We sat in the back room at Sassafras Saloon within full view of all the glorious decor including the giant stuffed bear in the corner.
First we started out with a dram of Black Grouse as we listened to the special activities the bar does including smoking sugar and rosemary.
For our first cocktail, we tasted the Smoked Rose. It was initially too sweet for us with both the rosemary simple syrup and a modifier like Yellow Chartreuse. I would bring the Yellow Chartreuse down a notch, perhaps .50 oz instead of the listed .75 oz. I did wonder what this cocktail would be like if we used a bit of Green Chartreuse. Would it pick up more of the herbal notes from the smoked rosemary? The good thing about experimenting is you can drink your results.
To smoke the rosemary, you can toast it over an open flame such as a small candle.
Once prepared, you can trap some of the smoke into the glass for a cool effect.
- 2 oz The Black Grouse
- .5 oz rosemary syrup
- .75 Yellow Chartreuse
- 1 sprig of smoked rosemary
Stir all except smoked rosemary, strain into glass and garnish with smoked rosemary sprig.
For those who love Old Fashioneds, the Black in Fashion would be a cool variation. Sassafras smoked the sugar cube by burning the staves off old whiskey barrels.
Black in Fashion
- 2.5 oz The Black Grouse
- 1 smoked sugar cube
- 3 dashes aromatic bitters
Muddle the smoked sugar cube with The Black Grouse and bitters until dissolved, stir with ice into rocks glass.
After Sassafras, we hopped on a shuttle (aka booze bus) to Next Door Lounge.
We were welcomed with more drams of Black Grouse.
The first cocktail we had at NDL was a sour. By this point, it was much appreciated to have a lighter yet still flavorful cocktail.
- 1.75 oz The Black Grouse
- .25 oz Velvet Falernum
- .75 oz lemon juice
- .5 oz simple syrup
- .25 oz egg white
- Yellow Chartreuse rinse
Dry shake the first five ingredients, then shake with ice and strain into a Yellow Chartreuse rinsed glass. To create star design, spritz Angostura bitters onto a star stencil.
Perfect for fall is the Smokin’ Apple. I was reminded of oatmeal apple (as opposed to oatmeal raisin) cookies. It was a bit too sweet for me so I went back to drinking Black Grouse neat. Thank goodness for the booze bus!
- 1.5 oz The Black Grouse
- .5 oz Berentzen Apple liqueur
- .75 oz apple juice
- .25 oz lemon juice
- .5 oz plum syrup
Shake all ingredients together, strain into glass, garnish with grilled apple slice.
Next Door Lounge is working on new bar hidden behind it. I got a sneak peek at the construction and it’s going to be a speakeasy within a speakeasy!
Next Door Lounge
1154 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, CA (323) 465-5505
© The Minty // LA Cocktails 2013