Los Angeles always has the same telltale signs of spring: the Jacarandas offer their magnificent purple blooms, convertible owners start dropping their tops, but this time around, thereâs even more reason to celebrate: The Raymond Restaurant & 1886 Bar officially re-open tonight after three weeks of a full kitchen remodel, and theyâre kicking things off with the release of their latest spring cocktail list! And the 1886 crew is bringing in an even newer spin to their traditional four-category menu approach with four entirely new categories; Soda Pop Shop, Study of Charles Baker, Time For Tea, and Anatomy Of A Meal. For their latest list of libations, they dug deep for inspiration and found it in interesting and unlikely places, translating each concept into a collection of cocktails destined to capture your imagination along with your taste buds.
The menu had survived for so long and performed well with those staples, and I think we had played within those boundaries for a good long while,â explains consultant Marcos Tello. âIt was time to push it to the next level, while also coloring outside the lines. Weâre blessed with a very talented bar team thatâs made up with a mix of original core members and some new up-and-comers. We have really created a culture at 1886, so it gives us the ability to stretch the limits of what we can do.â
Judging from this seasonâs list, thereâs no limits to what the 1886 bar team is capable of. The first section of new spring libations is Soda Pop Shop, featuring a selection of four drinks that celebrate everything carbonated and refreshing. But the story goes deeper than that. As Tello tells it, not only is this section a nod to
Pasadenaâs famed Fair Oaks Pharmacy and its old-school soda fountain, but back in the days of prohibition, many talented barkeeps had to take jobs as soda jerks to keep the money coming in. So which drink best exemplifies the spirit of the Soda Pop section? Says Tello, âI love Brady Weiseâs Coke & A Smile. Itâs just amazing, and it almost tastes like an egg cream phosphate, but itâs bitter and has a Coke flavor to it. Itâs made with Rye whiskey, Fernet Menta, Galliano Ristretto, a whole egg, and Mexican Coke, and we then strain it back into a classic Coke bottle and serve.â
Next up, the inventive Study of Charles Baker. An esteemed writer who shared his views on traveling, food and drink with such esteemed publications such as Esquire, Town & Country and Gourmet Magazine, Baker eventually culled his favorite recipes in a two-volume book called The Gentlemanâs Companion. âSo many people have recreated the drinks exactly as they were done back in 1939 when the books came out, but you canât really do that today, because they were using different ingredients back then,â Tello says. âPlus, the fact that Baker was a world traveler and his ingredients are hard to find. So, at 1886, we took the best versions of our favorite drinks from his travels, and tailored them to 1886 Bar so we could share them with everyone.â
Of the more notable cocktails in this section of four sips, Remember the Maine, a sweeter version of the classic Manhattan, hosts a glassful of Rye, Sweet Vermouth, Cherry Heering and Absinthe, while the Holland Razor Blade combines Bols Genever, sugar, lemon and cayenne.
If youâre looking for the perfect addition to a lovely afternoon, Time For Tea has you covered. This sectionâs trio of tea-infused libations comes courtesy of colleagues creating cocktails in New York and London, and each recalls the simple joys of having a mid-day break accompanied by a little cuppa. Of course, these cuppas have a little zing to them, but theyâre still wonderfully refined and pair well with a stunning patio setting. Take, for example, the Earl Grey Martini, created by New York Mixologist Audrey Saunders. Its blend of Earl Grey-infused gin, lemon, sugar and egg white is sure to please.
And finally, the most ambitious section of all: Anatomy of a Meal. Though, the 1886 crew has collaborated with the kitchen to help create many new inventive additions to their signature cocktails in the past, theyâve never really delved into drafting drinks to pair with the kitchenâs meal offeringsâ¦ until now. âAt 1886, we like to do long explorations into things. People say, âI played with that,â and my question is âDid you master it, or did you play with it?â We like to master things,â Tello notes. âPeople think itâs easy to pair cocktails with meals, and itâs not. Itâs something that weâre just barely trying to explore, and weâre sharing that exploration with our clientele by inviting them to try these new cocktails and give us feedback. The Raymond has a new kitchen and Executive Chef Tim Guiltinan and Pastry Chef Jeffrey Haines are firing on all cylinders, so now itâs time for us to play with some flavors.â And, all of the bases are covered in this section, from a palate cleanser in the form of the Sprezzatura, with Campari, Cynar and grapefruit soda to the shellfish dish-friendly Mama Loves Mango with Mezcal, tequila, mango, citrus, cayenne, and cocktails that compliment red meat and game dishes, as well as dessert.
So belly up to 1886 Bar at The Raymond Restaurant for a fabulous feast of liquid flavors that represent spring. The 1886 crew are waiting for you!
For more information about 1886 Barâs new spring menu or reservations at The Raymond Restaurant, please call (626) 441-3136 or visitÂ www.theraymond.com.
SPRING COCKTAIL MENU
SODA POP SHOP
As a tribute to all our barkeeps who had to hang up their shakers and turn to becoming âSoda Jerksâ during the years of prohibition. We offer this section as a nod to everything carbonated & refreshing.
Created by Greg Gertmentian
The spring release of our seasonal house bottled soda.
Damrak Gin, Strawberries, Lemon, Indonesian Long Pepper
âCoke & A Smileâ
Created by Brady Weise
A boozy tribute to the American icon presented in its original packaging.
Rye, Fernet Menta, Galliano Ristretto, Whole Egg, Coca-Cola
Created by Brady Weise
We recreated the timeless, classic âSidecarâ using a Weisse (complete with its own side car!). Cognac, Curacao, Lemon, Hefeweizen
Created by Lacey Murillo, Pete Lloyd-Jones & Gillian Georges
A refreshing toast to the East Indies and all the seamen who wish they had one of these on their long voyages. Batavia Arrack, Curry Lime Cordial, Soda
STUDY OF CHARLES BAKER
Baker spent much of his life traveling the world and chronicling food and drink recipes for such publications as Esquire, Town and Country, and Gourmet. He collected many of those recipes in his 2 volume set, “The Gentlemans Companionâ, originally published in 1939. Here we share some of his travels with you.
Holland Razor Blade
Discovered in Batavia in 1931.
Bols Genver, Sugar, Lemon, Cayenne
Mexican Firing Squad
Created at the La Cucaracha Bar, Mexico City, 1937.
Tequila, Grenadine, Lime, Bitters
Daisy de Santiago
Introduced to Mr. Baker by Don Facundo Bacardi.
Rum, Lime, Yellow Chartreuse
Remember the Maine
âA hazy memory of night in Havana during the unpleasantness of 1933.â
Rye, Sweet Vermouth, Cherry Heering, Absinthe
TIME FOR TEA
Tea time is a time to set down and enjoy the afternoon with company. Weâve invited three of our most respected colleagues for tea, and would like to share their libations with you.
Earl Grey Martini
Created by Audrey Saunders, NY.
Earl Grey infused Gin, Lemon, Sugar, Egg White
Liquor-ish Whiskey Smash
Created by Chad Solomon, NY
Licorice infused Rye, Benedictine, Lemons, Mint
G,G, & T
Created by Nick Strangeway, LONDON
Gin, Galliano, Verbena Tea
ANATOMY OF A MEAL
So often people ask us what cocktails pair with which dish? We find this extremely difficult since each cocktail and every dish are so complex and different. Weâve set out four cocktails which we think pair well with different categories of food. Still a work in progress, we encourage your feedback.
Created by Pete Lloyd-Jones
Please consider trying before your meal to cleanse your palate
Campari, Cynar, Grapefruit Soda
Mama Loves Mango
Created by Rosie Ruiz
Try pairing with dishes where fish or shellfish take center stage.
Mezcal, Tequila, Mango, Citrus, Cayenne
Dinner at the Gamble House
Created by Nikita Minin
Try pairing with red meat or game.
Cedar infused Bourbon, East India Sherry, Sweet Vermouth
Created by Greg Gertmenian
A good idea for dessert or along side it.
2 types of Rum, Sweet Vermouth, Amaro Cio Ciaro