It's no surprise when a Peruvian restaurant rolls out a slew of Pisco-based cocktails, but with the South American grape brandy in vogue these days, it's turning up at better-turned–out bars all over the city. At Eveleigh, an unexpectedly charming bar on the tackiest, most touristy stretch of the Sunset Strip, it's key to the sturdy Pisco Punch. “Punch” can be a dangerous word, an excuse for frat boys and bartenders to load hapless cocktails with nauseatingly sweet liqueurs and not-so-simple syrups. Not here. Pisco is shaken with fresh pineapple juice and concentrated pineapple syrup (house-made, natch), then reined in with lemon and lime. Giving it depth and a peculiar kick are vanilla and black pepper, like two old friends who love to argue. In the wrong hands, it could easily be a hot spiced mess or a cloying baker's mistake. Instead, Pisco Punch is the rare summer drink that's so good, it's worth carrying into autumn. 8752 Sunset Blvd., W. Hlywd. (424) 239-1630,

—Elina Shatkin

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