With so many openings and so much menu news recently, we’re catching up with a double take on Bar News. In Baltimore, Pazo recently launched a new Thursday night special, Cupcakes and Cocktails, with — you guessed it — various pairings of cupcakes with cocktails. Each cupcake sells for $2 and the cocktails range in price. Pairings include Rum Baba Cupcake, made with crème fraiche and candied mint, served with the Classic Elderflower Mondello Mojito, which involves St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur and fresh lemon; Bacon and Manchego Cupcake paired with Warm Apple Cider (Grey Goose La Poire, St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram and Velvet Falernum Liqueur); and the Angel Food Cupcake, made with crème anglaise and raspberry sorbet, paired with La Vie en Rose (Moscato d'Asti, Soho Lychee liqueur, rose water and fresh rose petal).
The East Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles has a new rum bar destination: La Descarga, serving 70-plus rums and a cocktail menu crafted by Steve Livigni and Pablo Moix. Drinks at the speakeasy-styled lounge include a house Daiquiri made with Diplomatico Añejo rum and a Tropical Holiday with Velvet Falernum, bitters, lime and soda. The menu also includes the Tapping the Admiral (Zaya Rum, Carpano Antica, Cherry Heering and whiskey barrel bitters) and the Bad Spaniard (Cruzan Black Strap Rum, Amaro Averna, egg yolk, sweetened condensed milk and cinnamon). A second bar serves flights of rum neat or on the rocks, and an enclosed patio doubles as a cigar room
Chef Kerry Simon introduced LA Market at the newly opened JW Marriott Hotel Los Angeles at the L.A. Live entertainment complex downtown. In addition to global flavors, a burrata bar and communal tables, cocktails are also a part of the mix. Fresh ingredient-based drinks include the Hollywood Groove (gin, apricot and ginger), Sweet Reserve (Woodford Reserve, grapefruit juice and honey) and Mandarin Thyme (ABSOLUT MANDRIN, Aperol and thyme).
The rum drum keeps beating: NYC barmen Richard Boccato and Giuseppe Gonzalez are set to open Painkiller, which they hope will create a new era in tiki culture. Although there will be some thatch and bamboo, this is expected to be more down and dirty ’70s NYC. Standing at the bar — frowned upon as part of the creeping cocktail snobbery — will be allowed, and as with any tiki bar, blender drinks are rumored to be on the menu.