The Raymond restaurant in Pasadena is a long-standing restaurant with about 35 years of history. Under its new ownership and management though, The Raymond is getting revitalized with a new chef, and now a new bar featuring hand crafted cocktails that pay homage to how cocktails are classically made.
|Honey Nut Old Fashioned|
The Raymond had solicited Marcos Tello and Aidan Demarest from Tello Demarest Liquid Assets as consultants of the new cocktail program, which holds true to "how cocktails used to be made": homemade syrups and hand crushed ice and all. The 1886 Bar is named after the year that The Raymond Hotel (which no longer exists) was opened. The building was actually the caretaker's cottage and the historical building is an appropriate stage for these cocktails.
The bar will officially open in early December but it is now in its soft opening stage and was already packed when I visited. The full specialty cocktail list of about 25 isn't fully available currently but you can still choose among about 10 great cocktails.
The cocktail list during the soft opening featured bold flavor and a lot of spices (think mescal with ginger or jalapeno). The honey nut old fashioned strikes strong at first taste but turns into an excellent, well balanced cocktail with a hint of nuttiness.
For the winter months, you can warm up with the Hot Cider Toddy (apple brandy, maple syrup, apple cider).
1886 also has an eclectic menu of bar appetizers. We started with the Hamachi sashimi with cucumber and melon, which I didn't see on the bar menu but was recommended by the manager.