Mmmmm meat. The mixology craze has reached critical mass, so it was only a matter of time before things really started beefing up. Whether you’re having a Slim Jim moment and want to literally chew the fat while getting your drink on, or you’re feeling a little chicken and want to take stock of the situation (yes, I’m talking about a cocktail with chicken stock), there’s a little something (especially bacon) for everyone … except vegetarians. Read on for places around Los Angeles and Orange County to get your meat in a glass. And if you have a favorite of your own that I missed, please leave a comment below!
Smoked Tomato Martini – Napa Valley Grille, Westwood
The name says tomato, but this liquid meal at Napa Valley Grille is really all about the beef. Made with house-infused vodka with smoked tomato and black peppercorns with a dash of BBQ sauce, the $12 drink is shaken and served in a martini glass and garnished with a Togarashi salt rim, lime wedge, chef Joseph Gillard’s housemade smoked beef jerky (can you say edible swizzle stick?!) and a skewer with a green olive & blue cheese ball rolled in cashews and wrapped in salami. The result: A savory, smoky bloodytini that is truly a meal in a glass.
Barbacoa – Rivera, Downtown LA
Perhaps the granddaddy of all these meaty cocktails, the Barbacoa at Rivera (aka LA’s mixology ground zero) is one that really does taste exactly as its name suggests–Barbacoa is Spanish for “barbecue.” Made with your choice of tequila or mezcal, chipotle, slices of red bell pepper, ginger syrup, agave nectar, lime pieces, and a piece of hickory-smoked beef jerky, this thick, smoky, spicy, sweet concoction is truly the closest thing to liquid BBQ.
Bloody Mary Bar - Charlie Palmer @ Bloomingdale’s
Think you’ve had one Bloody Mary you’ve had them all? Oh, no no no. Allow me to introduce you to the Sunday Bloody Mary Bar at the swanky Charlie Palmer @ Bloomingdale’s. For $35, you can treat yourself to a starter, entree, and unlimited trips to the Bloody Mary Bar where you’ll find tons of ingredients like housemade gazpacho juice, fresh herbs, veggies, and oh yes, bacon. Why pay $14 for one drink when you can get the whole bar for $35?
Wingin’ It - Comme Ca, West Hollywood
You’ll make no bones about liking the Wingin’ It cocktail, a drinkable twist on spicy chicken wings. Made with anejo tequila, lime juice, carrot juice, Comme Ca’s own Bloody Mary mix, ginger syrup, chicken stock, and a dash of Tabasco, the orange-hued drink is garnished with a gorgonzola-stuffed celery stock. Think salty-sweet with a kick. And no bones.
Bacon Mezcal Margarita - Raya @ Ritz-Carlton Laguna
Talk about smokin’! The breezily chic Raya restaurant has just created the Bacon Mezcal Margarita. Made with mezcal that’s been infused with bacon for 24 hours, chipotle simple syrup, and lemon juice, the shaken drink is served over ice with a splash of ginger ale and rimmed with chipotle powder, smoked salt and garnished with ginger cube candy and lemon peel. It will kick your tastebuds’ ass … if they had one.
Morgan’s Meaty Martini – Morgan’s in the Desert
If you find yourself out in the desert (La Quinta, to be exact) and in desperate need of a drink, this concoction will quench your thirst and quell your carnivorous cravings in one fell sip. Just as its name says, Morgan’s Meaty Martini is as straightforward as meat cocktails come: Hendrick’s gin served with a trio of cured meat-stuffed olives. Meat-tastic!