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Big Bar's 67 & Still Sunnie holiday cocktail.
Big Bar's 67 & Still Sunnie holiday cocktail.
eugeneshoots

Where To Drink the Holidays Away

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Big Bar's 67 & Still Sunnie holiday cocktail.
| eugeneshoots

The winter holidays in L.A. don't resemble any traditional song. No snowy winter wonderland or one-horse open sleigh. Our outdoor ice skating rinks are swarming with people gliding around in their T-shirts and shorts.

Besides, rich and fatty nog are a no-no for the health-conscious, and our 60-degree winters don't really put us in the mood for hot cocktails. Fortunately this season our local bartenders are getting in the spirit with fun, new takes on Christmas classics. Take a liquid break from shopping chaos and too much family time with the likes of peppermint cocoa fizzes, minty grasshopper egg nogs, banana nut old fashioneds, and even cranberry-pomeganate moscow mules.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. 1886 Bar at The Raymond

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1250 S Fair Oaks Ave
Pasadena, CA 91105
(626) 441-3136
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That little old bar in Pasadena is celebrating the holidays with unique toddy variations like "Netflix and Chill" mulled wine-toddy hybrid and Johnny Appleseed with apple brandy, cider, apple butter, served with a side of apple chips. But The Improvement by bartender Cameron Masden is the most intriguing with its mix of Japanese whisky, matcha green tea, and a rich layer of condensed milk cream and honey. Cozy!

2. accomplice bar

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3811 Grand View Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90066
(773) 983-1359
Visit Website

For those who've longed for a Mexican coffee egg nog, there's now bartender Sam Houston's Cafe de Olla at Accomplice in Mar Vista. A mix of cognac, creme de cacao, ristretto, Galliano, cream, Grand Marnier, whole egg, nutmeg, and orange zest, its super approachable flavors and aromas will inspire anyone to break out into a rendition of "Feliz Navidad."

3. AR Cucina

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9531 Culver Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 558-8800
Visit Website

For the warm fuzzies, sip on bartender Clare Ward's Buon Natale ($14) at AR Cucina. Inspired by a childhood Christmas memory of gingerbread house competitions, her holiday concoction features gingercello, rosemary, allspice, and an American whiskey with a touch of pineapple and lime. "The amaro brings a really unexpected bitter, earthy background to round out the spice and add an extra Italian zing," she says.

4. Big Bar

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1927 Hillhurst Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 644-0100

The Big Bar crew lead by Cari Hah wanted to invoke the holiday spirit with their 15-drink holiday menu which goes live on December 12. Feel the holiday stress melt away with the Nog Actually, a tequila-whiskey-rum-cognac egg nog, or the refreshing 67 & (Still) Sunnie pomegranate-cranberry Moscow Mule variation. But that Peppermint Cocoa Fizz, think mint mocha meets fizz, is a real treat. The vanilla notes of bourbon complement the cocoa, while the mint liqueur is balanced out by the bitter Fernet Branca.

5. Birch

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1634 N Cahuenga Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 960-3369
Visit Website

Leave it to bartender Gabriella Mlynarczyk to take classic cocktails way outside the box. For the holidays she's created a "gussied-up cran and vodka" with chai spices for warmth as well as an Old Fashioned using pie ingredients. But her "006" cocktail is where egg nog meets a Grasshopper with brandy, creme de menthe, cacao, cream, and a whole egg. "I wanted to do a candy cane egg nog but the chocolate gave it more depth," she says.

6. Cafe Birdie

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5631 N Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA 90042

At Cafe Birdie they're doing up an egg nog shandy from December 15th through the 31st. Dr. Khopkar's Miracle Egg Nog ($16) is a traditional nog with dark beer added to it for something light and frothy. And according to barman Nicholas Krok the most unique part of the cocktail is the process of making it. "While most folks just throw everything together and blend it, Rahul Khopkar (chef of Ramenhood) and I developed a top secret blending process to ensure the most enjoyable egg nog in terms of texture and flavor balance. It's light and airy while keeping a full flavor and creamy texture.”

7. Citizen

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184 N. Canon Deive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 402-5885
Visit Website

Starting December 12, Citizen in Beverly Hills is doing 12 Days of Cocktails. Every day the restaurant will introduce a new holiday cocktail. From classics like a hot buttered rum to a truly festive Trader Vic's Cranberry Christmas Punch (vodka, cranberry cordial, lime), Rodeo Drive shoppers will have plenty of motivation to stop in and knock several back.

8. The Corner Door

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12477 W Washington Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90066
(310) 313-5810
Visit Website

The Corner Door has been making its Christmas Milk egg nog every holiday season for the past three years. And it's made from scratch a la minute with brandy, rum, Jelinek Fernet, whole egg, cream, sugar, and nutmeg. "Instead of a thick, milkshake-like texture, our fresh nog is very light and frothy with boozy rum and brandy notes. The Fernet adds more baking spice flavor that helps anyone fall directly into the holiday spirit," says head bartender Beau du Bois.

9. Estrella

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8800 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90069
(310) 652-6613
Visit Website

Egg nog is bartender Heriberto Lausell Jr.'s least favorite cocktail. So for the holidays, he chose to go with a Coquito variation as a hat tip to his Puerto Rican roots. Made with white whiskey, white rum, and a chilled coconut mixture, his Dream State cocktail makes one want to enjoy Christmas on the beach.

10. Faith & Flower

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705 W 9th St
Los Angeles, CA 90015
(213) 239-0642
Visit Website

Yes, Faith & Flower's new Sweater Weather cocktail by Bombet Hospitality's Ryan Wainwright and lead bartender Darwin Pornel is another take on the egg nog. But none you've ever had thanks to absinthe and creme de cacao. The absinthe lends it more complexity while the creme de cacao works with spiced rum for a decadent quality.

11. Good Housekeeping

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5631 N Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA 90042

Not a fan of chilly nights? From December 15 to 31, Good Housekeeping will be warming patrons with its Hot Toddy made with black tea infused bourbon and an herb infused honey, served in a holiday mug.

12. Gracias Madre

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8905 Melrose Ave
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(323) 978-2170
Visit Website

This month, barman Jason Eisner holiday drinks will inspire naughtiness. Whether it's with the bourbon and mezcal Bad Santa banana Old Fashioned variation or Candy Cane Kush sour (peppermint tea infused gin, tequila blanco, lemon, honey, and candy cane aqua faba). But indulge in Eisner's Warm Milk and Cookies. Made with vanilla-Infused reposado, homemade creme de cacao, orange flower water, horchata, brut champagne, and Mexican wedding cookie foam, it's a well-balanced creamy, dreamy cocktail.

13. Harvard & Stone

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5221 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 466-6063
Visit Website

Harvard & Stone bar manager Aaron Polsky has always loved Slivovitz plum brandy and milk in holiday punches. For his Sugarplum Larry holiday punch he bolstered the mixture with an unaged white whiskey and aquavit. "It tasted like crystalline sugarplum with a bit of spice and fruitcake added," says Polsky.

14. Hungry Cat

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1555 Vine St
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 462-2155
Visit Website

The Hungry Cat has been serving up Big Dave's egg nog, by Chef David Lentz's dad, for years. And even though it's derived from a secret family recipe — with "the right amount of booze and holiday spice — it's become a must-have every Christmas season to be enjoyed at the restaurant ($12.50/glass) or taken home ($40/1-liter bottle).

15. Petit Trois

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716 N Highland Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 468-8916
Visit Website

Toast the holidays with Petit Trois' stylishly decked out Gnome Sayin' cocktail. This mix of vodka, cinnamon, lemon, and maraschino will inspire holiday cheer in all who see it and drink from it thanks to the Absolut Elyx copper gnome drink vessel.

16. Sotto

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9575 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90035
(310) 277-0210
Visit Website

No, you can't have a fur coat made out of Dalmatian puppies, but this holiday season you can snuggle up to this 101 Dalmatian-inspired gin sour aptly called Cruella De Vil. It's a simple gin sour with polka dots of activated charcoal aromatic bitters.

17. The Spare Room

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7000 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 769-7296
Visit Website

The Spare Room has several holiday offerings that will be available starting this Wednesday the 7th, including a festive punch bowl and a banana nut Old Fashioned chalkboard special. But if you were ever a fan of those 1970s stop motion animated TV Christmas specials, you'll love bartender Eric Bugosh's Mr. Icicle, inspired by The Year Without a Santa Claus. It's a minty boozy milkshake of gin, crème de menthe, allspice, vanilla, milk, and topped with candy cane dust.

18. The Walker Inn

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3612 W 6th St
Los Angeles, CA 90020
(213) 263-2709
Visit Website

Walker Inn's Scoundrel cocktail menu, which will be served in the lounge, showcases drinks inspired by those famous scoundrels who made the holidays interesting. Toast the dark side of Christmas with The Grinch's cranberry "wine," Bad Santa's peppermint bark vodka, or Hans Gruber's rummy toasted pecan and maple cream. And the bar crew is still nailing down the finishing touches of the last menu of 2016 but they said it "will honor the intangible things that make the holidays special for all of us, no matter where we come from or what we believe."

19. Westbound

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300 S Santa Fe Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 262-9291
Visit Website

Arts District's Westbound is going all out with the holiday spirit thanks to a partnership with barware boutique Cocktail Kingdom. Through December 31, it's a "Miracle on Santa Fe" complete with carolers, falling snow, Manischewitz punch pong, and even Sugarplum dancers. But what's really bringing joy to the world is their 16-drink menu, with each cocktail served in a fun Cocktail Kingdom holiday glassware. A standout is bartender Dee Quinones' hot cocktail, Santa's Ponche, made with tequila, persimmons, apple, and piloncillo. Served in a Santa bottoms mug it's just what you want to curl up with while you await the big guy's arrival.

20. Genghis Cohen

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740 N Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 653-0640
Visit Website

In honor of Chanukah, the festival of lights, bartender Yael Vengroff created a hot, blue Mai Tai. "I turned the drink blue because well there's nothing like burning hot blue liquid coming out of a tea kettle," she says. And why a hot Mai Tai for the holidays? It was a way to appeal to the "old school" crowd at Genghis Cohen while introducing them to new flavors and ideas. For this Mai Tai, Vengroff says it's still the traditional recipe but with a temperature difference, no citrus, and a generous mint cream float.

21. Belcampo Meat Co.

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1026 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(424) 744-8008
Visit Website

At Belcampo Meat Co. in Santa Monica, they don't do figgy pudding but they do do Fig Pimpin', one of barman Josh Goldman's new winter cocktails. The warming flavor of cachaca, mezcal, and fig & cinnamon shrub mirrors its flaming fig garnish.

1. 1886 Bar at The Raymond

1250 S Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105

That little old bar in Pasadena is celebrating the holidays with unique toddy variations like "Netflix and Chill" mulled wine-toddy hybrid and Johnny Appleseed with apple brandy, cider, apple butter, served with a side of apple chips. But The Improvement by bartender Cameron Masden is the most intriguing with its mix of Japanese whisky, matcha green tea, and a rich layer of condensed milk cream and honey. Cozy!

1250 S Fair Oaks Ave
Pasadena, CA 91105

2. accomplice bar

3811 Grand View Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066

For those who've longed for a Mexican coffee egg nog, there's now bartender Sam Houston's Cafe de Olla at Accomplice in Mar Vista. A mix of cognac, creme de cacao, ristretto, Galliano, cream, Grand Marnier, whole egg, nutmeg, and orange zest, its super approachable flavors and aromas will inspire anyone to break out into a rendition of "Feliz Navidad."

3811 Grand View Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90066

3. AR Cucina

9531 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

For the warm fuzzies, sip on bartender Clare Ward's Buon Natale ($14) at AR Cucina. Inspired by a childhood Christmas memory of gingerbread house competitions, her holiday concoction features gingercello, rosemary, allspice, and an American whiskey with a touch of pineapple and lime. "The amaro brings a really unexpected bitter, earthy background to round out the spice and add an extra Italian zing," she says.

9531 Culver Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232

4. Big Bar

1927 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

The Big Bar crew lead by Cari Hah wanted to invoke the holiday spirit with their 15-drink holiday menu which goes live on December 12. Feel the holiday stress melt away with the Nog Actually, a tequila-whiskey-rum-cognac egg nog, or the refreshing 67 & (Still) Sunnie pomegranate-cranberry Moscow Mule variation. But that Peppermint Cocoa Fizz, think mint mocha meets fizz, is a real treat. The vanilla notes of bourbon complement the cocoa, while the mint liqueur is balanced out by the bitter Fernet Branca.

1927 Hillhurst Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027

5. Birch

1634 N Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Leave it to bartender Gabriella Mlynarczyk to take classic cocktails way outside the box. For the holidays she's created a "gussied-up cran and vodka" with chai spices for warmth as well as an Old Fashioned using pie ingredients. But her "006" cocktail is where egg nog meets a Grasshopper with brandy, creme de menthe, cacao, cream, and a whole egg. "I wanted to do a candy cane egg nog but the chocolate gave it more depth," she says.

1634 N Cahuenga Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028

6. Cafe Birdie

5631 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90042

At Cafe Birdie they're doing up an egg nog shandy from December 15th through the 31st. Dr. Khopkar's Miracle Egg Nog ($16) is a traditional nog with dark beer added to it for something light and frothy. And according to barman Nicholas Krok the most unique part of the cocktail is the process of making it. "While most folks just throw everything together and blend it, Rahul Khopkar (chef of Ramenhood) and I developed a top secret blending process to ensure the most enjoyable egg nog in terms of texture and flavor balance. It's light and airy while keeping a full flavor and creamy texture.”

5631 N Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA 90042

7. Citizen

184 N. Canon Deive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Starting December 12, Citizen in Beverly Hills is doing 12 Days of Cocktails. Every day the restaurant will introduce a new holiday cocktail. From classics like a hot buttered rum to a truly festive Trader Vic's Cranberry Christmas Punch (vodka, cranberry cordial, lime), Rodeo Drive shoppers will have plenty of motivation to stop in and knock several back.

184 N. Canon Deive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

8. The Corner Door

12477 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066

The Corner Door has been making its Christmas Milk egg nog every holiday season for the past three years. And it's made from scratch a la minute with brandy, rum, Jelinek Fernet, whole egg, cream, sugar, and nutmeg. "Instead of a thick, milkshake-like texture, our fresh nog is very light and frothy with boozy rum and brandy notes. The Fernet adds more baking spice flavor that helps anyone fall directly into the holiday spirit," says head bartender Beau du Bois.

12477 W Washington Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90066

9. Estrella

8800 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90069

Egg nog is bartender Heriberto Lausell Jr.'s least favorite cocktail. So for the holidays, he chose to go with a Coquito variation as a hat tip to his Puerto Rican roots. Made with white whiskey, white rum, and a chilled coconut mixture, his Dream State cocktail makes one want to enjoy Christmas on the beach.

8800 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90069

10. Faith & Flower

705 W 9th St, Los Angeles, CA 90015

Yes, Faith & Flower's new Sweater Weather cocktail by Bombet Hospitality's Ryan Wainwright and lead bartender Darwin Pornel is another take on the egg nog. But none you've ever had thanks to absinthe and creme de cacao. The absinthe lends it more complexity while the creme de cacao works with spiced rum for a decadent quality.

705 W 9th St
Los Angeles, CA 90015

11. Good Housekeeping

5631 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90042

Not a fan of chilly nights? From December 15 to 31, Good Housekeeping will be warming patrons with its Hot Toddy made with black tea infused bourbon and an herb infused honey, served in a holiday mug.

5631 N Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA 90042

12. Gracias Madre

8905 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069

This month, barman Jason Eisner holiday drinks will inspire naughtiness. Whether it's with the bourbon and mezcal Bad Santa banana Old Fashioned variation or Candy Cane Kush sour (peppermint tea infused gin, tequila blanco, lemon, honey, and candy cane aqua faba). But indulge in Eisner's Warm Milk and Cookies. Made with vanilla-Infused reposado, homemade creme de cacao, orange flower water, horchata, brut champagne, and Mexican wedding cookie foam, it's a well-balanced creamy, dreamy cocktail.

8905 Melrose Ave
West Hollywood, CA 90069

13. Harvard & Stone

5221 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Harvard & Stone bar manager Aaron Polsky has always loved Slivovitz plum brandy and milk in holiday punches. For his Sugarplum Larry holiday punch he bolstered the mixture with an unaged white whiskey and aquavit. "It tasted like crystalline sugarplum with a bit of spice and fruitcake added," says Polsky.

5221 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90027

14. Hungry Cat

1555 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028

The Hungry Cat has been serving up Big Dave's egg nog, by Chef David Lentz's dad, for years. And even though it's derived from a secret family recipe — with "the right amount of booze and holiday spice — it's become a must-have every Christmas season to be enjoyed at the restaurant ($12.50/glass) or taken home ($40/1-liter bottle).

1555 Vine St
Los Angeles, CA 90028

15. Petit Trois

716 N Highland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

Toast the holidays with Petit Trois' stylishly decked out Gnome Sayin' cocktail. This mix of vodka, cinnamon, lemon, and maraschino will inspire holiday cheer in all who see it and drink from it thanks to the Absolut Elyx copper gnome drink vessel.

716 N Highland Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038

Related Maps

16. Sotto

9575 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035

No, you can't have a fur coat made out of Dalmatian puppies, but this holiday season you can snuggle up to this 101 Dalmatian-inspired gin sour aptly called Cruella De Vil. It's a simple gin sour with polka dots of activated charcoal aromatic bitters.

9575 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90035

17. The Spare Room

7000 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

The Spare Room has several holiday offerings that will be available starting this Wednesday the 7th, including a festive punch bowl and a banana nut Old Fashioned chalkboard special. But if you were ever a fan of those 1970s stop motion animated TV Christmas specials, you'll love bartender Eric Bugosh's Mr. Icicle, inspired by The Year Without a Santa Claus. It's a minty boozy milkshake of gin, crème de menthe, allspice, vanilla, milk, and topped with candy cane dust.

7000 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028

18. The Walker Inn

3612 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90020

Walker Inn's Scoundrel cocktail menu, which will be served in the lounge, showcases drinks inspired by those famous scoundrels who made the holidays interesting. Toast the dark side of Christmas with The Grinch's cranberry "wine," Bad Santa's peppermint bark vodka, or Hans Gruber's rummy toasted pecan and maple cream. And the bar crew is still nailing down the finishing touches of the last menu of 2016 but they said it "will honor the intangible things that make the holidays special for all of us, no matter where we come from or what we believe."

3612 W 6th St
Los Angeles, CA 90020

19. Westbound

300 S Santa Fe Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Arts District's Westbound is going all out with the holiday spirit thanks to a partnership with barware boutique Cocktail Kingdom. Through December 31, it's a "Miracle on Santa Fe" complete with carolers, falling snow, Manischewitz punch pong, and even Sugarplum dancers. But what's really bringing joy to the world is their 16-drink menu, with each cocktail served in a fun Cocktail Kingdom holiday glassware. A standout is bartender Dee Quinones' hot cocktail, Santa's Ponche, made with tequila, persimmons, apple, and piloncillo. Served in a Santa bottoms mug it's just what you want to curl up with while you await the big guy's arrival.

300 S Santa Fe Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90013

20. Genghis Cohen

740 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

In honor of Chanukah, the festival of lights, bartender Yael Vengroff created a hot, blue Mai Tai. "I turned the drink blue because well there's nothing like burning hot blue liquid coming out of a tea kettle," she says. And why a hot Mai Tai for the holidays? It was a way to appeal to the "old school" crowd at Genghis Cohen while introducing them to new flavors and ideas. For this Mai Tai, Vengroff says it's still the traditional recipe but with a temperature difference, no citrus, and a generous mint cream float.

740 N Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046

21. Belcampo Meat Co.

1026 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

At Belcampo Meat Co. in Santa Monica, they don't do figgy pudding but they do do Fig Pimpin', one of barman Josh Goldman's new winter cocktails. The warming flavor of cachaca, mezcal, and fig & cinnamon shrub mirrors its flaming fig garnish.

1026 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Related Maps