DTLA: Friends with Benefits at the Ace Hotel
The Ace in Downtown Los Angeles has been doing a fun series on Tuesday nights called, “Friends with Benefits.” Guest bartenders began invading the Rooftop in April and I’ve made it to a few nights.
I joined Mandolyn McIntyre with Calendonia Spirits featuring Barr Hill gin one night. I tasted three drinks and also tried the flight of Barr Hill vodka, Barr Hill gin and Barr Hill Tom Cat (a gin made in the Old Tom style).
I started with my favorite type of style of drink; stirred. Bring on the Martinez or in this case, Mar-Tea-Nez as the Barr Hill gin was infused with black tea and more.
Mar-Tea-Nez – Barr Hill gin infused with black tea, bergamot, rose and Carpano Antica sweet vermouth, maraschino, orange and Angostura bitters
One of the more striking drinks I’ve had in recent memory is the Sanders for Peasident. Mandolyn made an agua fresca with everything green including snow peas, tomatillio, basil, lime and cucumber. The result was not only visually stunning but delicious.
Sanders for Peasident – Barr Hill gin, agua fresca (snow pea, tomatillo, basil, lime, cucumber)
The Gin and Berries Ice Dream was the perfect way to start out on the roof. I hope to see more stone fruit in drinks this summer.
Gin and Berries Ice Dream – Barr Hill Tom Cat gin, elderberry cordial, lemon, honey, muddled stone fruit
Then I was back at the Ace rooftop for another Tuesday. This time Anna Knudson (Sassafras Saloon) and Genie Gore (Melrose Umbrella Company) otherwise known as Girls with Bols arrived with Bols Genever.
Oddly, I find it even harder to pick a first drink when it’s a shorter list. What do I start with first? I went with the Danish Holiday. Later Anna told me the hardest part was replicating the malted cream which as I could imagine was hard to make for a large crowd. It was delicious though and I probably would have had another but there were other drinks to sample.
Danish Holiday – Bols genever, Bols yogurt, Bols black raspberry, Aztec chocolate bitters, malted cream.
I zoomed in on the stirred drink. Later we all thought that would sell out first with the big industry crowd asking for stirred cocktails. But the genever and soda combination, Genever Convention, with elderflower and sage was perfectly light and summery. Just the thing you want at a pool.
The Genever Convention – Bols genever, Bols elderflower, lemon, sage, cane, soda
80-Year-War – Barrel-aged Bols genever, Bols maraschino, Amaro Montenegro, Angostura bitters
I couldn’t resist tasting one more drink, the Shamsterdam. A beer cocktail or hoptail made with Bols genever and Heineken. Plus a bit of Galliano creating a very citrus-forward drink.
Shamsterdam – Barrel-aged Bols genever, Galliano, grapefruit, lemon, honey, thyme, Heineken
Shall we go up on a Tuesday? Of course! This time the guest bartenders were Brooke Arthur and Christine Wiseman from House Spirits. The Whaling Club also joined in for some fun. I liked that we had a welcome punch with Aviation gin immediately.
There were so many drinks I wanted to try but it was also Negroni Week so I went with the frozen Negroni, aka Timeshare. This was created by The Whaling Club.
Timeshare – Volstead vodka, Campari, coconut cream, pineapple (served frozen)
Friends with Benefits at the Ace Hotel
Guest Bartenders line up until the end of July
- 6/23 – Dushan Zaric and Simon Ford of The 86 Co
- 6/30 – The Varnish
- 7/7 – Proprietors LLC
- 7/21 – Beau du Bois
- 7/28 – Kylee Van Dillen with Amaro Montenegro
The Upstairs Bar929 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90015 — (213) 623-3233
© The Minty 2015