Monday, November 1, 2010

The Deep Blue Sea @ The Varnish

Recently I had the Deep Blue Sea cocktail at the Varnish in downtown Los Angeles. I really enjoyed the drink that manager Chris Bostick made and when I looked online most recipes for a drink of that name have curacao in them but the cocktail I had at the Varnish was crisp and aromatic, not sweet.  I believe Bostick said that it was a Sammy Ross recipe, but I may be remembering incorrectly.

The recipe is:

2 dash orange bitters
1/4 oz Crème de Violette
3/4 oz Lillet Blanc
2 oz Gin
Lemon peel to garnish

As you can see, the cocktail is beautifully clear and deserves a prime spot in your rotation of aromatic gin cocktails.  In a crystal clear cocktail, the twisted lemon peel garnish adds a dramatic element, in addition to the citrus scent.  If you are a fan of a gin martini, especially the Vesper, you may find this to be up your alley.  The glass had been chilled and the drink was mixed with ice before being stirred and strained, so the cocktail was refreshing and crisp.


  1. I like the single cocktail post, and this is one of your better photos. This should be a regular feature.

  2. Thanks for the advice. I think I will take you up on it, Josh.

  3. I was just thinking of calling them up to find out what was in this cocktail since it is a favorite of my neighbors. It is truly one of their most stunning ulta-dry cocktails that too few people know about. The Water Lilly is another very similar cocktail, but instead of bracingly crisp, sumptuous and tart. 4 parts gin, 1 part each of Lillet Blanc, Contreau & lemon juice. Thanks for the post and if you're curious, I have some L.A. related rambling and meandering over at my blog! Thanks again!

  4. Hey Eron
    Thanks for the Water Lily recipe. I'll either make it or order it soon. I checked out your blog and I think you would love the new Koreatown location of Pal Cabron for cemitas. I blogged about it here:

  5. This is very similar to the Vesper martini from the James Bond movies.