimate favorite of the night was the (Far) East of Manhattan. The masala infused rye was mixed with Amaro Nonino, sweet vermouth and bitters. Perfect.
There are more new cocktails on the list but I’m saving them for another night. The Original Swizzle sounds fantastic with mezcal, Campari, sherry, maraschino, agave and lemon. I also think the Green Dream with Scotch, Green Chartreuse and Carpano Antica vermouth will be great.
What cocktail would you like to try?
Ray’s & Stark Bar at LACMA5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036 – (323) 857-6180