THE RAYMOND 1886
‘WEALTH & HELLNESS’ SUMMER COCKTAIL MENU
Summer’s here and the time is right for another new cocktail menu from the mad scientist kids at The Raymond 1886. This season is all about looking inwards, taking in a deep breath to lock into “Wealth and Hellness”, which is the staff’s way to get cheeky with the current fervor of the health movement.
“Now it’s our opportunity to create and showcase the life potions we stand by here at 1886,” says new head barman Cameron Masden who was handpicked by predecessor Peter Lloyd Jones.
The new “Wealth and Hellness” menu features eleven cocktails by eleven contributors. The styles and spirits used run the gamut as there’s something here for every palette.
But let’s not waste any time and let me get to my favorite libation on this summer’s menu. Once again, that honor goes to Jesus Gomez—a veteran of the bar staff. His Williamsburg is inspired by both borough and classic drink. This boozy brew is made with Carpano Antica, Cio Ciaro, Dr. Byrd Jamaican Rum, Batavia Arrack, and lemon peel as the garnish. And it needs repeating that this is a potent cocktail—almost a one and done dynamo of a drink. If you enjoy your cocktail on the strong side, this one will not disappoint.
And props need to be given to bar newcomer Miguel Perez for his refreshing Cat Cow. Vodka drinks are very few on any 1886 menu but this one, a mix of grass-fed Black Cow Vodka, Chareau Liqueur, lemon juice, tonic water, salt, with a cucumber-peel spiral garnish, is a great summertime concoction. It’s a great day drink that goes down so easy.
Kudos have to be given to Luis Nava for the most creative drink on the new summer menu for his Wax On, Wax Off tasty beverage—a mix of Akashi UME Japanese whisky, Ki no bi Japanese Gin, Chikoisan Sake, Amaro Nonino, with a Crème Yvette liqueur rinse, and fig cinnamon bitters with a micro-flower garnish. So many different Japanese spirits yet the drink is so well balanced and extremely tasty. It’s a drink exactly like this which is why I love imbibing at 1886 as the creativity is through the roof and the end result off the charts.
The best presentation award goes to Abby People’s Purple Gold. A lovely blend of Vida Mezcal, lemon juice, blueberry bliss syrup, and orgeat, I love the waffle and blueberry accompanying garnish. Nice touch Abby! Oh yeah, and the drink is solid too!
Former head barman Peter Lloyd Jones still makes his presence felt with his Happy Place—a festive mix of Clement Canne Blue, Wray & Nephew Float, house-made coconut mix, mango puree, lime juice, vanilla syrup, and fresh grated cinnamon. It’s quite rummy albeit a little sweet but not saccharine by any means. This is a nice tiki cocktail. And speaking of tiki, new head barman Cameron Masden does it right with his Open Heart, Happy Mind with Cammy Poo’s rum blend, lemon juice, pineapple juice, berry puree, condensed milk cream and heavy cinnamon garnish. This one is also rummy and just so much fun.
The Raymond 1886 “Wealth and Hellness” summer cocktails won’t guarantee health, prosperity nor longevity but they are prescribed by apt minded bar folk who create cocktails to make you feel wealthy and badass if only for the duration of a drink.
The Raymond 1886 is located at 1250 S. Fair Oaks Avenue in Pasadena. Open Tuesday through Sunday. Call 626-441-3136.
Story By; Jose Martinez
Photography Courtesy Of: acuna-hansen