The Hottest Craft Cocktails to Enjoy This Season

By Nicole Schubert | July 1, 2019 | Food & Drink

Welcome to our guide of the hottest liquid libations in Los Angeles this season. Between a cabaret of enchanting aperitifs at Here & Now and a circus of decadent and delicious secret spirits at Songbird Café, we have a kingdom of expert approved, succulent sips to taste and explore. So, our suggestion is to dive in head first and try them all.

Arrowhead Trail at Here & Now


An emerging gastronomic eatery and cocktail bar in the epicenter of the Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles. Here & Now—a recent collaboration between owner Sarah Meade’s train depot-themed cocktail bar, Westbound and the Va’La Hospitality trio of Aaron Melendrez, Othón Nolasco, and Damian Diaz—is serving up aperitif aficionados with a resume of seasonal concoctions that are decadent, delicious and certainly dish it out. And with a trifecta of expert barmen mixing all the spirits, expect nothing but practically perfect in every way, with glowing “bright visions and gold dreams” liquid libations. We recommend splurging on the Arrowhead Trail made with Bacardi and Banana Rum, Cuatro and Ocho Rum, Thai iced tea, coconut cream and angostura bitters or the Acapulco Bleu mixed with Arette Reposado Tequila, Combie Bleu, lime and pineapple. 300 S. Santa Fe Ave., Los Angeles, 213-262-9291

Connemara Old Fashioned at The Wolves

When you walk into this Downtown LA cocktail bar, imagine stepping into a time capsule inspired by 1910 décor, set on the backdrop of the once ultra-luxurious, historic Hotel Alexandria that was a stopping ground for aristocrats and bon vivants who were socially—and politically—adored. Today, reimagined into a gathering place with a mission to breed the next generation of creatives, guests are welcome to enjoy performances, live music, and vaudevillian theater located in the back bar. But what’s most standout about this authentic 20th century outpost, is its expansive cocktail menu which takes the notion “blast from the past” to new elevated heights. One of our favorites is the Connemara Old Fashioned crafted with Connemara Single Malt Whiskey, homemade seaweed bitters, homemade aromatic bitters, flamed orange peel, and flamed lemon peel. 519 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, 213-265-7952

Longue Siesta by Josh Goldman at The Shelby


We all remember the honorary New York hot spots—Pastis, Balthazar and Daniel—that first tickled our pallets with chef Sascha Lyon’s burst of French fare. But what if the same magic could be mirrored again in a Los Angeles eatery, east of La Cienega and the Beverly Center? Lyon and esteemed L.A. wine and cocktail expert, Josh Goldman, were up to this difficult test and meticulously passed. Bringing comfort, style and quality to The Shelby’s deep menu of craft cocktail spirits, Goldman is showing locals how a simple cocktail could be turned into a complex bubble of celebrations. Suggesting the Longue Siesta for its synthesis of native California brandies, including a fruit brandy made from Nopal cactus fruits and the big Cognac and California-inspired flavors of Bertoux Brandy, Goldman notes that “the complex flavors of the co-mingling brandies, along with fresh grapefruit and lemon juices, a touch of Campari all lengthened with sparkling wine,” make for the perfect summer sipper before a long afternoon nap. 8445 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, 323-424-3230

Style & Grace at Songbird Café

Nothing defines mainland China in the 1920’s than covert speakeasy bars shielded by everything from mirrors to soda machines and even telephone booths. And to lend homage to this avant-garde golden era, Chinatown is offering a new rendition of the “speakeasy” with the recently opened Songbird Café. Serving coffee by day and seductive spirits by night, Songbird Café, founded by Scott Chen, leaves much a mystery to the surrounding eye. But at 8 p.m., becomes a cabaret of cocktails, helmed by Jason Yu, who’s serving up a kingdom of libations with a focus on bitters and Amari such as the smooth and luscious, It's Not Me, It's You and Break Up By Text. 900 N. Broadway #1050 at Blossom Plaza, Los Angeles, 213-265-7779

Grasshopper by Richard Hargreave at Majordomo


Brought to you by the esteemed David Chang—who first broke ground on the New York born empire, Momofuku Restaurant Group—Majordomo is the first LA iteration of Manhattan’s buzzworthy and cult like following dynasty. Nestled upon the northeast corner of Chinatown in a former warehouse, Majordomo, similar to Chang’s new Netflix series, Ugly Delicious, is innovative, rare, and off the beaten path. And not only is the setting itself crossing boundaries of extraordinarily unordinary, but the menu is too with a mish mash of new modern Korean and contemporary Chinese cuisines joining together to create a thrilling culinary balance. But, yet what’s most impeccable of all the menu items is the craft cocktails made by Richard Hargreave. We recommend sipping on the Grasshopper made with Bertoux Brandy, Tempus Fugit Creme de Cacao and Creme de Menthe, and topped with a dollop of pistachio cream. 1725 Naud St., Los Angeles, 323-545-4880

Seth & Co at Delilah

The newest endeavor from The h.wood Group’s John Terzian and Brian Toll, ‘Lady Delilah,’ West Hollywood’s wildly dynamic hotspot and cocktail bar is a roaring 20’s circus filled with period art décor and timeless interior aesthetics. And although the regular may be seduced into dancing and dining to live music and jazz, master mixologist, Matt Seigel makes a point for guests to stop, freeze and taste his curated mixture of classic and contemporary cocktails. We recommend to indulge in Seigel’s potent potion, Seth & Co, made with Hendrick’s gin, lemon verbena, mint and fresh lemon while lounging and waiting for ‘Lady Delilah’s’ surprise acts. 7969 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, 323-745-0600

Mesa Mule at SHOREbar


They say, "life is better by the shore." And at this sweet summer inspired destination, which evokes Montauk and East Hampton with deep cushy booths, naval maps, and white, blue and red decor, New York transplants and locals looking to bring in the Memorial Day breeze, can live out the ultimate beach and nautical themed dream with an added perk of craft cocktails, nearby beach volleyball and membership opportunities with a personalized h.wood Group black card. If you’re tempted to try, take our word for it and dive into the Mesa Mula cocktail mixed with Casamigos Reposado Tequila, passion fruit, housemade ginger beer and jalapeño. 112 W. Channel Rd., Santa Monica, 310-429-1851

Photography by: Photography courtesy brands