Harry Yee, Hawaiian Cocktail Godfather
Salad in a Glass: Arugula, Spinach, and Kale Cocktails

Random Notes on LA Cocktails from Bartenders who Work There

During Hawaii Cocktail Week, I attended a seminar called LA Confidential, held at Thirtyninehotel. Panelists were Julian Cox, Paul Sanguinetti & Cherish Mumme, all of Los Angeles.

The talk was meant to illuminate trends and techniques popular in Los Angeles today. Here are a few notes I took.

  • LA has more molecular cocktail programs - and more people accepting of them- than other cities. Examples include The Bazaar by Jose Andres and Ink by Michael Voltaggio
  • A good place to buy molecular mixology/gastronomy supplies is Modernist Pantry.
  • Using goofy names for cocktails makes them less intimidating to guests. 
  • Julian Cox measured the Brix level of the most popular cocktails, and found most of them to be around 14-15 Brix, so the perception of the more popular girlie drinks as being sweeter isn't quite true.
  • Cox uses sous vide for infusions with fruit and/or herbs. He says to set it on 120 degrees Fahrenheit, and infuse it for four hours or so, making sure that it doesn't go above the boiling point of alcohol at 173F.
  •  For tea infusions, blanche the tea first to eliminate harsh tannins. 
  • In LA, orgeat is the top trendy sweetener.


Eastern MarketM
(random drink pic that has nothing to do with LA)



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Brian K

random drink pic...... well what is it!!

It looks great!

Camper English

That drink and recipe is here:


re: "Using goofy names for cocktails makes them less intimidating to guests."

I heard a similar take on drink names recently from Seth Laufman when enjoying a Stop Fenneling Me.


keep in mind you need to consider the brix/acid ratio or brix/bitterness ratio.

as brix and acidity both increase so to does the amount of dissolved aroma or you get a hollowness dessert winemakers call the "sweet-tart" phenomenon. in cocktails this can be both a flaw or a feature.

a sweet leaning drink emphasizes aroma and for many people to tolerate that extra sweetness they have to find the aroma redeemingly extraordinary. this explains how many people can enjoy a manhattan while not enjoying a mono-fruit-martini that has the same brix/acid/bitterness ratio.

also, be weary of brix measures in the presence of alcohol. if the person measuring isn't converting them to grams/Liter of sugar then they might not be aware that alcohol is influencing their measuring device.


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