One of my favorite things about the holidays is getting to spend a lot of time in airports. Since I’m usually stuck safely behind a bar five nights a week, it’s nice for me to get right in there with a swarming throng of people and be corralled through a series of lines for an hour or more.
So, to rinse off whatever anxieties I’ve accumulated during a day’s travel, I like to unwind by doing a little bar research once I arrive at my destination. Being in Los Angeles to visit my sister, and knowing where I’d go if I were Chuck Taggart, I headed downtown to sit at Southern California’s shrine to whiskey: Seven Grand.
When I’m visiting a bar of this caliber, I usually like to start with one of the classics, just to get a feel for the place. So my first cocktail was an expertly-prepared Sazerac, with Rittenhouse rye and Pernod. While I’ve got to say that I usually prefer Herbsainte to the syrupy-sweet Pernod, it became less of an issue with the punch of the 100-proof whiskey. In place of the traditional lemon peel, they used orange peel. Nice touch, dudes.
Next I decided to take a chance and venture onto the house specialty portion of the menu, something I almost never do unless I’m in a reputable establishment such as this (really, you have no idea what sort of abominations have been placed in front of me under the guise of ‘mixology’). So I ordered up an Elder Fitzgerald, which I’m guessing went something like this:
2 oz Old Fitzgerald 12 year-old bourbon
1 oz lemon juice
¾ oz St. Germain elderflower liqueur
½ oz simple syrup
1 egg white
…but I could be wrong. Old Fitzgerald is light and spicy, and a perfect compliment to the elderflower liqueur. The lemon adds the right amount to tartness, and the egg white builds a nice, creamy mouthfeel and a foamy head on the drink.
All good things must come to an end, and after four ounces of whiskey in me and very little sleep on the plane, it was about bedtime for Bonzo. Seven Grand is a little oasis in a desert of low-carb vodka/sodas and Red Bull drinks. I’ll be back, and next time I’m taking you with me, Taggart.