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Food

Seven Grand's Three-fer

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Drinks (R to L): Dublin Flip, Hot Toddy, Irish Coffee | Photos by Elise Thompson

This winter, Seven Grand in downtown LA is offering three specialty winter drinks. Seven Grand's interior is hardcore Irish Scottish kitsch, with mounted stags and birds. Yet they manage to keep it tasteful. It is like a cross between a private English club and a pub. Like all of the bars opened by 213, the professional mixologists are knowledgable and friendly, and smokers are taken into consideration. There is a large selection of cigars for sale, and a nice smoking (and cell phone) patio. In spite of the old boy's club atmosphere, women will not feel out-of-place. In fact, Wednesday nights they have "chick bands" and offer a Maker's Mark special. Why Maker's Mark is the chick whiskey I don't know. So, on to the winter special taste-off.

The first drink on on the menu is the Dublin Flip, mixologist Patrick Kelly's take on the traditional flip. It is made with "Irish whiskey, honey, bitters and cream". It surprised me by being served up icy cold in a martini glass. Super icy, and yes, winter-y. It was similar to a white russian, sweet, milky and delicious. Definitely a chick drink.

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According to Seven Grand, the hot toddy was first listed in Jerry Thomas's 1862 How to Mix Drinks. Seven Grand's version uses "Old Overholt Rye Whiskey, Honey Syrup, & Mulling Spices". It was a delicious toddy, with nicely balanced spices. However, I would have preferred a few decorative cloves in the glass rather than the full-on mulled experience. Halfway to the bottom, the chunks of crushed spice and citrus peel made it like cereal for alcoholics.

Next I tried the standard Irish coffee, created by Joe Sheridan in 1942 at Foynes Airport, Ireland. Seven Grand uses the traditional "Power's Irish Whiskey, Coffee, and Fresh Whipping Cream, a-la-minute". The coffee was strong and fresh, and the cream was thick and rich. They did not add sugar, so I asked for a little simple syrup, which made the drink perfection. I was getting a-la-wasted, so I headed out to stare at the beautiful downtown skyline and bask in the urban glory.