Saturday, May 17, 2008

Who’s Got Spirit?

The Doheny Leads Los Angeles Through Three Cheers for World Cocktail Week

Down in LA, we don’t get a lot of cocktailian recognition. And, frankly, a lot of that is our own damn fault! While New Orleans has Tales of the Cocktail and San Francisco created the first “cocktail week” in the country, we’ve sat on our butts while Britney, Lindsay and Paris get all the drinking-related publicity.

Well, that’s all changing…

Cheer One: The Doheny was the only establishment to celebrate not once but THRICE. Cocktail week kicked off on May 8 in LA at Cedd Moses’ exclusive hideaway with a specially-created cocktail menu for the first (invite-only) event for cocktail aficionados. Two of my favorite barmen in the world, Vincenzo Marianella and Eric Alperin, were shaking, stirring and sweating (oh-so-discretely) behind the bar for suited and dolled-up patrons of the members-only club on opening day of World Cocktail Week.

The menu featured drinks from: Sagatiba cachaca, Plymouth gin, Marker’s Mark whiskey and Barsol Pisco. The cocktails were divided between classic and Vincenzo’s new creations. Brand Ambassadors Simon Ford (Plymouth) and Jamie Terrell (Sagatiba) flew in for the special event and to buy us all gin and cachaca drinks – woo hoo!

Cheer Two! On Saturday, May 10, Cedd donned a dazzling pin-striped suit and celebrated his birthday at Doheny and invited another round of pals down to sample his swanky spot and sip the special sauce. (In addition to giving Cedd a big birthday hug, I was also happy to get another of Vincenzo’s original cocktails called the Rio, which was still on my mind from Thursday…)

Cheer Three!!! On Monday, May12, Damian Windsor (Tequila Ambassador for Partida, pictured center, right) threw a bash for the real stars of this week-long celebration: LA bartenders! Damian is Head Barman at Seven Grand, which is also owned by Moses, and just a few blocks away from The Doheny.

Beautiful drink slingers from all over the metropolis headed downtown to raise a glass with Damian during a toast coordinated between bars in New York, San Francisco and London. Although, as Windsor puts it, “by the time the toast rolled around the person on the other end of the phone on the east coast was smashed.” (Would one really expect any different?)

Bravo to The Doheny for leading the way for the LA-contingency of World Cocktail Week enthusiasts, proving the commercial right: membership does indeed have its privileges.

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