The Taste makes a Splash with Cocktail Confidential

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By Samantha Abrahmsohn

A toast to The Taste LA’s Cocktail Confidential, as the Viva LA Foodies crew saddled up to the proverbial bar last Saturday night for an evening celebrating the beverage, awash with color and flavor throughout the Paramount back lot. 
Food pairings this evening were conversely concocted to compliment the cocktail, for a change, with fresh herbs, spices and juices playing understudy to a host of great liquors.

An interesting thing to note was method of service. Sparse were the ubiquitous LA cocktails layered with three colors and topped with a host of foliage. Presumably for ease of service, most vendors opted for a pre-mixed punch. An interesting choice, Akvinta quintuple filtration processed wheat vodka had infused their organic vodka with four different selections: a pear, cinnamon, vanilla and sage infusion, a strawberry, mint and agave nectar infusion, a green tomato, chili and chive concoction and my favorite, fresh cucumber and dill. Delish!

Villain’s Tavern won our award for best all-over presentation. A presumably imbibed stone angel greets the guest, head in hand, resting upon an ornately decorated table where tattooed bartenders in pageboy hats and vests, a nostalgic nod to a less complicated time, sling complex concoctions from large silver punch bowls and serve with a smile.

It’s the brother to the The One Eyed Gypsy Bar and another reminder of why it’s worth the drive downtown for a fun evening out!

Further west, The Roger Room had a full house with their Four Ace Vodka Cocktail, a new take on the fruity martini with a combination of Svedka vodka, green grapes, lime juice and Canton Ginger Liqueur and a basil garnish.  It makes a girl wish she could craft a sentence the way these mixologists can craft a drink!

There were a group of interesting new takes on old favorites.  A great girl’s night option was presented by Korean Brewery Kooksoondang with their Myungjak Bokbunja, a cool raspberry desert wine which made a nice change to the usual glass of Cabernet, especially if like me; you opt for red wine during hot summer months.

MillerCoors’ CocoBreve earned the most bizarre and intriguing award for a new beverage combining coconut water with malt liquor. This gluten free foodie had to take a powder on this reinvention of the cold brewsky but thinks this might be a cool new trend worth keeping an eye on.

Karlsson’s Gold Vodka was the hands down winner for best in show. In stark comparison to its competition, this pure potato vodka was served solely on the rocks with just a dusting of cracked black pepper on top. Gold, indeed.

We raise a glass to Jessica Gelt and Julian Cox for a great display of speakers and mixologists who lended their creativity to this ancient craft and allowed us to sip back and enjoy!

Article written by our Viva LA Foodies Mixology correspondent Samantha Abrahmsohn
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