New Spring Cocktails at Drago Centro
Drago Centro Bar Manager Jaymee Mandeville has rocked out her Spring Cocktails menu. Following her successful first list, she has really outdone herself. There was nothing on the list I didn’t want to try and it was incredibly hard to pick a favorite.
It was fairly difficult to pick my first drink until I saw the Nebbia Rossa. It was very much like a Campari to me but with tequila instead of the usual gin. There was also grapefruit. While others loved the Shotgun Wedding and proclaimed they could easily drink 5 of them in a sitting, I much rather sip on the Nebbia Rossa. Don’t get me wrong, the Shotgun Wedding was a beautiful drink, something I’d like for brunch. I heard Drago Centro has started serving breakfast. Hm, fizzy prosecco cocktail before coffee?
My go-to spirit is whiskey so naturally I also wanted to try the Cool Revival though I was thrown by the dill foam. Now, I love pickles but straight up dill? It turns out it’s much soften and made me go “hm, I’d like more.”
Nebbia Rossa – Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, Campari, Bittermens Citron Sauvage, Dolin Blanc
Shotgun Wedding– Laird’s Bonded Apple Brandy, Prosecco, Lemon Juice, Granny Smith Apples, Maple Sugar
Cool Revival – Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey, Cynar, Yuzu, Cucumber, With Lemon and Dill Meringue
I had a taste of the Ver La Luz Del Dia. It may be a Spring cocktail but I had a glimpse of summer.
Ver La Luz Del Día– Kappa Pisco, Lillet Blanc, Hangar Vodka, Bombay Sapphire Gin, Basil
Karlsson’s vodka provides a good canvas for the citrus, Cocchi Americano (often used like a vermouth) and chives in the Trädgård. It’s a very savory cocktail and the fresh chives tied to the grapefruit wedge brings it all together. I was thinking about sour cream and onion chips. Good thing Drago Centro has a stellar bar menu and I easily satisfied my craving with their nibbles.
I’ll have to revisit the Stepchild as I only had a sip. It has everything I like in a cocktail- whiskey, amaro and a bit of citrus. Jaymee created the housemade kumquuat cordial as well.
Trädgård – Karlsson’s Gold Vodka, Cocchi Americano, Fee Brothers Grapefruit Bitters, Lemon Juice, Chives
Stepchild – Black Grouse Blended Scotch, Cardamaro, Kumquat Cordial, Orange Juice
It’s really fun to go cocktailing with a group of 30 or more people. I found some loved the Greetings from Xanadu and some were a little bit more unsure of it. For myself, I I was intrigued by the coffee-choclate flavors I found in what I thought was a tiki cocktail. I had been wondering about Java Juice which I heard about recently. It’s a nifty product where you just add water for coffee. Maybe I should take back what I said about Shotgun Wedding. How about Greetings from Xanadu as your morning drink- you get the coffee and juice at once.
Greetings from Xanadu – Banks 5 Island Rum, Pama, Java Juice, Pineapple Juice, Orange Juice
I kept wanting to call Night and the City “Fog on the Water” because of the color which comes from housemade squid ink syrup. Jaymee took all the savory elements of a Bloody Mary and refashioned it into this drink. People call this meaty. I call it my favorite. I am very fond of seafood and didn’t have a problem with the briny salt surrounding the rim. Yet, it’s delicate and very much layered made even more complex by the horseradish. And don’t miss the two different kinds of bitters including Miracle Mile Candy Cap Mushroom bitters and Jaymee’s heirloom tomato shrub. It’s really the star of the cocktail list.
Night and the City – Hayman’s Old Tom Gin, Bittermens Hellfire, Miracle Mile Candy Cap Mushroom Bitters, Heirloom Tomato Shrub, Black Pepper and Squid Ink Syrup, Fresh Horseradish
I missed a photo opportunity with the Airstream Libation (Pueblo Viejo Blanco Tequila, R. Jelínek Fernet, Toasted Coconut Infused Demerara, Fresh Lime, Kaffir Lime Leaves, Egg White) but it’s frothy and delicate with the Kaffir lime leaves and egg white.
The other drink that was most talked about is the Yellow Jacket Fever. I loved that honeycomb is threaded onto the garnish stick. It slowly drips a bit of honey into the drink and yet it’s not too sweet. It’s like what I’d imagine a saucy grandma would love to drink.
Yellow Jacket Fever – Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin, Yellow Chartreuse, Chamomile Infused Honey, Black Peppercorns
525 South Flower Street, Los Angeles, CA 90071 – (213) 228-8998