© 2011 nader Janna Aurora Velasquez of La Descarga

Where is the Love?

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The city of Los Angeles. Famous for Hollywood, Noir, orange groves, Disneyland, misguided starlets, zip codes, The Dodgers, The Lakers, Rodeo Drive, the beaches, surf culture, unbeatable weather…must I go on?

But one sparkling historical orb in the city’s star-studded past that is often neglected is its cocktail history.

During its Golden Era, Los Angeles provided the most innovative and in vogue drinking establishments in the entire country.

Tiki was born and raised in L.A. Don The Beachcomber, perhaps one of the most famous bars in our nation’s history, was opened just off Hollywood Boulevard in the 1930s, setting off a post-war Polynesian craze that swept the country.

The Brown Derby Cocktail sprang into popularity during the 1930s as well. (Whether or not it was created at the original Brown Derby Restaurant on Wilshire Boulevard or at the neighboring Vendome Club will continue to be mused upon.)

The Moscow Mule was invented at The Cock N’ Bull Tavern in 1941 by two heavy hitting industry professionals.

It’s rumored that the Margarita was first mixed in 1954 at the Tail O’ The Cock restaurant on La Cienega Boulevard by bartender Johnny Durlesser. A Young’s Market chairman saw an opportunity to promote the category of Tequila and the brand Cuervo by releasing an ad campaign that read “Margarita is more than a girls’ name.”

There was Romanoff’s in Beverly Hills, which was a famous watering hole to the likes of stars such as Bogart and Bacall.

Charlie Chaplin used to kick it in the corner booth at Musso and Frank on Hollywood Boulevard.

And how could anyone forget the phenomenon that was the Cocoanut Grove nightclub in the Ambassador Hotel, where Hollywood elite would go to drink, dance and watch performers like Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and Barbara Streisand.

So when it comes to recognition for its contemporary achievements, why is Los Angeles not given its due? A cross examination of a modern institution whose function is to feature and award excellence and achievement within the beverage industry will highlight L.A.’s neglect…read more after the JUMP.


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