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Virtual Happy Hour: Sassafras' Pink Peppercorn Cobbler

(Photo by Krista Simmons/LAist)
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The Southern-themed cocktail bar Sassafras officially opens today, transporting guests to a place where people talk a little slower, the tea is a little sweeter, and the women are sweeter still. The one thing that's not overly-sweet, though, are the cocktails. The well-crafted libations at Sassafras are heavy on the bourbon, which is great if you're really looking for a Southern treat.

Those who are looking for something more sugary can opt for a Sassafras Royal, a rye cocktail with root spirit that uses house made sassafras bitters alongside house-brewed sarsaparilla. But our favorite drink of the evening was the pink peppercorn cobbler, made with delightfully spicy pink peppercorn liqueur, peaches, and whiskey, and then finished with dark Amontillado sherry. There are plenty of juleps and variations on the old fashioned on the menu, too, along with a unique Build-a-Buck menu, where bar goers pick a spirit and one of the various house made ginger beers to flavor to what might be better recognized here in L.A. as a mule. (A “buck” or a “mule” is a cocktail comprised of a spirit, citrus, and ginger beer, like a Moscow mule or a dark and stormy). Another highlight is the barrel aged cocktails, which we haven't tried yet, but they certainly were displayed beautifully on a repurposed dry cleaner's conveyor belt roving atop the bar.

The design of the spaces reminds us of the period pieces crafted by the Houston twins of La Descarga and Harvard and Stone. Those bars serve as little time capsules, and Sassafras follows suit in its eclectic Southern furnishings.

“I have been collecting unique pieces and antiques for years,” says Bobby Green, the proprietor of the 1933 Group who hunted tirelessly for the countless subtleties that bring Sassafras to life. The nightlife conglomerate is also responsible for the various Bigfoot Lodge establishments, Oldfield's Liquor Room, Thirsty Crow, and La Cuevita. “This has been a vision of ours for a long time and we finally found a great spot in Hollywood that would provide us the ability to create the homespun spirit of the Deep Old South… Our mission is to make patrons feel like they’ve come in for a drink and an experience.”

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Live Dixieland music, taxidermied bears, weathered walls and antique chairs all add to that feeling of being in the South, as do the libations. But if you're looking for something less boozy, their house-made sassafras and ginger beers are outrageously good, too. But come on, live a little. It's the weekend!