The West Hollywood branch of Fig & Olive opened last month with much fanfare on Melrose Place, across the street from Bastide. They have wisely hired Giovanni Martinez to create their cocktail program and he has created an approachable list that will appeal to a wide audience. Now that the weather has turned warm and spring is in the air, the cocktails lean towards crisp and refreshing. Some highlights from the program are below:
The Pompelmino is a take on an Italian aperitivo using both Cocchi Americano and Aperol. It has a pleasant citrus flavor from the lemon juice and grapefruit foam. Yes, there is foam in this cocktail. But it works to give you an extra bit of the citrus and air in your mouth as you sip on the drink.
Wild Strawberry is made with Martin Miller's Gin, fresh strawberries, orgeat syrup, lemon juice and Moët Ice Imperial Champagne on the rocks. Giovanni was able to simulate the wild strawberry flavor using orange blossom water as the precise strawberries he was looking for were unavailable. This drink is light and refreshing; very summery. It is the perfect brunch cocktail, which has arrived just in time for the launch of outdoor seating at the restaurant.
The Matador is my favorite on the list. As attentive readers and many local bartenders know I am a big fan of spicy cocktails. The Matador is genuinely spicy due to the inclusion of jalapeño. The cocktail is made with Zapopan blanco Tequila, Sagatiba Cachaça, house made cilantro syrup, fresh lime juice, and muddled jalapeño. This may be my favorite cachaça cocktail. Now this is the kind of spicy that with each sip you want to take another, not the kind of spicy that blows your palate and you have to struggle to finish it; the spicy challenge at Jitlada this is not. The drink tastes fresh and spicy at the same time, perhaps due to the muddled jalapeño, house-made cilantro syrup and freshly squeezed lime juice.
The full cocktail list is here, so get drinking as Spring has arrived and what better way to welcome Printemps en Provence than with a cocktail in hand?
Fig & Olive: 8490 Melrose Place, West Hollywood. Phone: (310) 360-9100. Website: http://www.figandolive.com/locations-reservation/melrose-place/