Shift Drink: Darwin Manahan, Cliff’s Edge and Osso

Why cider is the perfect mellow post-work beverage for this cocktail whiz

Welcome to Shift Drink, where we take a peek into the post-shift drinking habits of L.A.’s finest food and drink personalities.

Darwin Manahan, the man behind the beverage programs at both Cliff’s Edge in Silver Lake and the new Osso downtown, is self-taught. Starting out at as a tavern bouncer and moving his way up to brunch bartender, he eventually made his way to Bell’s Corazon y Miel. Because of his skills leading the bar team there, it soon became an award-winning cocktail destination. Darwin’s fast track to the top of the cocktail ranks is largely due to his neverending curiosity and innovative approach to cocktails. He finds inspiration in everything from his Filipino roots to culinary techniques and Tokyo-style ice cutting.

When Darwin is closing up for the night, his number one choice for refreshment is a surprising one, as it’s a category of booze often overlooked. Read on to find out what his perfect “session drink” happens to be and what his back-up beverage plan is, if all else fails.

What’s your shift drink?
“After pulling a crazy week, all I’m thinking about are ciders. Yes… ciders. They are light, refreshing, and a great session drink with just enough alcohol to mellow you out. If I drink anything too strong or heavy, I end up feeling uncomfortable. If a cider isn’t in the cards, then I’m going for the “Champagne of beers,” Miller High Life! If that isn’t within my reach, then a nice Modelo Especial will definitely hit the spot. What can I say: I’m a cheap date. My favorite part of any shift drink is sharing them with the crew that I’ve been in the trenches with. Late at night when all the world is sleeping (Selena reference) after the whole bar is cleaned, and the money is counted, it is one of the best feeling in the world to crack a few cold ones with the crew and know that #wedidit.”