Caroline on Crack and Twitterland have been a-buzz with Drago’s special Thursday. So if you don’t already know, tomorrow their entire Nuovi Classico (new classics) cocktail menu – normally $12 – will be available for $8 per drink. Yesterday (Tuesday), was when the menu debuted. On H.C. of LA-OC-Foodie‘s and my way to a Whiskey Society meeting over at Seven Grand, we decided to stop by Drago for some tastes.
We met Michael Shearin, who was very gracious, knowledgable and will be sure to take care of you when you stop in tomorrow. Despite this being the day the brand new cocktail menu debuted, I was surprised – with the exception of the Fumo e Fuoco, which Michael promises will have more kick to it when he’s done – at how refined the cocktails were. Favorites were definitely the 5th e Fig (above), Pera (right) and the Poizone Magica No. 2 (below).
If I tried the cocktail, notes are includedÂ under its listing:
- Api e Rose – Plymouth gin, poli miele, rosemary, honey, lemon juice (pic)
A light, refreshing drink. Good aroma (thank you, Rosemary) and a very casual cocktail.
- Arancia meccanica – Sombra mezcal, red bell pepper, cilantro, agave nectar, lime juice, smoked salt (tried a variation not in its final form)
- Espatriato – Buffalo Trace bourbon, fresh ginger, thai basil, orange juice, lemon juice (pic)
Very good, if what H.C. described as a “girly drink.” It’s girly in every good way, though I do admit being partial to basil.Â It’s refreshing and reminiscent of the ginger spritzers the bars are making nowadays.
- 5th e Fig (above) – Bertagnolli grappa, fresh fig, orange juice, lemon juice
Loved the grappa – an often passed-over liqueur but gets major nods in this cocktail. It’s not too sweet,Â very full yet light and the garnish itself (a fig slice) is pleasing to your eye as you sip.
- Fumo e Fuoco – Dewars scotch, birdseye thai chili, honey, lemon juice (right)
If you dare, you may want to gently affirm to your server you’re no weakling when it comes to spice. This is a good introduction to and twist on scotch with the addition of honey and lemon which cuts its usual brawn and keeps it light…and hopefully spicy.
- Oro Bianco – Oxley gin, chamomile syrup, Oro blanco grapefruit
- Pera (above)Â – Belle de brillet poire cognac, Cointreau, lemon juice
Love the pear cognac – a unique main ingredient, and subtly sweetened with Cointreau and made light with lemon juice. Delicious! The cinnamon powdered rim in this drink isn’t mentioned on the menu but in my opinion it’s really the finishing touch.
- Poizone Magica No. 2 – Death Door’s gin, aperol, martini bianco, lemon juice (right)
A close favorite! Love the white gin, which happens to hail fromÂ a remote part ofÂ Wisconsin. Stubborn vodka drinkers would enjoy this. Poison? Perhaps. Deathly? Definitely! You won’t know just how intoxicated you’re becoming by drinking this potion. Don’t forget the brandied cherry on the bottom – if I catch you, you’ll have ‘splainin to do.
- Superstizone – Woodford Reserve bourbon, Kahlua, dry vermouth, Peychaud’s bitters, orange bitters
- Violetta – Belvedere vodka, creme de violette, shiso, vanilla syrup, orange juice (pic)
Lives up to its name – in color, aroma and taste. The shiso cuts the sweetness of it and keeps it interesting, though the cocktail isÂ a bit sweet.