[Update: Since posting, we have learned that the Misti Dawn Swizzle cocktail was, in fact, named after porn star Misti Dawn (@meowmistidawn) and her signature red locks. After hearing about the drink via Squid Ink, she has been granted a membership to Caña and hopes to sample her namesake drink in the near future. We have also learned that the pink layer on top is not Zirbenz; it's Rooibos-infused gin.]
She has a prostitute's name and the long, lean body of a stripper, but the Misti Dawn Swizzle at Caña is more than a frou-frou concoction. This is a flashy gin swizzle that finds equilibrium between tart and sweet, with sugary passion fruit rounded out by copious lime juice. Bartender Matt Goodyear teases out an allusion of spice with a floater of pink Rooibos-infused gin and cinnamon-tinged 'Elemakule bitters. Zirbenz adds an earthy note of pine.
The Misti Dawn is a formidable drink, and a temporal one. A few times each year, Allen Katz and his bar crew revamp the seasonal menu at what may be the most underrated cocktail bar in town. (The nominal members-only policy doesn't help.) It's also the best secret tiki bar in town, though Caña wouldn't dream of bedecking itself in barkcloth and grassy bar skirts.
Jonathan Gold chose their daiquiri as one of L.A.'s best cocktails. We certainly won't deny its “caressing chill” or “elusive tartness,” but we're sweet on the Misti Dawn Swizzle, perhaps because it's a glamorous corrective to a dreary winter. Until the season turns, along with Caña's menu, we'll take our dawns misty and our Misti Dawns.