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Photos: 5 New Southern-Inspired Cocktails You Need To Try At Sassafras

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Over at Hollywood's cocktail bar Sassafras—a throwback joint that makes you feel like you're transported to an old-timey saloon in the Bayou—there's a new bar manager stepping up the game with her Southern-inspired drinks.

Karen Grill, formerly of Bestia and Playa, recently joined the Sassafras team and brings her own special creative twists to the bar's menu. She makes her own jams—from blackberry to sweet tomato—which she includes in her cocktails. She also adds New Orleans flavors like chicory to her version of an Old Fashioned; that drink, by the way is called The Yellow King, a nod to a character in HBO's True Detective, which we appreciated.

We visited Sassafras earlier this week to check out some of the 27-year-old bar whiz's cocktails. Some of our favorites included Talking Bird, which was a refreshing rum and lime drink with hints of banana; The Yellow King for its complex flavors; and the well-balanced and fruity, but not overly sweet Hurricane.

Grill told LAist that she often travels to New Orleans and wanted to kick-up some of the area's classic libations—including tiki drinks—that are popular there. She gave us her inspirations behind the drinks, their ties to the South, and her special additions that spruce up some tested-and-true recipes.

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Sassafras is located at 1233 N. Vine Street, Hollywood, (323) 467-2800. Cocktails range from $12 to $14.