Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Discover Fun New Cocktails at City Tavern (Culver City)

City Tavern is probably mostly popular for their craft beer selections, especially on the westside, and the fact that they have beer taps on some of the tables. The last time I went to City Tavern in Culver City I had focused on the beers and food, although the one cocktail I had was promising. Now, under the direction of Jeremy Back, City Tavern is coming out with some exciting cocktails.

Jeremy Back has not only played around with the cocktails, but beers as well. Instead of a slice of orange with your Hefeweizen, they now serve it with an orange popsicle!

Beer and Popsicle
Take turns drinking the beer and eating the popsicle, dip the popsicle into your beer. Whichever way you choose, you'll agree that this is so much better than an orange slice!

Jeremy Back
There will also be one barrel aged cocktail on draft, which will change periodically.
The one on the menu when I visited was the Missouri Mule (aged 6 weeks): pure Kentucky whiskey, Applejack brandy, Campari, lemon juice, yuzu bitters ($15). We also tried the new barrel aged cocktail, which at the time had only been aged for two days. The new cocktail was made with Ruby Port, limoncello, lemon and lime.
I'm a big port fan so I look forward to tasting the fully aged version of the port cocktail. Hopefully I haven't missed it!

Speaking of drinks that change, the White Sand Beach also keeps changing (hence the name). This drink will be made with whichever shrub they prepared for that week. On our visit, we had one made with tequila and strawberry shrub, as well as one made with watermelon shrub.

These shrub drinks taste light with a subtle acidity (shrub is, after all, vinegar based), a nice option for the warm weather.

If you need some food while you try all these cocktails (if you tried as much as we did, you will), try the Cheese Plate with filo-wrapped Wensleydale, burrata, rhubarb chutney
Fried cheese? Yes, please!

Keep an eye on the specials on the blackboard, as well. You might find a gem like this duck pate with cherries

I fell in love with Okinawan purple sweet potato at the Peninsula Hotel's rooftop BBQ, and I was very happy to see that City Tavern also serves it!

OK, back to the cocktails.

Despite the bad reputation vodka has among cocktail enthusiasts, you can still find great vodka cocktails. I, for one, am glad I got to try the Cool Hand Luke: Russian Imperial vodka, limoncello, basil pineapple marmalade, ginger foam ($12)

A "failed" attempt at Miami Vice led to the creation of the Rum Slinger, made with Dos Maderas 5+3, mixed berry syrup, lime juice, breakfast tea, dandelion bitters ($11)
It's one of the sweeter cocktails but very well balanced.

Going on to desserts, you can opt for one from the dessert menu, or ... you can go a one of the Beer milkshakes ($9, only available after 3pm)!

We tried both (of course). One was a Chocolate and salted caramel with Speedway stout, and the other is Vanilla, cayenne pepper with Coronado coffee stout (the Stouts used change depending on what's on tap).
Being a chocoholic, I surprised myself when I found myself liking the vanilla more! Is it the pepper or the coffee stout, I wonder .. ? Either way, they were both great.

For a normal dessert, the decadent Peanut Butter Brownie is a popular option.
Peanut Butter Brownie

IMG_0243 If you are there after 10pm, be sure to try Jeremy's own favorite, the Miracle Cure, which is a Fernet "daiquiri" made with 10 different bitters. Beautifully complex, this digestif is available on the "Under $10 After 10" menu. This was one of my favorites, as well.

So, there you have it. City Tavern is no longer just a place for beers, their new cocktail menu is definitely one worth a try. They are some of the best, most creative and fun cocktails you will find on this side of town, and hopefully we will see more in the future.

City Tavern
 9739 Culver Boulevard
 Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 838-9739


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