The Basics Drinking Out

Try the Best Smoky Cocktails from Los Angeles Bartenders

Los Angeles bartenders recently shared their finest recipes in the Smoky Malt Cocktail Challenge, sponsored by Ardbeg. Brittney Olsen of Break Room 86 ultimately won, earning a to Scotland for her subtle and smoky masterpiece, Talking Backwards. She won’t be the only one to benefit from the competition. You, for instance, can check out the best recipes submitted, including Olsen’s, and explore the Los Angeles bars where these talented, innovative bartenders work. But before you head out to see what else they’re mixing up, find the smoky cocktail that speaks to you.

Break Room 86

Breakroom 86 features VHS tapes as drink menus, a wall of cassettes and four rooms for karaoke. Don’t let those vintage elements distract you from the delicious and innovative cocktails from Brittney Olsen. Her masterpiece, Talking Backwards, won the Smoky Malt Cocktail Challenge regional. But there are plenty more award-worthy recipes at this hip Los Angeles bar.

The Friend

This colorful cocktail bar is a feast for the senses. There are pinball machines, cartoonish art on the walls and incredible cocktails from William Cutting, who was recently featured in the Smoky Malt Cocktail Challenge for his original recipe, What Once Was Is Again. Everything on the menu shares the same playful attitude of his inspired cocktail.

Pot Bar

This elegant cocktail lounge in the Line Hotel is inspired by Korea’s classic hotel bars. Travelers only need to go as far as Koreatown to enjoy its selection of soju and original cocktails. It’s also where Patrick Frohoff serves his truly original creations. He was featured in the Smoky Malt Cocktail Challenge for The Sea Stack, and has other signature cocktails that are helping make Koreatown a destination for cocktail lovers.