THE RAYMOND 1886
‘THE FINAL SOLSTICE’ WINTER MENU
A new year and a new season is upon us and that means that a brand-new cocktail menu is now being served at The Raymond 1886—the boldest and most daring cocktail haven in these drinking parts. The new winter cocktail menu is aptly titled The Final Solstice and it is 11 drinks strong—from a potent Zombie to a ‘ginny’ liquid science experiment to wintery goodness in a glass.
“This season we decided each cocktail would have a sci-fi, horror, and ominous feeling to the menu,” explained Head Barman Peter Lloyd Jones. “This is our first dark and offbeat menu, so it is an edgy departure from our previously lighthearted themes and opens the door for each bartender to really show their own unique create style.”
And by showcasing their “unique creative style”, two barmen stood tall among the rest. Every season I herald a menu MVP and this time it is the dynamic duo of Jesus Gomez and Adam Vaughn who teamed up to create the boozy Zombie Apocalypse.
Zombies are all about brains, eating brains that is, but with this tribute to a tiki classic, the Zombie Apocalypse is a multi-layered and exceptionally well balanced boozy concoction that proves that two brains are better than one. Whereas a classic Zombie is rum-based, this liquid knockout is scotch overload—comprised of Deanstone 12-year, Bowmore 15-year, Laphroaig 10-year cask, pineapple juice, lime juice, Orgeat, Falernum, house-made lemongrass syrup, mint, topped with a zombie apocalypse garnish. Pricey at $24 a drink, it is a stellar cocktail that can knock you on your ass and make you the living dead if you’re not careful, so drink responsibly.
Another menu standout is Jones’ Replicant, which is a take on the classic tequila-based Infante, hence the “replicant” moniker. Made with London Dry Gin, lemon, Orgeat, smoked salt, and a house-made Butterfly Pea Tincture float, this is beautiful boozy science in a glass. The drink comes to you one way—a classic looking clear gin drink—and then salt and butterfly pea are added and the drink morphs into a vivid purple potion. Props to Peter Lloyd Jones for thinking so outside the box and for coming up with one of the best cocktail presentations I’ve seen in some time.
Other menu favorites include Nathan Baker’s Paradise Lose—a fantastic rummy mix of Rhum J.M. Gold, Nate’s house-made chai tincture, barrel-aged maple syrup, and lime peel. This is a wonderful rum take on an OId Fashioned.
Creating a wonderful winter wonderland, Adam Vaughn’s Deathly Hallows gives props to a Hot Buttered Rum with Wray & Nephew OP, vanilla, and a house-made butterscotch patty. It’s nice, sweet and packs a punch.
Last season’s MVP Luis Nava went from creating boozy cocktails to crafting a wonderfully delicious dessert drink with his Dreamcatcher—named after the Stephen King novel about four friends dealing with a parasitic alien during their annual camping trip. Made with cacao, Averna, house-made Woodford Reserve Bourbon infused graham cracker, cream, chocolate, and a toasted marshmallow, this is just about the perfect nightcap. Watching this drink get made is part of the fun resulting in a lovely spiked S’mores libation.
Whether or not this is our final solstice, good drinks will be had this season at The Raymond 1886. And if this is the end, well, what a way to go. Zombies for everyone!
The Raymond 1886 is located at 1250 S. Fair Oaks Ave in Pasadena. Closed Mondays. Call 626-441-3136.
Story by Jose Martinez
Top & Silver Cup Photo's By: Acuna-Hansen - Courtesy Of: The Raymond 1886