Border Grill not only rolled out its new holiday cocktails recently, it launched their handcrafted seasonal cocktail program at the Downtown Los Angeles location. The “Two Hot Tamales” and Top Chef Masters alums, Chefs Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken have always been committed to fresh, local and sustainable ingredients. With this respect to the environment, it’s not a big leap to add a seasonal cocktail menu. It is planned to change this menu about every two months but not to worry, your favorite Border Grill margaritas, mojitos and sangria will always be available.
I was invited last week to check out the new list.
For the holidays, the Cranhattan with Herradura Anejo tequila, fresh cranberry puree, cranberry syrup and house-made brandied cranberries is Cantinero (bartender) Alexander Fazio’s rendition of a tequila Manhattan. He and bar manager Mary King explained the house-made brandied cranberries was this cocktail’s special touch. It’s very light and some would say would go down too easy. I say the lightness means you could have one or two and then head to the mistletoe!
I love that the brandied cranberries also showed up on this simple plate of cheese, mango and avocado for us to snack on while we continued to explore the cocktail menu.
I’ve had these quinoa fritters from various food festivals around town from the Border Grill truck. How nice they made it to the brick and mortar menu.
Next up is the Otra Vez with Corralejo Reposado tequila, yerba mate tea, mint, agave and lemon. This was the perfect cocktail for sipping and to pair with food.
Border Grill also sent out some vegetarian tacos including the avocado tacos that are only $3 during happy hour (or $8 for 3). We also beet tacos that aren’t normally on the menu. Happy Hour by the way is every day! Monday through Fridays (4-8 PM), reverse happy hour on Friday and Saturdays (9-11 PM) and all night on Sunday (4-9P).
Pumpkin is surely the King of all squashes so this cocktail, the King of Squash features Herradura Anejo tequila, pumpkin syrup, mezcal mist garnished with rosemary and candied ginger. Lovers of pumpkin will enjoy this smoothly sweet cocktail.
I would almost recommend the plantain empanadas for dessert. With just a touch of sweetness, these emapanadas are actually a bit savory with black beans, poblano and cotija cheese. Or just go with the churro tots.
My next favorite cocktail was the Marco Pisco. The Oro Pisco quebranta was mixed with green apple puree, coconut milk, cinnamon and chocolate bitters. The froth comes from the coconut milk foam. It’s probably the most “molecular” of all the cocktails but at the same time, still accessible.
The Kumquat Caipirinha features Leblon cachaca, fresh kumquat puree, agave and thyme.
With a nod to the Nutcracker and the holiday season, this Sloe Sugarplum Fizz is made with Sloe Plymouth gin, holiday plum, lemon and soda. Although sugar is in its name, it’s quite a tart and refreshing drink.
The cantinero’s creation changes weekly and can be served as a shot ($6) or a cocktail. This particular one was a bit sweet for me so I actually would like it as a cocktail, perhaps topped with soda or ginger.
These cocktails will be available through mid-January and for now are only at the Downtown LA location.
All holiday cocktails are $13.
Los Angeles – 445 S Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90071 – (213) 486-5171