Holiday Cheer(s): Where + What to Drink this Season

By VI NGUYEN
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For all its rosy, greeting card imagery, the holiday season can sometimes bring out the worst in us. Let’s face it, shopping for gifts and scouring sales alongside a horde of procrastinators could land even the most patient of shoppers on People of Walmart. So why not take a break with a nice cold drink to calm your nerves and remind you of something almost everyone likes—booze. Whether you’ve been naughty or nice, treat yourself to one of these tasty cocktails.

 

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FIREFLY | Studio City 

This Moroccan-influenced eatery is a mix of rustic and contemporary, offering up fine-dining eats housed in a neighborhood establishment. With a large outdoor area, Firefly is a great spot to catch up with friends for al fresco wining and dining.

DRINK UP: If you mark down the days until Starbucks starts offering their Pumpkin Spice Latte, grab the Pumpkin Spice Cable Car. Featuring spiced rum, lemon juice, and orange juice, the drink is mixed with house-made pumpkin syrup and finished off with a cinnamon-sugar rim. 

gracis

GRACIAS MADRE | West Hollywood

This vegan restaurant dishes out Mexican-inspired bites and fresh, seasonal cocktails. Being plant-based may have its challenges, but the restaurant is known for it’s vibrant ambiance, organic and locally sourced ingredients. Jason Eisner leads the beverage program and serves up colorful concoctions that are as tasty as they are refreshing.

DRINK UP: Tequila anejo melds beautifully with port wine, house pepita pumpkin butter, lemon, demerara, and house aromatic bitters in Pie One On.

 

ledlow eater
Image via Eater LA

LEDLOW’S | DTLA

Josef Centeno is slowly building a downtown empire of eating establishments. Rounding out Centeno’s display of culinary prowess, Ledlow’s joins puffy-taco emporium Baco Mercat and upscale Tex-Mex resto Bar Ama just around the corner, along with Orsa & Winston.

DRINK UP: Grab a seat and go for the Brandy Old Fashioned, a classic cocktail made with brandy, sugar, orange, cherry, and bitters.

 

broken spanish

BROKEN SPANISH | DTLA

This colorful downtown modern Mexican eatery is chef Ray Garcia’s playground for experimentation, where refined technique meets the bold flavors of Latin cooking and the diverse background of a native Angeleno.

DRINK UP: What says holidays like shared inebriation? Divvy up the booze with the homies with the Cazuela, a concoction meant for two (or one if you’re feeling spicy). Made with Mezcal, blanco, Mandarin Napoléon, lime, fresh jicama and pineapple, and Fresno chili, served in a gorgeous earthen Cazuela dish and garnished with flowers.

 

loteria
Image via Veggies to Go

LOTERIA GRILL | Various Locations

This Mexican restaurant group grew from an open-air stall at the Farmers Market into a well-respected chain of restaurants even the snobbiest of foodies will still visit. Their regional cooking is award winning and offers everything from Chicharron de Queso to thirst-quenching agua frescas.

DRINK UP: The crimson hue of a michelada topped with a lime slice is an easy excuse for holiday drinking. A seemingly odd mix of ingredients, a michelada normally includes a mix of components like beer, Clamato (exactly what you think it is), and some hot sauce. Loteria Grill serves up several variations. Try the version laced with Worcestershire, Maggi, Tapatío, and lime juice.

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