Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fall Cocktails At La Descarga Arrive Via Havana

Although you wouldn't know it from the heatwave, fall has arrived at La Descarga and fresh cocktails have come to town straight from Havana on a Pan Am flight.  For the first time Pablo Moix and Steve Livigni, who jointly created the cocktail program at La Descarga, left the list in the capable hands of head bartender Kenny Arbuckle (below), with the assist of a couple of his colleagues  What better way to beat the heat than by sipping several of these refreshing cocktails?

Kenny Arbuckle
My favorite of the list is the L.A. Lupe, made with Leblon cachaca, Velvet Falernum, St. Vincent's coconut, lime juice, and tonic.  The cocktail is served up in a highball glass with ice.  This drink is not technically new, but was a La Descarga favorite that has been brought back from retirement, and with good reason as the clean flavor entices sip after sip.

LA Lupe 
Another crowd pleaser is the Blood and Samba, a Caribbean take on the classic Blood and Sand.  In this version, cachaca stands in for the Scotch, alongside Cherry Heering, Carpano Antica and Orange Juice.  This shaken cocktail was served in a coupe and garnished with a lemon peel.  There is a lot going on in this drink and fans of classic cocktails should particularly enjoy this twist.

Blood and Samba
Other cocktails on the new list include:

Cartographer: El Dorado 12 Year Rum, Cynar, Angostura Bitters, Cane Sugar

Bermuda Swizzle: Goslings Dark Rum, Velvet Falernum, Lime Juice, Sugar, Angostura Bitters, Pineapple

Martinique Smuggler: Clement Priemere Canne Rhum Agricole, Disaronno Amaretto, Orgeat, Grapefruit Juice, Lime Juice

Avesta: Bulleit Rye, Benedictine, Lime Juice, Angostura Bitters and topped with Ginger Beer

Onbeat: House Spitis 100% Barley White Dog Whiskey, Lemon Juice, Mang-Basil Syrup, Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters

Circumnavigate: Blanco Tequila, Lime Juice, Tamarind Syrup, Bitter Truth Xocolatl Syrup, Ghost Pepper Salt

Maguey SourDel Maguey Vida Mezcal, Benedictine, Orgeat, Lemon Juice, Egg White, Garnished with Grated Nutmeg

Aperol M’ama: Encanto Pisco, Aperol, Lime Juice, Sugar

La Descarga has added several noteable rums to their program, including Plantation, Rum Abuelo and Rhum Clement and their total selection is now more than 100.  If you can't find a rum to satisfy your craving, then you aren't looking hard enough.  And on Wednesday nights, there is a new live band (the Conganas) playing samba and vintage Latin music, perfect for dancing the evening away.

Maguey Sour

La Descarga: 1159 Western Blvd, Hollywood.  Phone: (323) 466-1324.  Website:

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