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Sipping Pretty

Some of the City's Most Stylish Drinks Offer a Chance to Experiment with Ingredients and Color

November 10, 2002|HEATHER JOHN

Tke a tour of some of the trendier watering holes around town and you'll discover that tradition has taken a back seat to glamour. Pretty little drinks in candied hues are the concoctions of the moment, and, unlike some sophisticated restaurant fare, it's OK to try these at home. To keep your guests engaged and sated, six L.A. bars share their favorite recipes for home entertaining.

Alternative ingredients such as blood oranges, Meyer lemons and cranberries are used to great effect--and taste. Consider Marix's blood orange margarita, an unexpected twist on the genre. Or the Avalon's pomegranate margarita, served in a glass rimmed with rust-colored salt, or the pale-green mint gimlet, served in a highball glass with fresh mint leaves. Over at Vine, the menu of soju-based offerings in an array of hues and flavors presents intriguing alternatives to vodka-based cocktails, but with half the alcohol. At Forty Deuce, the Lemon Drop is garnished with a sparkly rim of sugar and a wedge of lemon. Deep's Moody Blue Martini is made with raspberry vodka, which is sure to lift your spirits.

And, if you just can't part with the classics, you might want to accessorize that little black dress with one of Linq's Mystique cocktails involving black vodka and a splash of cassis. After all, black is still the new black. It just depends on how daringly you choose to wear it.

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ystique from Linq, Los Angeles

Serves 2

3 ounces BlaVod (black vodka)

3 ounces pineapple juice

2 ounces Bordeaux de Cassis

Shake well with ice and strain into two martini glasses.

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Vine Cosmo from Vine, Hollywood

Serves 2

3 ounces soju (rice vodka)

2 ounces cranberry juice

1 ounce fresh lime juice

Splash of triple sec

2 lemon slices

Shake well with ice and strain into two martini glasses. Garnish with lemon slice.

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Mint Gimlet from the Avalon's Blue on Blue, Beverly Hills

Serves 2

Fresh mint leaves

2 ounces fresh lime juice sweetened with simple syrup

Splash of simple syrup

5 ounces Grey Goose vodka

2 lime wedges

Cover the bottom of two highball glasses with fresh mint leaves. In each glass, pour an ounce of sweetened fresh lime juice. Muddle (mash) juice and leaves. Fill each glass with ice. Pour 2 1/2 ounces of vodka in each glass. Add a splash of simple syrup. Garnish with lime wedge.

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Blood Orange Margarita from Marix Tex-Mex, West Hollywood and Santa Monica

Makes 1 pitcher

1 cup fresh-squeezed blood orange juice

3 tablespoons (1/4 cup) granulated sugar

8 ounces premium tequila-reposada

7 ounces triple sec

6 ounces sweet and sour mix

Reduce the blood orange juice and sugar to a syrupy consistency in a saucepan over a low flame. Remove from heat. In a seperate pitcher, combine tequila, triple sec, sweet and sour mix and blood orange reduction. Pour 6 ounces of mixture into a shaker and shake well with ice for 20 seconds. Pour over ice into a margarita glass.

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Moody Blue Martini from Deep, Hollywood

Serves 2

2 ounces raspberry Stoli

2 ounces triple sec

2 ounces blue curacao

Splash of orange juice

2 lemon twists

Shake well with ice and strain into two martini glasses. Garnish with lemon slice.

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Lemon Drop from Forty Deuce, Los Angeles

Serves 2

Lemon peel

Sugar

3 ounces Absolut Citron vodka

3 ounces triple sec

1 ounce sweet and sour mix

2 lemon wedges

Rub the rims of two pre-chilled martini glasses with outside of lemon peel, then dip each glass into sugar. Shake vodka, triple sec and sweet and sour mix well with ice. Strain into two glasses and garnish each with a lemon wedge.

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Styled by Jocelyn Meinster; food stylist: Sienna Degovia

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