New Fall Cocktails and Offal-y Spooky Halloween at Wood & Vine
A few weeks back, I went over to Wood & Vine for a a bite and drink after the LA Weekly Awards (I had been nominated for Best Bar Blogger). There Head Bartender Bayardo De Murguia introduced me to his house-smoked bourbon. He smokes it in the same smoker Wood & Vine does their charcuterie. I can’t say I have had smoked bourbon before. It was getting late and I didn’t try it in a cocktail (instead I had an excellent Bee’s Knees).
Then earlier this month I was invited to check out the new Fall cocktails at Wood & Vine. Aha! Bayardo is doing his 5 Points Manhattan with the smoked bourbon. Perfect! I always dig getting a Manhattan or a variation. Made with the smoked bourbon, Guinness reduction, Punt e Mes, Angostura bitters and orange peel, the 5 Points Manhattan came out very smooth but very interesting with the Guinness reduction.
Originally named “Scout’s Honor,” the cocktail now known as Are You Afraid of the Dark is perfect for Fall, and particularly Halloween. Not all Scotch is peaty and Famous Grouse is the perfect Scotch for sipping or what I like, in cocktails. In the Are You Afraid of the Dark, Famous Grouse is combined with Averna, toasted marshmallow syrup, Forbidden bitters and Laphroaig Spritz so you do get a bit of smokiness that combines nicely with the marshmallow syrup.
I love the name “The Vixen” for a cocktail. I wonder if the Vixen has tried it yet?
This bourbon based cocktail takes chai-vanilla infused bourbon, mulled red wine, lemon and strawberry. The original idea was a mulled spiced cider but with our recent heat wave, having a bourbon punch closer to sangria seemed more appropriate. I know with it being in the high 80s this week, it’s much appreciated.
My favorite cocktail I tried was the Sicilian in San Francisco. I’m always on the look out for Fernet Branca cocktails. This takes Fernet Branca, Lazzaroni amaretto, lemon, honey and topped with a Scrimshaw Pilsner beer float. The amaretto and beer tames some of the bitterness that others dislike in Fernet leaving you with just a refreshing cocktail.
Chef Gavin Mills will be leaving Wood & Vine for Tavern soon but before he goes, he is planning one last offal-centric dinner on the evening of Halloween. Offerings include blood sausage, shaved pig head, smoked beef tongue, grilled calf’s liver, calf’s brain ravioli, deviled kidney and steak pie. I think the boys over at Kamikazi Kitchen should take the cock’s comb and turkey testicle poppers. And bonus, you can order your bone marrow with a shot of Pedro Ximenez sherry. Bone Luge has made its way to Hollywood.
Taking over for Chef Mills is Chef Eric Buss. He’s no stranger to Wood & Vine having been the sous chef for almost a year. He handles the Monday night dinners and pastry for the restaurant. With my cocktail tasting which happened on a Monday night, I sampled Chef Buss’ wonderful gnocchi, fried oysters, veal loin and profiteroles with pumpkin ice cream. Pictures are located here on my flickr set.
I’m looking forward to seeing the menu develop under Chef Buss and the creative bar program under Head Bartender Bayardo De Murguia.
6280 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028 – (323) 334-3360
© The Minty 2012