7 Surprisingly Awesome Vodka Drinks To Try In Los Angeles
The craft cocktails bars of Los Angeles are very much into mixing whiskey, tequila and gin drinks, but let's not forget about that spirit we got to know very well during college: vodka.
Alie Ward & Georgia Hardstark, the Cooking Channel duo of Tripping Out with Alie & Georgia and Unique Sweets, want us to give vodka drinks another chance. (The two also host a weekly podcast called "Slumber Party with Alie and Georgia.") The cocktail aficionados, who now live a mile away from each other in Los Feliz, gave LAist their hand-picked list of seven of their favorite vodka drinks throughout the city—from a complex and fruity vodka cocktail to a behemoth bloody Mary.
Messhall's Amanda cocktail (Photo courtesy of Messhall)
Messhall's Amanda Cocktail:
It's made of Serrano chili and cilantro-infused potato vodka, lime and pineapple juice. "It’s tart and spicy and a little herbaceous, and it’s one of those drinks where if you’re a craft cocktails snob and you don’t do vodka, get the Amanda and then see what you have to say about it," Ward said.
Messhall is located at 4500 Los Feliz Blvd., Los Feliz, (323) 660-6377. The Amanda costs $12.
Cole's Moscow Mule:
"A lot of people don’t know that the Moscow Mule was invented in Los Angeles," Ward said. "Cole’s has been a bar pre-Prohibition and they have such history in the city. And they serve it in a copper mug like it should be done. It’s done with vodka, lime juice and ginger beer. There’s nothing like getting a classic L.A. cocktail in one of the oldest bars in the city in a mug where you feel like you’re a train-hopping hobo with it."
Cole's is located at 118 E 6th St., downtown, (213) 622-4090. Their Moscow Mule costs $11 during regular hours, and $8 during happy hour, which is daily from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. to 1 a.m., and all day on Tuesdays.
Eveleigh's "In Between Days" cocktail (Photo via Instagram)
Eveleigh's In Between Days Cocktail:
This cocktail's made with vodka and house-made grapefruit-tarragon cordial.
"[Eveleigh's] a hike on the cultural skid mark of the Sunset Strip, but the barman there, Dave Kupchinsky—otherwise known as Old Man Winter—he’s our drink hero," Ward said. (They said they endearingly call him "Old Man Winter" on account of him being grumpy.) Eveleigh makes a lot of the syrups and mixtures in-house.
"The tarragon and grapefruit combination is delicious and the color of the cocktail is out of this world," Hardstark said.
Eveleigh is located at 8752 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, (424) 239-1630. The In-Between Days cocktail costs $12.
The Roost's Vodka Sodas:
Hardstark felt like she had to give Atwater Village's The Roost a shout-out because it was where she and Ward used to hang out at back in the day when they didn't have a lot of money and "hadn't developed a certain palate." [This is a] classic, cash-only dive bar," Hardstark said. "We would order vanilla vodka and soda plus cherries and it was like $5, and the bartender there is the sweetest woman. It has a great jukebox and Elliot Smith used to hang out there."
Hardstark suggested that you could always walk over to The Griffin or Tam O'Shanter on the same block later to get a "legit cocktail," but she thinks the Roost is always good for a first or last stop on that block.
The Roost is located at 3100 Los Feliz Blvd., Atwater Village, (323) 664-7272. Vodka sodas cost $5.
Franklin & Company's Bloody Royale (Photo via Facebook)
Franklin & Company's Bloody Royale::
Hardstark called Franklin & Company's Bloody Royale a "$15 vodka monstrosity." Its garnish is the impressive part; it has a celery stalk, green olive, a pickle spear, bacon-wrapped roasted jalapeno, pickled tomatillo, a fried onion ring, pepper jack cheese, roasted Brussels sprouts, and a burger slider perched atop of the Bloody Mary. Hardstark said, "It's all garnish" and that "it's all you need for brunch."
Franklin & Company is located at 5923 Franklin Ave., Franklin Village, (323) 463-1552. The Bloody Royale is $15.
The Edison's The Mistress Cocktail:
The Mistress cocktail is made with vodka, lemon, pomegranate, and Prosecco. "It’s a little sweet from the Prosecco but not too sweet because I’m not crazy about super simple-syrup laden cocktails," Hardstark said. "But the pomegranate and Prosecco are nice...with a little tartness from the lemon and also the pomegranate. It’s really well-balanced."
The Edison is located at 108 W 2nd St #101, downtown, (213) 613-0000. The Mistress cocktail is $14.
Bar Lubitsch's Vodka Shots
"Bar Lubitsch is such a vodka bar, so if you’re a straight vodka shots drinker just go to Bar Lubitsch," Ward said. Hardstark suggests to try one of the bar's straight vodkas that are soaking in some type of fruit; she's seen grapefruit and pineapple in the past. "Just get that on the rocks. It’s perfect. You don’t need soda with it but if you’re kind of a wuss then you can get soda with that," she said.
Bar Lubitsch is located at 7702 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, (323) 654-1234. The prices of the vodka drinks vary.