Now that the restrictions that come with a vegan diet fail to faze him, Jeremy Lake, in his second cocktail menu since Crossroads has opened, made efforts to advance the drinks even further and towards a healthful mindset. And if any restaurant in Los Angeles has been successful at reframing how a diet with no animal by-products is viewed, it’s Crossroads. Everything here is delicious – without mention of the usual apologetics – and the new fall cocktail menu is no exception.
If you thought you’d miss egg whites in your cocktail, you’d be surprised by the fake egg whites Jeremy has come up with, used in his Morning Glory Fizz. Famous Grouse and Laphroaig 10 serve as the base, with pastis, lemon, lime and a whipped-up starch concoction that serves as the egg white substitute. You’ll never even miss it.
Tequila drinkers will find a delightful cocktail in The Cause for Alarm, with Chinaco Reposado, dry curacao, lime, agave grenadine and pomegranate seed garnish. It’s a citrus-forward drink with just the right amount of dryness, making it plain delicious thanks to the bit of help from the pom seeds. The Parisian Standard, one of their most popular and a mainstay on the menu, is lighter – if a bit sweet for my tastes. Specify gin or vodka, which is mixed with St. Germain, sparkling rose, pear, lemon, agave and a grapefruit twist for a fruit-forward drink.
Another refreshing cocktail was the La Flaca, for which you choose either vodka or tequila as the base, with dandelion root, lime, cranberry and agave. Apparently, dandelion root is a natural diuretic, keeping this sipper in the same vein of the other health-minded items on the menu.
But while there were many refreshing cocktails, there was a trio of drinks that I really loved for this fall. Seasonal, delicious and truly unique – what more could you ask for?
Forever Young uses Flor de Cana 4 rum as an excellent base, with carrot juice, camu camu and ginger providing all the “youth” one could really drink in a cocktail. (Who knew? The antioxidant-rich camu berry has 60 times more Vitamin C than an orange?) What’s more, it’s more delicious than any pressed juice you’ll find out there. I loved that the carrot served as a natural sweetener, with ginger brightening things up and really making this drink sing.
The Lady From Shanghai, with Mahia fig spirit, Goslings rum, lemon, spiced syrup, Health-Ade probiotic apple kombucha and cinnamon, tasted like fall in a glass. I loved the use of eau de vie – it’s the perfect, dry cocktail without being boozy (if that’s your thing).
Continuing on the autumn tip, the Torn ‘n Frayed is an excellent drink with that touch of spice evocative of this time of year. Made with Pierre Ferrand 10 year cognac, creme de cacao, a special pimento dram and lemon, it’s unexpectedly aromatic thanks to the mint and cinnamon garnishes, which are integral to the drink as you sniff and sip to the bottom of the glass.
There’s something for everyone off Jeremy’s new cocktail menu at Crossroads, and it’s focused appropriately on the season without being too obvious. So many drinks are delicious and quite frankly, go down so easily you’ll find it hard to order just one.
All cocktails were hosted.