Los Angeles nightlife keeps getting even better.
Last year, at the 2012 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards in New Orleans, Los Angeles cocktail bar The Varnish won the trophy for the Best American Cocktail Bar.
This exquisite cocktail bar, which features a rotating list of only five cocktails, lost out in previous years at the annual cocktail industry award to New York bars Death and Co in 2010 and Employees Only in 2011. This year, although, The Varnish took a big win for Los Angeles, which has been building its reputation from serving the vodka Red Bulls.
Even though there is no sign marking the bar’s location, the 50-person space is so popular that there’s usually a waitlist to get in, a get spiritualized. Once inside, clients have their choice of sitting in vintage, slatted-wood booths, which were resurrected from a New Orleans trolley graveyard, or standing at the bar to watch the hand skilled barman’s and barmaids an at work.
Although the short cocktail menu showcases unusual drinks like the Nice Legs — made with gin, Barolo Chinato (an Italian digestive), Gentian (a bitter root) and orange peel — many customers will order a classic like an Old-Fashioned (bourbon whiskey, sugar, Angostura bitters, club soda and lemon peel) or leave their choice in the hands of the bartender. Simply tell them your favorite spirit (tequila, rum, whiskey, etc) and the taste profile you’re looking for (such as bitter, sweet, citrusy) and they’ll get you stunned with your new favorite cocktail.