Thursday, February 3, 2011

Winter Cocktails Come Ashore at Cana Rum Bar

Winter has arrived with a fierce gale at Cana Rum Bar.  General Manager Allan Katz has launched a new winter cocktail menu with beverages so tasty, pirates have been known to fight over them.  Here is a map to the treasure:

One of my favorites is the Camelot, made with Anejo rum, Amaro Montenegro, lime juice, poached pear syrup and white pepper.  This is a dagger and the winter version of Cana's classic JKO, except with poached pear instead of poached plum to better represent the season.  It is still a classy tribute to Jackie O.  It is easy drinking, delicious and not overly pear flavored.

Among the Cannons, the Red Eye to Rio is a standout.  It is a tribute to the classic Trader Vic Night Flight cocktail.  This is a potent cocktail and includes Stroh, a 160 proof Austrian spiced rum.  The other ingredients are cachaça, lime juice and maple syrup.  I will confess that I am not generally a fan of cachaça, so Katz impressed me by creating the first cachaça drink I can recommend.

The London Cut may be a Cannon but it stands in a class all by itself on the Cana menu.  It is a take on the Gordon's Cup made with Anaheim and Serrano pepper-infused Bols Genever and El Dorado rum, cucumber, lime, smoked salt and pepper.  This delicious concoction is peppery, spicy, salty and overall wonderful and is my favorite of the new list.  The previous list included the similar Stepping Razor, but switching to Bols and El Dorado from Demerara has upped the balance of this beauty who won't hesitate to slice you.

If your taste veers towards the spicy, the Deer Hunter may be the Cannon for you.  Made with Serrano-infused Heering, Anejo tequila, Old Overholt Rye and garnished with a lemon peel, it has a pleasant kick perfect for these chilly winter evenings.

Sometimes a little bit of citrus is just what the doctor ordered, and for nights such as those, the Crimean Collins makes house calls.  It includes cognac, two types of Jamaican rum, lemon, orgeat and champagne and is garnished with mint.  This Pistol has the power of lemon to perk up your palate and prepare you to walk the plank, if need be.

The winter list also includes:

Royal Oil: St. James Royal Ambre rum, Black Strap rum, lime and falernum.
Misti Dawn Sqizzle: Roiboos-infused Plymouth Gin, passionfruit juice, lime juice, Zirbenz Stone Pine Liqueur, Angostura bitters and Elemakule bitters.
Texas Early: Old Overhold Rye, Don's Miz, blackberries and lemon juice
Palmetto: El Dorado 12 Year Demerara, Carpano Antico Vermouth, orange bitters
Twist on a Twist: Overproof Rum, Amaro Cio Ciaro, Sangue Morlacco, lime juice, Angostura bitters
The Good Word: Reposado Mezcal, Yellow Chartreuse, maraschino, lime juice
Putnam's Point: Rye, Dos Maderas, Amaro Lucano, ginger, lemon, J.T. recipe bitters

Note: I was invited to sample these beverages by Cana Rum Bar at no cost.

Cana Rum Bar: 714 West Olympic Blvd (@Flower), DTLA. Phone: (213) 817-5321.  Website:

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