The Sunset Strip isn’t the first place discerning cocktailers think of for drinking. After all, this intersection of Beverly Hills and West Hollywood is where the scene-seeking, vodka-and-Redbull set play. But thanks to new bars like The Church Key and the cocktail community favorite, Eveleigh, those picky imbibers can now plan a schmancy bar hop on Sunset Boulevard. Here are my picks for where and what to drink.
↪ Chi Lin: Start off at this uber-sexy bar/restaurant next to RivaBella. Bar Manager Aaron Alvarez (formerly of Soho House, Plan Check and Sunset Tower) creates Asian twists on classic cocktails with seasonal ingredients, infusions and housemade syrups. You’ll find new favorites like his flavorful and approachable Singapore Slinger variation, “East by Southwest” cocktail, which is made with Patron Silver tequila, Benedictine, tamarind syrup, Cherry Heering and lime. Or the sparkling “Kowloon Cooler”: Atlantico Rum with jasmine liqueur, shiso, lime, and prosecco.
↪ Pearl’s Liquor Bar: Head east past the raucous Rock and Reilly’s to its quieter and classier sister, Pearl’s. To get some air and take in a view snag a seat on the outdoor patio overlooking Sunset Boulevard or cozy up on the swinging bench in the interior courtyard. The cocktail list here is short and literally sweet but for something straightforward order off the whiskey list which offers a selection of Angel’s Envy and Whistle Pig.
↪ The London Bar at the London West Hollywood: Dip below Sunset for some smart sipping at the London Bar’s white marble bar. Ask for a “Final Ward” (bourbon, Green Chartreuse, Luxardo Maraschino, and fresh lime) or a “Chartreuse Swizzle” (Green chartreuse, pineapple juice, velvet falernum, lime juice, and nutmeg). During “The London After Five” happy hour, which is weekdays from 5 to 7 p.m., cocktails, bites and even valet parking is $5.
↪ Eveleigh: Every Monday, the L.A. cocktail community converge at Eveleigh’s back bar for the guest bartender night which has featured renowned mixologists like Dushan Zaric of New York’s Employees Only and local favorites like Francois Vera of Pour Vous. But really any night is good for cocktails here with its skilled bartenders and a cocktail menu created by Dave Kupchinsky. For one of the tastiest Manhattan variations, try his “Song of Solomon,” a heady mix of Willet 4 year 110-proof rye, Vermouth de Chambery, Maraschino, Cynar, Miracle Mile Celery Bitters.
↪ The Church Key: And now for something completely different, step next door to the Strip’s newest hot spot featuring the cocktails of Devon Espinosa (ink., Pour Vous). Choose between a canned Negroni and a boozy popsicle off a cart, or pick something off the menu which offers something for every sort of drinker. Light tipplers will want the “Pink Lips” (Grey Goose La Poire, lime, Pama Espuma, champagne), while the fearless will prefer the “Fashioned Chai” (applejack brandy, Buffalo Trace Bourbon, housemade chai syrup).