Monday, July 25, 2011
Buvare: Downtown LA Punch Crawl
For some, merely a sugar-coated mouth stain from a syrupy can.
Others, a kitschy kid's party concoction of sherbet and ginger ale. Or a refreshment grail to taint with an incognito liquor source.
And for me, punch is practically a religion.
Punch. Falling in line with the reemergence of Bols Genever, Thrillist LA recently threw the smartest little tastemaking party I could hope to dream up: A downtown LA punch crawl of some of the cities finest drinkeries, each creating a perfect punch for the brutishly elegant genever. With a walkable map and a steal of a ticket price there was no question. I was getting tipsy. On a school night.
Cole's, and with a punch station right inside the front door no time was wasted.
the Varnish, LA's favorite "speakeasy" tucked in the back of Cole's - A convenient and economical second stop.
The smart guys at the Varnish took the opportunity to plug their table-side punch service, available Sunday - Thursday by call-ahead pre-order for $100, and serving roughly 8 people. Slick.
the Falls for #3: The Flowing Bols. The bartender wracked his brain to recall the full ingredient list, but included Bols Genever, cherry heering, fresh pineapple, lemon & orange juices, raspberry syrup, and soda. The spritziest of the night, this fruity number was well suited for the warm evening. It recalled the prom night archetype in character, but redeemed itself in well-roundness. And after this one, I was officially drunk.
Drago Centro, downtown's luxurious powerhouse.
Caña Rum Bar - A hideaway that just wouldn't be as sexy by day. A member's only club that curiously welcomes newcomers, this was actually my first time (finally!) passing through the velvet curtain. Plenty of rum and cigar smoke awaited.
Bar | Kitchen in downtown's O Hotel. It's the kind of studly joint LA just didn't have before a few years ago, and with an expat genius bar (get it?) hailing from Death + Company in NYC, how can I not drool?? Even more exciting, one of the more recent additions to the bar team is an old pal from Portland who once turned me on to muddled kiwi and gin (trust me, just try it).
love for sherry, I was not surprised that this bar featuring the handiwork of mister Alex Day employed Amontillado sherry in their Vondelpark Punch, along with Bols Genever, grapefruit & lime juices, ginger syrup, and soda water. And it was time to sit down.
Which reminds me again to commend Thrillist for a full evening of awesomeness that did not require driving between locations. Safe, happy, delicious.
A lil' bit of heaven on earth.