Villains Tavern is most certainly a destination bar as it’s hidden away in the Arts District near the new Handsome Coffee Roasters. Now serving seasonal cocktails inspired by the garden and shrubs, there are 7 new cocktails to try (they brought back Permafrost from last summer). Bartender Rodney walked us through the cocktail list starting with the Spindle Tree and Angel’s Trumpet.
The Spindle Tree from the Garden section reminded me of bar owner Dave Whitton’s Becherovka cocktail he submitted for the competition a few months back. As it turned out, I was right about the Becherovka. I liked it right away.
The rest of the table really enjoyed Angel’s Trumpet with its lighter pom-ginger-apple shrub. It was very balanced.
Spindle Tree – Russell’s Reserve Rye, Becherovka, honey, mint, bergamot bitters
Angel’s Trumpet – Maker’s 46, pomegranate-ginger-apple shrub, pineapple, mint, ginger beer, bitters
For the next round, everyone loved the tartness of the Lilium while I fancied the Oleander with the lavender bitters. Both were so fresh and appropriate for the spring and upcoming summer months.
Lilium – Plymouth gin, lemongrass, lime, ginger, grapefruit, bitters
Oleander – Leblon cachaca, fresh blackberry shrub, muddled lime, lavender bitters
Although the Stan Lee (hibiscus gin sour) is from the regular menu, Rodney brought it over explaining it went so well with the new cocktails. The bright magenta drink is named after the comic book illustrator, Stan Lee.
We were very excited about the White Snakeroot as it had a few things I loved- Irish whiskey and amaro. I’d like to see this cocktail up next time. While the ice didn’t melt very quickly, I did feel it diluted the cocktail faster than I would have liked which was already lightened by the shrub.
White Snakeroot – Black Bush Irish whiskey, Cardamaro, rosemary & strawberry aged shrub
The Passion Flower was quite nice for vodka drinkers. And the Autumn Crocus is Villains Tavern take on a margarita.
Passion Flower – Haute vodka, fresh kiwi-strawberry juice, lime, basil
Autumn Crocus - Sino reposado tequila, agave, house blended mango, chili, lime, salt
Of the two tequila drinks, I preferred the Venus Flytrap. The tequila is showcased very well and I loved this particular shrub.
Venus Flytrap – Milagro reposado tequila, apricot-orange-muscat shrub, lime, sea salt, orange oils
My favorites this night were Spindle Tree, Stan Lee, Passion Flower and Venus Flytrap.
© The Minty // LACocktails.com 2012