The Fio-Lolita at Vertical Wine Bistro (not one of our special cocktails, keep reading!)
You may have already heard, Fiona Chandra of Gourmet Pigs, Matt Robold of Rumdood, and myself will be mixing cocktails for Haitian Libations, a charity event that will be held at Vertical Wine Bistro.
We've spent weeks planning this event as a charity fundraiser until the earthquake hit Haiti. We quickly decided to divert our fundraising efforts to Haiti. For this event, we will be directing our fundraising efforts to Artists for Peace and Justice. Well-known director/screenwriter Paul Haggis and actress Maria Bello will be taking funds they raise and hand-delivering them to Haiti. 50% of profits from the bar will be given to the charity.
As for cocktails, expect only the best that three cocktail loving bloggers can make. Would I pit these drinks against the extraordinary finesse and creativity of Eric Alperin (The Varnish), Marcos Tello (The Tar Pit), or Julian Cox (Rivera)? Hecks no. Those guys are consummate professionals, bartenders who will continue to revolutionize the cocktail bar scene in L.A. for years to come. However, I believe that Matt, Fiona, and I have been very thoughtful about the three drinks we'll be mixing.
First up, the Aviation. This is a classic drink that's been revived by cocktail enthusiasts and usually comes with a hint of the previously hard-to-find Creme de Violette. We won't be having any Violette since most people are turned off by it, but we will make this drink according to standard.
Next, we'll be stirring up a Vieux Carre, a classic New Orleans drink. I absolutely loved the Vieux Carre I had a little while ago at Alembic in San Francisco's Haight-Asbury. This will be a good drink for those that want something with a little more heft, since it combines cognac and rye whiskey.
Lastly, we'll be mixing up a Port-Au-Prince, which Matt Robold fashioned after The Last Word. This drink will incorporate a Rhum Barbarcourt 8, a specialty rum from Haiti (it's going to be tough since the distribution is naturally a bit tough right now). The drink is a beautiful grapefruit color and has a balance of sweet and sour.
Of course, since the bar is open, you can still order off the food menu, which has mini crab cakes, date poppers, and truffle fries, three things that happen to be my favorites at the moment. Drinks from Nikki Rincon's regular cocktail menu are also available, including the Fio-Lolita (shown above), which is a blueberry cocktail that also had a hint of Fiona's moniker in there after she recommended (and provided) Nikki with Fee Brother's Rhubarb bitters to round out the flavors. The drink is refreshing, tart, and just plain delicious.
The fundraiser goes into effect at 10PM on February 6th until closing, which hopefully will go past 1Am (perhaps longer if people stick around).