My 50 Favorite Cocktails of 2012

49 The Eveleigh's Cynar Julep by Caroline on Crack

49 The Eveleigh's Cynar Julep by Caroline on Crack

I had a lot to do today but for some reason I felt compelled to do this post. 2012 was a kickass awesome year for me. I went to Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans and Portland Cocktail Week for the first time, got a nice LA Weekly Web Award, my Drink Here app debuted and I scored a gig as the booze blogger for Los Angeles Magazine’s Digest blog. 2012, I salute you. And what better way to remember the year than with a list of my top 50 favorite cocktails? These are listed in chronological order, from January to December 2012.

1. 320 Main‘s Oude Old Fashioned: barrel-aged Genever, gomme syrup, bitters, lemon twist

2. Sadie‘s Float: carbonated Campari & Peychauds bitters ice cream

3. Playa‘s Ball Drop: Single Village Mezcal, dry gin, lime, Velvet Falernum, Yuzu tincture, cayenne

4. Tiki Ti‘s Diki Diki: grapefruit, Calvados, gin

5. Ammo‘s Dominicano: Citadelle gin, Dolin Blanc, Dolin Rouge, Aperol, orange bitters

6. Black Market Liquor Bar‘s Fade to Black103 proof bourbon, clement canne syrup, walnut bitters

7. Library Bar‘s Lost in Laos: coconut milk, agave, Green chartreuse, lime juice

8. The Eveleigh‘s A Word: Tanqueray, yellow chartreuse, lime. This cocktail from Zahra Bates’ guest tending stink required you eat the frozen grapes first and enjoy the cocktail after.

9. The Roger Room‘s Sugar Daddy: Tres Reyes Blanco, crushed strawberries, lemon juice, agave nectar, egg white

10. Drago Centro‘s Night and the City: Hayman’s Old Tom Gin, Bittermens Hellfire, Miracle Mile Candy Cap mushroom bitters, heirloom tomato shrub, black pepper and squid ink syrup, fresh horseradish

11. Vesper‘s Black Widow: Fernet Branca, porter, hand whipped bourbon cream

12. The Eveleigh’s Sangria: South African rose, brandy, Aperol, lavender, apricot, Asian pear, grapes, citrus

13. Tasting Kitchen‘s Summer Shrub Spritzer: watermelon white pepper shrub, gin, dry vermouth, lime, sparkling wine, club soda

14. Playa‘s A Vicious Rumor: butter-washed mescal, lemon, peach brandy, celery shrub, cinnamon bark tincture

15. Baco Mercat‘s Inca Punch: pisco, chicha morada shrub, lemon, lime, pineapple

16. Sadie’s Awesome Possum: Auchentoshan Classic, strawberry soda, vanilla ice cream, fresh strawberries. By Lindsay Nader for Art Beyond the Glass.

17. 1886′s Lebowski Achiever: Smog City Coffee Porter, vodka, creme de cacao by Brady of 1886. Beery deelish White Russian.

18. 1886‘s Paleta Pop Shot: strawberries and cream rum Popsicle.

19. Playa’s Sol y Sombra: cognac, Mezcal, rye, coffee-infused blanc vermouth, Spanish anisette. Would totally go well with a cigar.

20. Sazerac Bar‘s 1840 Sazerac: Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac, Demerara sugar syrup, Peychaud’s bitters, Herbsaint Legendre rinsed glass

21. Cure‘s Choco-tini by Neal Bodenheimer. Cocoa nib-infused gin, Noilly Pratt, Bittermens tiki, mole bitters.

22. The Varnish‘s Nice Legs: Gin, Barolo Chinato, Gentian, orange peel

23. The Parish’s Nightshift: bourbon, Czech Fernet, Espresso, Pu-Erh Tea, chocolate syrup and milk

24. Corner Door‘s Mezcallin: mezcal, lemon, ginger, pineapple gomme

25. Neat‘s Be the Reds! Leblon Cachaca, muddled strawberries, lemon juice, soda water, Berenjager boba. Special boba cocktail for a Korean-themed event.

26. Jones Hollywood‘s Erin Rose: Baileys cream, espresso, sugar and Jameson. Eric Tecosky’s ode to New Orleans bar Erin Rose’s iced coffee cocktail.

27. Noble Experiment‘s variation of Manhattan with Buffalo Trace, creme de cacao, Barolo Chinato, barrel aged whiskey bitters

28. A-Frame‘s Prestige Worldwide: Agricole rhum, strawberry, punt e mes, chartreuse, lemon

29. The FamousVitulli: rye, Amaro Nonino, Fernet, sweet vermouth

30. Cana Rum Bar‘s Apache Knuckleduster: rye, imperial ipa & stout syrup, luxardo bitter, Amaro meletti

31. 1886′s Ursulines: Sazerac with Cafe du Monde coffee-infused rye, demerara sugar, Creole bitters

32. Playa’s Mexican’t Buy Me Love aka adult horchata with mezcal, anejo, cinnamon bark syrup, horchata, barrel aged bitters canela

33. PKNY by way of Sadie‘s Trinidad Sour: Angostura Bitters, lime, orgeat, rye

34. Seven Grand‘s Iced Irish Coffee

35. Clyde Common‘s Daiquiri

36. Rum Club‘s Rum Club Old Fashioned: Bacardi 8 & Smith & Cross rums, bitters, Demerara syrup

37. Picca Peruvian Cantina‘s Sweet Papa Zarate: aged demerara rum, sweet potato, cinnamon syrup, lemon, clover honey, baking spices, egg white, nutmeg

38. Trattoria NeapolisBarrel aged Death & Taxes with scotch, gin, Benedictine, orange bitters

39. Bar & Kitchen‘s Choose Your Own Adventure: brown butter potato vodka, apple brandy, sherry, cinnamon, pear

40. Cole‘s White Russian: Karlsson’s vodka, Cafe Lolita, blended whipped cream

41. City Tavern’s Headless Horseman: Pumpkin-infused Bulleit Rye, nutmeg, brown sugar, cinnamon barrel-aged for five weeks

42. Providence‘s The Operator: Atlantico Platino, housemade Pisco honey liqueur, seedles green grape juice, pineapple sage foam in a Pernod rinsed glass

43. Picca Peruvian Cantina’s Apricot With Your Pants Down: Pisco, apricot brandy, Cocchi Americano, simple, juniper air. Couldn’t stop myself from guzzling it.

44. Craft‘s secret stash of Negroni barrel aged a year

45. SAAM at SLS Hotel‘s rum cotton candy cocktail with truffle salt

46. Magic Castle‘s Fields of Copper: scotch, Punt e Mes, honey syrup, Luxardo

47. Ray’s and Stark Bar’s Phil’s Lamumba: MelettI Chocolate, Terry Centenario brandy, Calisaya Amaro

48. Short Order’s Breakfast with the Duke: Templeton rye, fair coffee liqueur, Connemara Irish whiskey, mole bitters, tobacco aromatics. Chocolate and smoke.

49.The Eveleigh’s Cynar Julep: Cynar, grapefruit, mint, cane sugar

50. Spare Room‘s Running Leaf: bourbon, maple syrup, cider, lemon, rosemary liqueur. Made me want a cigar, fireplace and slanket.

8 Responses to My 50 Favorite Cocktails of 2012
  1. Food GPS
    January 6, 2013 | 10:53 am

    Wow, Caroline. This is seriously epic. Other Angelenos clearly have a lot of work to do to keep pace. How many total cocktails would you say you drank in 2012?

    • Caroline on Crack
      January 6, 2013 | 2:12 pm

      Oh man, who knows how many I drank? All I can say is thank goodness for Instagram for “helping” me remember the good ones. :)

  2. Michael / South Bay Foodies
    January 6, 2013 | 4:58 pm

    I true social media speak, I “like” this. Here’s to a very well imbibed 2013. Salud!

    • Caroline on Crack
      January 6, 2013 | 5:06 pm

      Cheers! Here’s hoping my liver will survive any efforts to top 2012. ;)

  3. Bianca
    January 7, 2013 | 3:13 pm

    THIS POST IS AMAZING. I have bookmarked it and printed it out and highlighted cocktails I MUST try. Thank you for putting this together!

    • Caroline on Crack
      January 7, 2013 | 3:23 pm

      Hee! Thanks! By the way, a lot of these were seasonal cocktails so might not be available anymore. But hopefully the bartenders will remember them.

  4. Nick
    January 10, 2013 | 2:33 pm

    Just come across Caroline on Crack via Tales of the Cocktail. Wowzers seriously impressed by this awesome list; excellent thanks for posting it. I’ve reposted it on our Fb page and look forward to reading more of your stuff. Great name btw – salams, Nick The Alchemist – Africa & Greece

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