Waiting for less than five minutes from when you arrive at Bar 1886, to when you're taking the first sip from a beverage, isn't very long when your cocktail is one of the many sprung from the teachings of Aidan Demarest (Seven Grand, the Edison). But because Bar 1886 is located in the middle of nowhere in Pasadena, skulking in the back of the Raymond Restaurant and marked by negligible signs, the often-busy bar is never jam-packed. After receiving your drink, slip into the plush banquette at one end of the room and observe the décor details — Victorian wallpaper, ceiling ornamentation and French doors — or head out to the patio to breathe in the fragrant wisteria at the right time of year. The drinks change on a seasonal basis, and even if names sound familiar, the concoctions might not be. Take the summer menu's Thai iced tea, for example. Served in a shallow cocktail glass instead of a pint, it's a delicate blend of Thai tea, infused cachaça, Demerara syrup and hand-whipped cream layered on top, so that you wind up sipping liquor and whipped cream until you spy the bottom of the glass. 1250 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena. (626) 441-3136, theraymond.com.

—Romina Rosenow

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