Sipping Sunshine: Thank Your Lucky Stars You Live in LA

By VI NGUYEN
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INTERIOR-DINING-ROOM

When a full-blown vacation isn’t feasible, thank your lucky stars you live in L.A.

With about 40 million tourists making their way to our blessed city each year, you don’t have to go far to escape the monotony of the daily grind. For every skyscraper lacking in our skyline, you’ll find a neighborhood pocket serving up a taste of faraway, exotic lands…or, well, at least a $1 taco.

But LA’s rich culinary diversity, while impressive, isn’t the only thing I would mourn if I left and became an expat in some barren, street cart-less land. What I would really miss are the many dining (and drinking) establishments that whip up killer cocktails—the best, in fact, to ever have graced my taste buds.

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Take The Larchmont, for instance. If you’ve never visited before, you’ll probably walk past the entrance severaltimes trying to find it. Nestled on the corner of a residential street off busy Melrose Ave., this Craftsman-style cottage-meets-bungalow is cozy and elegantly outfitted with marble finishings and a gorgeous fireplace—and you’d never guess that the building itself is over one hundred years old. When I enter, I’m greeted by head mixologist Chris Kramer, who—as is often the case in LA—started out pursuing modeling and before making the switch to hospitality. Though he is the self-proclaimed Gin Whisperer, Kramer’s contribution to this issue is a bourbon-based concoction aptly named “Made in the Shade”—a twist on the “Kentucky Maid” cocktail derived from the “Maid” family of drinks created by Sam Ross (of NYC’s famed Milk & Honey).

Combining bourbon with juicy cucumber, green apple, and fresh mint, the resulting elixir is absolutely sublime. While sneaking in anecdotes of topless bartending stints in Asia, Kramer explains that taking a sip of the “Made in the Shade” is “like biting into a Granny Smith apple.” Indeed, one sip and the drinkwhisks me away to a balmy, sun-soaked day on a Kentucky porch. So why hop on a plane when you’re itching for a reprieve? Stop by The Larchmont and let your taste buds do the traveling instead.

MADE IN THE SHADE:

Ingredients: – green apple – cucumber – mint – lime – 2oz bourbon

Instructions: Combine fresh muddled green apple and cucumber, mint, fresh squeezed lime, bourbon. Shake and strain into a collins glass with column ice. Garnish with a slice of green granny smith apple and mint sprig.

The Larchmont: 5750 Melrose Ave Los Angeles, CA 90038

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