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Taste Test the Waters

Published on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 | 11:07 am

Even though they’re a new kid on the block, craft-cocktail bar Magnolia House is fast becoming one of Pasadena’s best drinking destinations.

The bar features innovative cocktails and drink specials along with a substantial menu that will expand your horizons…and your palate!

The menu is a collaboration between expert cocktail craftsman Evan Zimmerman and Colin Shearn, bar star for the past 15 years. Zimmerman developed the cocktail concept—Shearn executed it.

The result is a smorgasbord of drinks with flavors ranging from light to boozy. Here are some of their winning cocktails:

BeFunky_Magnolia House - King Crab Mac and Cheese.jpgThe Mendocino Sour is Zimmerman’s take on the Whiskey Sour that incorporates Rooibos tea, lavender and fino sherry, while The Lumberjack’s Breakfast features blended scotch, apple brandy, maple and cardamom syrup, lemon, and egg white.

The Barracuda is a classic cocktail Mexican Firing Squad with a contemporary twist—this uses celery bitters instead of Angostura. The Copper Heart #2, on the other hand, contains a mix of pisco, lemon, grapefruit and cinnamon.

Other must-try drinks are the Phantom Engineer, a concoction of mezcal, rye, Cocchi Americano, lime and grapefruit; Love is Not a Victory March, an all-spirits combo of Genever, Green Chartreuse, Campari and all-spice dram; Wicked Game which contains jalapeño infused gin and watermelon blended with vermouth, honey, lemon and bitters; Crown City which is powered by rum, rye whiskey, bitters and orange, cacao and banana liqueurs; and the refreshing Everyday Sunshine, a pleasant vodka drink with pineapple, raspberry, lime, vermouth and a touch of bittersweet Aperol.

Not a big fan of cocktails? Magnolia House also carries non-alcoholic beverages, wines, and ten draft beers.

For the lightweights out there (it’s ok, it’s not your fault), you’re going to want to check out their snacks and small plates. Noteworthy items from the menu are the King Crab Mac and Cheese, House Burger (made with house-made American cheese, dill pickle remoulade, bacon and bourbon-caramelized onions), Korean Chicken Wings, and the Moroccan Lamb Meatballs.

Magnolia House is located at 492 South Lake Avenue, Pasadena. For more information, call (626) 584-1126 or visit


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