11 Days & Cocktails Before Christmas

(Photo Courtesy of Girasol)
(Photo Courtesy of Girasol)

Tis the time to celebrate the 11 days left before Christmas with 11 innovative holiday cocktails at some of Los Angeles’ Best Bars and Dining Destinations. It’s a great way to get into a festive mood before or after shopping for holiday presents.

  1. GIRASOL –

Entering Girasol for a cocktail and dinner reminds me of the popular children’s book “James and the Giant Peach,” by Roald Dahl. Inside one feels as if they are dining inside  a giant sunflower. Order a frosty, tall aluminum tumbler filled with a slightly sweet guava cocktail, similar in presentation to a Moscow mule, though it was called the J. Swizzle. It goes nicely with a plate of house-baked bread with toasted lovage leaves. 11334 Moorpark St. Studio City, (818)924-2323 – Girasol Restaurant

(El's Nog - Photo Credit: Courtesy of Bar Mattachine)
(El’s Nog – Photo Credit: Courtesy of Bar Mattachine)

2. BAR MATTACHINE

Eggnog does not get much better than Partner Garrett McKechnie twist on Egg Nog. It’s a New England signature recipe of creamy eggnog crafted by McKechnie’s friend and colleague Eloise Humphrey – Proprietor of El Camino Cantina in Brunswick, Maine. This one has cognac, Jamaican rum and rye. Bar Mattachine will be open on Christmas Eve, Thursday Dec. 24 and Christmas Day, Friday, Dec. 25th from 5 pm to 2 am. – 221 West 7th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90014; (213)278-0471 – facebook.com/BarMattachine

(Photo by Barton G.)
(Photo by Barton G.)

3. BARTON G

This theatrical dining destination offers a luxurious Cotton Candy Martini specialty liquid nitrogen drink. It magically smokes and melts at your table, right before your eyes.  The cotton candy-filled martini glass is brought to the table, then a penguin shaker of Citrus Vodka, Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice, Orange Juice, and Cointreau is poured over the bubblegum-flavored house-spun floss. The cotton candy instantly vanishes into a cloud of sweet smoke to finish the cocktail. A fun fact – A batch of cotton candy contains less sugar than a regular can of soda and is fat free. 861 N La Cienega Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90069 – (310)388-1888 – Barton G. The Restaurant

(Red Wine Sangria Photo Credit: Courtesy of HACHÉ LA)
(spiced chocolate chip ‘n’ fig Bear Republic stout float) Photo Credit: Courtesy of HACHÉ LA)

4. HACHÉ LA:

There are two tasty treats. The spiced chocolate chip ‘n’ fig Bear Republic stout float created by Michael “Mick” Schepers. It’s a  mixture of velvety Bear Republic Black Stout poured over creamy spiced chocolate chip and fig frozen custard. It’s an ideal  indulgence to toast to the holiday season. Another pretty drink is the red wine Sangria. Michael makes it with fresh winter citrus and tops with fresh-cut fruit. It’s served over ice in a wine glass with a bright citrus garnish. HACHÉ LA will be open on Christmas Eve, Thursday Dec. 24 from 11:30 am to 10 pm and closed on Christmas Day, Friday, Dec. 25 –  3319 West Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026 (323)928-2963 www.hachela.com

(Red Wine Sangria - Photo by HACHE' LA)
(Red Wine Sangria – Photo by HACHE’ LA)

5. INOTHEKE

In ancient Greek mythology, Hades deceived a beautiful Greek goddess into becoming the Queen of the Underworld with the offer of luscious red pomegranate seeds. Just as tempting, the Persephone created by Carolos Tomazos, is a fizzy cocktail made with Champagne, pomegranate juice, lemon and fresh thyme. Inotheke will be open on Christmas Eve, Thursday, Dec. 24 for Lunch from noon to 2 pm and Dinner from 5:30 pm to 9 pm and closed on Christmas Day, Friday, Dec. 25 – 606 Broadway Ave. Suite 101, Santa Monica, CA 90401 – (310)458-3366 – www.inotheke.com

(Photo Credit: Magnolia House)
(Photo Credit: Magnolia House)

6. MAGNOLIA HOUSE

For a supple and hearty warm-up during the holiday season, there is no better remedy than the Oaxacan Blood Winter, created by Brian Klemm with a floating garnish of star anise. He also makes a creamy elixir of rum, Ancho chili, cinnamon, cream, and coffee with a Holland red chili garnish that is shaken up tableside in a silver thermos. Magnolia House will be open on Christmas Eve, Thursday Dec. 24 from 4 pm to midnight and closed on Christmas Day, Friday, Dec. 25. 492 S. Lake Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101; (626)584-1121 –  www.themaghouse.com

(Photo by Spare Tire Kitchen and Bar)
(Photo by Spare Tire Kitchen and Bar)

7. SPARE TIRE KITCHEN & TAVERN

The Executive chef of Spare Tire Kitchen & Tavern – Isaias  Peña makes an Apple Strudel Dessert Martini made with muddled apples, Sailor Jerry’s spiced rum, Rum Chata, pineapple juice and served in a martini glass dusted with a cinnamon-sugar rim for $12.00. It’s so good, it could be a dessert. Spare Tire Kitchen & Tavern will be closed on Christmas Eve, Thursday, Dec. 24 and closed on Christmas Day, Friday, Dec. 25, but will be open and offering the day after Christmas specials on Saturday, Dec. 26 from 11:30 am to 1:00 am and Sunday, December 27th from 11:30 am to midnight. 5370 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90036; (323)525-2618 – www.sparetirepub.com

8. SOLITA TACOS & MARGARITAS – VALENCIA

Enjoy a Horchata cocktail with a kick by Bar Director Colin Pflugradt. It’s a spiced libation that is shaken up with Agavales blanco tequila, 1921 Crema De Tequila, and freshly ground cinnamon. Solita Tacos & Margaritas Valencia will be open on Christmas Eve, Thursday, Dec. 24 from 11 am to 10 pm, with the bar remaining open until midnight. It’s closed on Christmas Day, Friday, December 25. 24201 Valencia Boulevard, Suite 3470, Valencia, CA 91355; (661)291-1399 –  www.solitatacos.com

(Photo Credit - The Raymond)
(Photo Credit – The Raymond)

9. THE RAYMOND 1886

In Pasadena there is a delectable liquid treat that is getting quite a buzz – The Donner’s Dash by Barman Peter Lloyd-Jones. It’s made with Cognac, rye, all-spice, homemade honey syrup and coffee infused with cream and cinnamon. He also makes Kafka On The Shore with Pastry Chef Eliot Pardo. It’s a cocktail plus cookie. The cocktail is crafted with Japanese pear-infused Tito’s vodka, almond avocado milk, lime, simple syrup and egg whites. The cookie is a gin-gerbread cookie. The Raymond 1886 is open on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24 for Lunch from 11:30 am to 2 pm and Christmas Eve Dinner reservations will be taken from 4 pm to 7:30 pm. It’s closed on Christmas Day. A credit card will be required for all Christmas Eve Dinner reservations with a 48 hour cancellation policy. 1250 South Fair Oaks Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91105 – (626)441-3136 – www.theraymond.com

10. TIPPLE & BRINE

Bar Manager AJ Korchak playfully creates a Mo-Fashion crafted with Dickel rye whiskey, triple bitters blend, Maraschino Liqueur, lemon and an orange twist. It’s a delicious twist on and Old Fashion. Tipple & Brine will be open on Christmas Eve, Thursday, Dec. 24 from 4 pm to 10 pm. It’s closed on Christmas Day. 14633 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks, CA, 91403 – (818)528-2580. TippleandBrine

11. VENICE WHALER

Bar Director Anthony Settecase marries classic Christmas flavors of eggnog and a hot toddy with the delightful Noggy Toddy. The creamy mixture of Atlantico reserve rum, allspice, honey syrup, whole egg and cinnamon, offers a good source of protein. The Venice Whaler is open on Christmas Eve, Thursday, Dec. 24 from 11 am to 2 am and Christmas Day, Friday, Dec. 25 from 9 am to 2 am. 10 West Washington Blvd., Venice, CA 90292 –  (310)821-8737. Venice Whaler

 

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