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November 19, 2013 | By S. Irene Virbila
Stumped over what to get a cocktail fan for the holidays? Here's a fun book with incredibly detailed drawings called “The Architecture of the Cocktail: Constructing the Perfect Cocktail from the Bottom Up” by Amy Zavatto, with illustrations by Melissa Wood (Race Point Publishing, New York, 2013, $16). Wood draws each of the 75 cocktails herein that make the book. White on black, they show in what order and in what proportion each element of the cocktail should be added.
November 25, 2009 | By Noelle Carter
  Dear SOS: Although it's no longer on the menu at the Hungry Cat in Santa Barbara, my friends from law school and I, in an unusual unanimous opinion, found the Coolidge to be the best cocktail of the summer. We know the ingredients, but we need expert testimony on the proportions and methodology used to prepare it. Michael J. DeNiro Santa Barbara Dear Michael: This cocktail, created at the Hungry Cat in Hollywood by bartender Danielle Motor for actress Jennifer Coolidge, combines interesting ingredients such as chiles and rice wine vinegar, making for a drink that almost has the feel of a deconstructed Bloody Mary.
October 3, 2013 | By Jessica Gelt
The Spare Room in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel has long had a reputation for serving up some of the best drinks in town. The menu was originally cultivated under the tutelage of mixologist Aidan Demarest, and gained wings thanks to the hugely creative and balanced drinks of herb-growing bartender Naomi Schimek. Now owners Med Abrous and Marc Rose are seeking to expand the fun -- and brand recognition -- by launching a cocktail catering program. The plan is simple: If you have a special event or party coming up, you can hire the Spare Room team to create a craft cocktail service tailored to that event.
February 25, 2011 | By Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times
When it comes to creating uniquely delicious cocktails, Eric Alperin is one of the best mixologists in town. And this week his bar, the Varnish ? which is located in a warm, wooden speak-easy behind an unmarked door at Cole's in downtown L.A. ? is celebrating its two-year anniversary. Since the Varnish can be a tough room to get into (it's among the best and most exclusive cocktail dens in the city), we thought we'd share one of Alperin's signature cocktail recipes with you so that you can attempt to re-create his boozy magic at home.
October 12, 2012 | By S. Irene Virbila
When I was in Washington, D.C., recently, I got turned around and took the wrong bus. When I got off, I realized I must be very close to Jaleo , the first restaurant of Spanish chef José Andrés (The Bazaar). It had just been redone and I wanted to check it out. All quiet on a Saturday afternoon. We took two seats at the bar and ordered a glass of Albariño and the cocktail a new friend had enthusiastically recommended: Hometown Hero. I loved the cocktail's tart sweetness, the almost smoky taste of the mezcal and the bitter herbs of Cocchi Americano vermouth with a high note of cinnamon.
May 27, 2011
Sip in the spirit of South America with the Jale Porton, a unique cocktail that is part of the Hotel Shangri-la's new summer drink menu and served at its Dining Room, Suite 700 and pool bar. Or shake it up yourself, assuming you can locate its niftiest ingredient, a wacky flower appropriately known as the "buzz button. " Indigenous to South America and parts of Africa, the flower contains a natural analgesic that, when chewed, both numbs your mouth and makes it tingle — kind of like if Pop Rocks were made from green peppercorns.
December 3, 2010
Although Echo Park is buzzing with bars, few are known for fancy mixology. Allston Yacht Club is the exception to the rule. Owners Bill DiDonna and Charles Kelly are constantly playing around with new drink recipes, infusing their own liquors and hand-crafting garnishes. They are big on seasonal drinks too. For the winter holidays they have added three festive cocktails to their drink menu, including a pleasantly creamy number called Figgy Pudding. Equal parts eggnog and bourbon make this a dessert cocktail guaranteed to weaken the knees and soothe the head.
March 23, 2013 | By Debra Prinzing
Amy Stewart's new book, "The Drunken Botanist," explores the plant ingredients in our favorite cocktails (and the lesser known ones too). "Every great drink starts with a plant," Stewart writes in her introduction, a section aptly titled "Aperitif. " "If you're a gardener, I hope this book inspires a cocktail party. If you're a bartender, I hope you're persuaded to put up a greenhouse or at least plant a window box. " Subtitled "The Plants That Create the World's Great Drinks," the book covers more than 150 plants, organized by classics such as agave, herbs and spices like wormwood and allspice, flowers (think chamomile and violet)
March 14, 2013 | By Betty Hallock
If you're donning the green on St. Patrick's Day and stepping out for a drink or two, then know that there's more to celebrating the holiday than downing green beer or straight Irish whiskey. Try honoring St. Patrick with a swank cocktail -- other than an Irish Car Bomb. Not that there's anything wrong with a shot of Jameson or a little Bailey's in one's Guinness (or is there?). But with all the shamrock-hued cocktails out there, you might as well try a jalapeño-tinged margarita, some rum muddled with fresh herbs, whiskey mixed with vermouths and bitters and mint syrup, or maybe green chartreuse with tropical juices.
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