Big Bar recently celebrated its first anniversary. The cocktail bar within Alcove Cafe has generated a devoted following for its unpretentious atmosphere, quality cocktails, knowledgeable staff and fun vibe. Signature events include a weekly mixtape mixology series and a Monday movie night in which movies are projected outside.
The new fall cocktail list debuted earlier this month at Big Bar and it includes twelve selections. The Lonsdale (below) is made with Beefeater Gin, lemon juice, honey, apple juice and basil. The apple juice holds all the elements of the cocktail together and binds them without too much sweetness or tartness. The Lonsdale is a well balanced shaken fall gin cocktail that is more on the refreshing side.
The Night Nurse is a take on the rum old fashioned with Sailor Jerry rum, Smith & Cross rum, grenadine, velvet falernum and absinthe. When I sampled it Appleton's Rum was substituted for the Sailor Jerry as they were out of it. The Night Nurse is more spiritous and would be equally wonderful to enjoy in front of a fireplace or a porch on a cool Southern California evening. The twist of lime peel brings out citrus notes.
The Iron and Wine is made with Zaya Rum, Benedictine, Dry Vermouth, Fernet Branca, and Angostura bitters. This stirred cocktail has a very strong mouthfeel from the Benedictine and Fernet and is on the aromatic side.
The Harvest Moon tastes like the essence of Autumn. The apple flavor is pronounced in the cocktail made with Laird's Applejack, Amaro Nonino, Lillet, apple juice, and Angostura bitters. Think changing leaves, pumpkin pie and a sip of the Harvest Moon as Halloween and Thanksgiving season approaches.
In a changing of the guard, bar manager Juan Sevilla is departing the bar to move to New York and work at SoHo House. The cocktail program will be managed by Dan Long and Eugene Lee (below), who have both worked under since the bar opened, so I anticipate that the momentum that Big Bar has been building will continue.
Tonight is Sevilla's final night and it coincides with a Screening of the 80s classic movie The Lost Boys. So come to watch the movie, say goodbye to Juan and to try the drinks on the new cocktail list. Sevilla assures me that he will be back in LA as the New York move is not permanent. The full cocktail list is below the movie poster:
Big Bar Fall Cocktails:
Mamie Taylor: Famous Grouse Scotch, lime juice, ginger syrup, soda, Angostura bitters
Army & Navy: Bols Genever, Orgeat, lemon juice, nutmeg
Canela Sour: El Jimador Reposado Tequila, cinnamon syrup, lime juice, chocolate chili bitters, Angostura bitters
Remember the Maine: Old Overholt Rye Whiskey, Carpano Antica. Cherry Heering, Absinthe
Cinnamon Girl: Woodford Reserve Bourbon, St. Germain, lemon juice, grapefruit juice, cinnamon syrup, Angostura bitters, sparkling wine
Paloma: El Jimador Tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice, simple syrup, tonic water
Rum Diary: Bacardi 8 Rum, Del Maguey Mezcal Vida, agave, lime juice
Bo Diddley: Old Overholt Whiskey, Kings Ginger Liqueur, lime juice, honey, Angostura bitters, cucumber
Big Bar at Alcove Cafe: 1929 Hillhurst Avenue, Los Feliz. Phone: (323) 644-0100. www.alcovecafe.com/bigbar