There's always a moving carousel of ingredients claiming to better our health, and it’s impossible to keep up. Some come back to the forefront once in a while but there are always new additions: Some say they improve our overall health, others say they'll achieve a particular desired effect. The constant inundation of information can be overwhelming.
For cocktail aficionados, there need be very few reasons to order a drink outside of taste — OK, as well as a buzz. But now you can pretend a mixed drink is a health tonic of some sort as fruits and spices become more common cocktail ingredients. Here are some cocktails around town that include ingredients about which big claims have been made.
The Spare Room: Turmeric
Leave it up to Yael Vengroff to put a turmeric twist on a piña colada. The best part is not having to wait until Tiki Tuesday to do so, as the Gangster’s Paradise is available on the Spare Room's regular menu. Aged and spiced rums are combined with passion fruit, cinnamon and a house-made turmeric colada, which is made of turmeric oil, pineapple juice and cream. Though this concoction is not particularly recommended for easing inflammation, turmeric is known to do that.
7000 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; (323) 769-7296, spareroomhollywood.com.
Charcoal Venice: Kombucha
Fermentation has been all the rage for a while now, so it’s only natural that one of its drinkable iterations is found in cocktails all across the city. The Charcoal Venice bar team has made a hibiscus kombucha cocktail called Rose Ave., combining it with vodka, lime and strawberry basil for a mildly tart twist on what would otherwise be an ordinary vodka drink. If bad digestion is what ails you, you might want to go with a version without the alcohol. You’ll find a set of newly launched beet and ginger Health-Ade kombucha mocktails by Vincenzo Marianella at Love and Salt in Manhattan Beach as well as continually evolving house-made kombucha cocktails by Dave Whitton on tap at Prank Bar.
425 Washington Blvd., Marina del Rey; (310) 751-6794, charcoalvenice.com.
Prank Bar: Cannabis terpenes
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A lot of experimentation is going on behind the scenes at Prank Bar, where beverage director Dave Whitton has been incorporating into his cocktails not only house kombucha but also cannabis terpenes, which comprise the aromatics of the plant. Limonene terpenes, in particular, are said to elevate one’s mood and provide stress relief; theoretically, these are all benefits worth adding to a gin martini. The Mon Frere adds a few drops to Plymouth gin and Cocchi Americano, then adds Regan’s orange bitters and oils for a drink that will likely put you in a good mood using a couple different channels.
1100 S. Hope St., downtown; (213) 493-4786, prankbar.com.
Gratitude Beverly Hills: Goji berries
The new Gratitude in Beverly Hills is worth a visit for its beautiful interior alone, but keep an eye out specifically for the stirred cocktail Rollin’ With the Gojis. It’s made with Goji berry-infused Kikori whiskey, Turin aperitivo, vermouth, orange oil and C02. While the Goji infusion probably won’t lower anybody’s blood pressure, this aromatic cocktail is surprisingly easy to drink.
419 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills; (424) 389-1850, cafegratitude.com.