DRINK OF THE WEEK: Blue Tavern’s Bloodsugarsexmagik


So here’s the way the world (sometimes) works. Deysi Alvarez was born in El Salvador, raised in Colombia, and finds her way much later to Los Angeles, but the apartment she lives in downtown is right above Rivera, one of the premiere South American restaurants. She ditches her real estate career to learn everything she can about mixology, by hook or by bloody crook. And several restaurants later, here she is, in charge of Blue Tavern’s cocktail list (as well as several down in L.A.).

Ms. Alvarez wants to keep her drinks fresh and simple, but that doesn’t mean uninteresting. She just wants the drinks to get to us faster. The signature drink of Blue Tavern’s Peruvian theme is the Pisco Sour, which comes in a beautiful coupé glass and features a “branded” letter B on the egg white foam on top made from bitters and cinnamon essence sprayed on it. (The bar, by the way, has seven varieties of pisco, Peru’s national liquor, to sample).

There are classics on the menu with an Alvarez twist, too. The Maracuya Caipirinha uses passion fruit and Leblon cachaça for a tropical and indulgent taste; the Mojito de Martinique uses the very strong and adult Clément rum instead of the usual Bacardi; and the Margarita uses an orange reduction instead of triple sec as well as a hint of gusano salt, made from the worms that eat agave, all earthy and amazing.

But we leave you with the recipe for the BloodSugarSexMagik, which meshes red pepper and basil into a delicious rye drink for those who are still unsure about whiskey… It’s our Drink of the Week!

1 ounce fresh lemon wedges (about 1 whole small lemon)
% ounces agave nectar
1 slice red bell pepper (V£ inch wide) (plus extra one for garnish)
3 large basil leaves (plus extra one for garnish)
2 ounces rye whiskey (preferably Old Overholt)

Muddle lemon, agave, bell pepper and basil. Add rye and ice and shake. Strain into lowball glass filled with ice. Garnish with another slice of red pepper and a basil leaf.

Blue Tavern
119 State St. 845-0989 or www.bluetavernsb.com

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