Daniel "Dandy" Nelson, the mixologist for Hollywood's recently opened Writer's Room, has an impressive resume. Not only is he helming a bar in a room where F. Scott Fitzgerald and Raymond Chandler might have drowned their sorrows, he has also worked at Spago and the Doheny. For the Writer's Room, he's crafted a variety of signature cocktails including the Kaffir Rickey, which tips its coconut-water-topped hat to Thai Town with tangy kaffir-lemon grass syrup and a solid shot of dry gin.
Kaffir Rickey by Daniel Nelson
2 ounces Plymouth gin
3/4 ounce lime juice
3/4 ounce kaffir lime-lemon-grass syrup*
3/4 ounce carbonated coconut water**
Combine lime juice, lime-lemon grass syrup and gin in a shaker. Shake and strain into a Collins glass filled with ice. Top with carbonated coconut water.
*To make the kaffir lime-lemon grass syrup, heat 2 parts sugar with 1 part water. After the sugar melts, add a handful of lightly crushed kaffir lime leaves and steep them in the simmering syrup for 10 minutes. Strain and retain. Juice lemon grass (an auger style juicer is best). Combine kaffir syrup with lemon-grass juice in a 2:1 ratio.
**To make the carbonated coconut water, add coconut water to a soda siphon and charge.
The Writer's Room, 6685 Hollywood Blvd. L.A. (back entrance only)
— Jessica Gelt