If holiday shopping has you stressed, the Larchmont, at 5750 Melrose Ave., is serving craft cocktails that will get you in the spirit.
Head mixologist Chris Kramer is pouring seasonal drinks with an emphasis on fresh, natural ingredients.
“When I approach a cocktail, I start by cutting out the sugars, syrups and anything artificial,” says Kramer, “I rely on things like agave and honey.
“For me, an orange is a sweetener.”
The attention to fine ingredients doesn’t stop with the fruit, according to Kramer, who boasts a “constantly rotating” bar, which highlights the best spirits he can find.
“It drives me crazy when people insist on ordering Grey Goose. I want to educate drinkers on what’s out there.”
The Dirty Savory Martini, which Kramer recently added to the menu, is a twist on a familiar favorite.
This martini on the rocks includes vodka, Lillet and a glass full of two kinds of olives, onion, cucumber, thyme, dill, tarragon and a ripped bay leaf.
Kramer says he can’t pick a favorite spirit, but loves to show off his collection of locally-distilled gin.
“Gin is the original flavored vodka,” said Kramer, before sharing one of his personal favorite off-menu cocktails that he created to complement a smoked sturgeon dish.
Called A Walk in the Woods, Kramer says it’s a triple threat of gin that includes a dry Citadelle copper-kettle gin, a purple-sage gin by Ventura Spirits and Uncle Val’s lavender botanical gin.
“If you want to nail me down as a mixologist, this is the drink. My customers have called it compost in a glass.”
You can find more craft creations by Chris Kramer at celebratedspirits.com.