Our LA Issue takes a look at some of the best bars in Los Angeles to have opened in recent years, but the city has a liquid past that stretches back for generations. We asked bartenders at bars including The Eveleigh, The Varnish, Harlowe and Tiki-Ti to mix a few classic Los Angeles cocktails.
Named for the restaurants that were a centerpiece of mid-20th century LA, the Brown Derby has become a familiar mix at cocktail bars across the country.
Flame of Love
Chasen’s was a Beverly Hills watering hole long cherished by the Hollywood set. The Flame of Love was crafted by bartender Pepe Ruiz in 1970 for one of the bar’s famous regulars, Dean Martin, and was purportedly such a hit that Frank Sinatra once ordered a round for everyone in the restaurant.
An essential drink of the ’70s disco and fern-bar era, the Harvey Wallbanger has a past that is murky and full of questions. But whether the popular story of its creation in a Sunset Boulevard bar turns out to be true—and it’s likely we’ll never know for sure—there’s something about this cocktail that simply shouts Los Angeles.
Now ubiquitous at cocktail bars worldwide, the Moscow Mule was the simple drink that initiated the vodka flood following its 1946 debut at the Cock ‘n’ Bull Pub in Hollywood.
Donn Beach was infamously cagey about sharing his cocktail recipes, especially the one for his legendary Zombie, but tiki expert Jeff Berry pieced the recipe together through historical research and lucky encounters with former Beachcomber employees.