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Fleurs d'été, Paley
Fleurs d'été, Paley
Crystal Coser

10 Fantastic LA Cocktails to Savor Before the Summer Sets

A Gerber baby food and tequila cocktail steals the show

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Fleurs d'été, Paley
| Crystal Coser

There's no arguing that Los Angeles is a boozy city, with a thoughtful cocktail program becoming just one more requisite addition to almost every new restaurant. At the peak of summer, beverage directors and cocktail maestros all over town turn to updated menus that reflect the refreshing drinks we all crave on leisurely afternoons, or over an evening meal with friends.

With everything from Gerber baby food-based tipples to updated takes on boozy classics, here are 10 cocktails you need to drink before summer turns to fall.

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New Pad Thai at Kali

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What might be the most innovative new cocktail in LA, Kali’s New Pad Thai shocks your senses with a startling resemblance to pho broth. That flavor profile is developed by blending St. George green chili vodka with Aqua Perfecta, lime, and coconut ice. The generous garnish of bean sprouts adds to the likeness, and keeps the drink feeling crisp and refreshing. It’s a creative and thoughtful way to kick off what promises to be a standout meal.

Georgie Gerber at Georgie

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You might have to hesitate a bit when it comes to ordering the Georgie Gerber, a cocktail that mixes tequila with Gerber’s peach baby food, fresh lime juice, agave nectar, and egg white. Those reservations are understandable, but ultimately turn out to be unfounded. The peach puree pairs surprisingly well with the tequila, and with a balanced addition of acid, the drink is refreshing and rather addictive. Who knew liquor and baby food was a match made in cocktail heaven?

Sinatra and Chanel at Westbound

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The Art District scored a huge boon when Westbound opened at One Santa Fe. The lush, train car-inspired digs are a comfortable place to sip cocktails like the Sinatra and Chanel with whiskey, sour cherry bitters, and printed ice that makes cocktail nerds go wild.

Mass Effect at Faith & Flower

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Cocktail maven Ryan Wainwright (Terrine, Viviane) has hopped onboard Faith & Flower to work with Darwin Pornel on an ever-changing drink list. A standout on the new menu is the Mass Effect, an extraordinarily refreshing mix of mezcal, Ricard pastis, habanero, mint, pineapple, lime, and agave. With its fruity notes and pleasant addition of the anise-flavored spirit, the frosty libation seems to disappear moments after arriving at your table.

Sanborn at Sawyer

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Prolific cocktail consultant Devon Espinosa developed a cocktail list perfect for sipping on Sawyers ever so pleasant patio. The most interesting of the bunch is the Sanborn, a blend of herb-infused fortified wine aperitif bonal, plus curacao, Thai basil, cucumber, and lime. The drink is vaguely reminiscent of iced tea, which makes the service in a tea cup that much more whimsical.

Barrel Aged Old Fashioned at Nobu

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Old Fashioneds aren’t in any sense groundbreaking. But what makes Nobu’s so interesting is the use of Kikori, a recently launched Japanese whiskey that isn’t made in the “Scotch style,” meaning distilled from malted barley or corn, like most, but is made from Japanese rice. The floral liquor is blended with Luxardo cherries and barrel aged to result in an easy drinking classic that dares you to just drink one.

Fleurs d'Ete at Paley

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Paley’s newly launched seasonal libations feature the Fleurs d’été, French for summer flowers. The highly instagrammable concoction that blends calvados, aperol, lemon, honey, and ginger is topped with those dainty summer flowers. The refreshing libation with notes of apple and ginger taste exactly of the moment as summer turns to fall.

La Paloma at Salazar

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Aaron Melendrez’s (The Normandie Club, Walker Inn) cocktails are exactly what you want to be (day)drinking at Salazar’s outdoor oasis with ultra cool desert vibes. There’s spiked agua frescas and an excellent Paloma featuring Ancho Reyes and mezcal that’s spicy, smoky, and most importantly, extra boozy.

Blake Marquis

The Bourbon at Kettle Black

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LA cocktail lead Damien Windsor paired up with Jordan Young to create a tight cocktail list named simply by its title liquor at Silver Lake’s hottest new restaurant Kettle Black. The bourbon blends di sarrano, taro-gobo cordial, tea, and lemon with the whiskey to compose a drink that is nicely gingery and fruitier than you would anticipate.

Tongue Twister at Norah

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In what has become the hottest new girls night out destination, Norah, with its gorgeous design and expansive bar, has all the cocktails needed to keep the party going all night long. A favorite on the list is the Tongue Twister, a savory and sweet blend of Mezcal, Ancho Reyes, and white peach puree that is given bitter complexity by Punt e Mes. Topped off with lemon juice, Thai basil, and Regans orange bitters, it has all the elements to please just about anyone.

New Pad Thai at Kali

What might be the most innovative new cocktail in LA, Kali’s New Pad Thai shocks your senses with a startling resemblance to pho broth. That flavor profile is developed by blending St. George green chili vodka with Aqua Perfecta, lime, and coconut ice. The generous garnish of bean sprouts adds to the likeness, and keeps the drink feeling crisp and refreshing. It’s a creative and thoughtful way to kick off what promises to be a standout meal.

Georgie Gerber at Georgie

You might have to hesitate a bit when it comes to ordering the Georgie Gerber, a cocktail that mixes tequila with Gerber’s peach baby food, fresh lime juice, agave nectar, and egg white. Those reservations are understandable, but ultimately turn out to be unfounded. The peach puree pairs surprisingly well with the tequila, and with a balanced addition of acid, the drink is refreshing and rather addictive. Who knew liquor and baby food was a match made in cocktail heaven?

Sinatra and Chanel at Westbound

The Art District scored a huge boon when Westbound opened at One Santa Fe. The lush, train car-inspired digs are a comfortable place to sip cocktails like the Sinatra and Chanel with whiskey, sour cherry bitters, and printed ice that makes cocktail nerds go wild.

Mass Effect at Faith & Flower

Cocktail maven Ryan Wainwright (Terrine, Viviane) has hopped onboard Faith & Flower to work with Darwin Pornel on an ever-changing drink list. A standout on the new menu is the Mass Effect, an extraordinarily refreshing mix of mezcal, Ricard pastis, habanero, mint, pineapple, lime, and agave. With its fruity notes and pleasant addition of the anise-flavored spirit, the frosty libation seems to disappear moments after arriving at your table.

Sanborn at Sawyer

Prolific cocktail consultant Devon Espinosa developed a cocktail list perfect for sipping on Sawyers ever so pleasant patio. The most interesting of the bunch is the Sanborn, a blend of herb-infused fortified wine aperitif bonal, plus curacao, Thai basil, cucumber, and lime. The drink is vaguely reminiscent of iced tea, which makes the service in a tea cup that much more whimsical.

Barrel Aged Old Fashioned at Nobu

Old Fashioneds aren’t in any sense groundbreaking. But what makes Nobu’s so interesting is the use of Kikori, a recently launched Japanese whiskey that isn’t made in the “Scotch style,” meaning distilled from malted barley or corn, like most, but is made from Japanese rice. The floral liquor is blended with Luxardo cherries and barrel aged to result in an easy drinking classic that dares you to just drink one.

Fleurs d'Ete at Paley

Paley’s newly launched seasonal libations feature the Fleurs d’été, French for summer flowers. The highly instagrammable concoction that blends calvados, aperol, lemon, honey, and ginger is topped with those dainty summer flowers. The refreshing libation with notes of apple and ginger taste exactly of the moment as summer turns to fall.

La Paloma at Salazar

Aaron Melendrez’s (The Normandie Club, Walker Inn) cocktails are exactly what you want to be (day)drinking at Salazar’s outdoor oasis with ultra cool desert vibes. There’s spiked agua frescas and an excellent Paloma featuring Ancho Reyes and mezcal that’s spicy, smoky, and most importantly, extra boozy.

Blake Marquis

The Bourbon at Kettle Black

LA cocktail lead Damien Windsor paired up with Jordan Young to create a tight cocktail list named simply by its title liquor at Silver Lake’s hottest new restaurant Kettle Black. The bourbon blends di sarrano, taro-gobo cordial, tea, and lemon with the whiskey to compose a drink that is nicely gingery and fruitier than you would anticipate.

Tongue Twister at Norah

In what has become the hottest new girls night out destination, Norah, with its gorgeous design and expansive bar, has all the cocktails needed to keep the party going all night long. A favorite on the list is the Tongue Twister, a savory and sweet blend of Mezcal, Ancho Reyes, and white peach puree that is given bitter complexity by Punt e Mes. Topped off with lemon juice, Thai basil, and Regans orange bitters, it has all the elements to please just about anyone.

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