Thursday, February 27, 2014

Winter Cocktails at 1886 Bar (Pasadena, CA)

Granted this winter in Los Angeles has been strange, but that doesn't mean I can't get my winter cocktails fix! After all, I love my hot cocktails and spices, and luckily 1886 Bar in Pasadena is providing all of them this winter. Spiced and spicy cocktails, chai lattes, hot toddies, and more ...

Interesting spices are making their way into the cocktails like in the Moroccan Exchange (by Gillian Georges): Dos Maderas PX rum, Nicaraguan 5-year rum, lime, harissa spices on a rock of ice, finished with Smith and Cross rum.

I tend to always order a dish with harissa (just like I probably will order any drink with saffron or kaffir lime) and Gillian did an excellent job using the aromatic spices with a blend of rums from three different countries, which, of course, has to include one from Morocco's neighboring country, Spain.

The beer cocktail of the season is the complex Rico Suave (by Jesus Gomez and Saul Soto).
The drink takes on a traditional Aztec recipe for beer using fermented corn, pineapple, and secret blend of spices. The secret mix is then served with a Bavarian Hefeweizen, resulting in a unique flavor.
There has to be a hot toddy on the menu, and their riff on the toddy, called Czech Mate (by Brady Weise) is made with Becherovka, tamarind reduction, and orange bitters.
I wished the tamarind was a bit stronger, but perhaps that would be too sour for a hot cocktail?
There are quite a few items on the bar food menu, also, including the Gambas y Papas Bravas (wild shrimp, potato, spicy tomato - $15).

We also couldn't get enough of the Jidori chicken wings with caramelized fish sauce and marinated cucumbers ($14). It doesn't matter if your fingers get sticky, the addictive fish sauce is worth it.
Chicken Wings

Old Fashioned lovers should go with the Memphis Bound (by Peter Lloyd-Jones): Fighting Cock bourbon, brown sugar, Memphis bbq bitters, bacon and jalapeno garnish
The jalapeno garnish is too spicy for me to eat but I love the smoky barbecue notes.

I don't always drink vodka, but when I do ... At 1886 I wouldn't be scared of ordering a vodka cocktail. From Prussia with Love (by Brady Weise) brings together blood orange infused vodka, Lillet Rouge, Benedictine, and orange bitters for a vodka cocktail that is sweet, strong, and sophisticated.

What else do I always order? Chai (if you guys have an opinion on where to get the best chai latte, by all means, tell me! I'm always on the hunt). Luckily it's now slightly cold enough for The Snowbird (by Saul Soto): pumpkin spice Chai latte spiked with sum El Dorado rum, Lemonhart, and cinnamon
This winter menu kind of hits so many things I love about winter drinks. I hope you won't think they sound monotone with all the spices, as these aren't the entire menu (I just lean towards ordering these, can't help it). There are a few more I haven't tried and a couple more drinks that were still coming up, so I still need to go back to try these.

1886 Bar
1250 S Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105


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