Weekend one down, weekend two coming up. How will you whet your whistle between gigs in the desert? This year, Coachella has gone seriously uptown with a selection of craft cocktails to quench your sand-blasted thirst. And, if you aren't headed to that remote inland valley, some of L.A.'s most creative bars still have you covered. This is not your mother's Coachella anymore.
IN TOWN: Flash your Coachella wristband, and cocktails will magically appear. At Willie Jane, the bar has taken their most popular drinks and renamed them in honor of the bands on stage. Choose from the Arcade Fire (tequila, hibiscus, mezcal, averna, lime, muddled jalapeno); Roses, inspired by OutKast (Citron Geranium vodka, fennel dill gin, lime, Lillet); Supermassive Black Hole, suggested by Muse (rye, fernet, smoked honey, lemon, a float of Scotch whiskey); and the utter simplicity of Royals, a glass of Champagne to toast Lorde's hit song.
All of Richard Zarate's restaurants – Picca, Paiche, Mo-chica, and even Blue Tavern in Santa Barbara – are offering cocktail specials that are complementary with an entrée purchase. There's the Avocado Project at Picca; the old-school classic Pisco Sour at Paiche (pisco, lemon juice, simple syrup, egg white, bitters); and the Palma Fizz at Blue Tavern (vodka, ginger, lemon, pomegranate syrup). Finally, at Mo-Chica, share a Sangria pitcher, discounted to $25 from the usual $35.
OUT OF TOWN: Because the weekend will be here quicker than you think. Cedd Moses stepped on board this year after realizing that Coachella founder Paul Tollett was “really committed to upgrading the caliber of food and drink at the festival this year.” Moses and his team consulted on the cocktails for Rose Garden VIP. Choices include a Mint Julep from Seven Grand, a Spiced Daisy from Las Perlas, an alcoholic Strawberry Cream Soda from Honeycut, and a Rum and Coconut Water from Cana Rum Bar.
Finally, if the heat is just too much for you, score entry to the Reyka Vodka Icehouse at the Saguaro Hotel in Palm Springs. After sidling up to the frozen bar and donning complimentary mittens, slowly sip a Cold Snap Cosmo. It's Iceland in Indio!