Warwick Blackberry Buck (Drink of the Week)

Cocktail Los Angeles

Bottle service and clubbing aren’t normally big parts of my repertoire. Or even small parts. However, I found a lot to like about Warwick, the chic Hollywood lounge from Jeffrey Best and partners like Sylvain Bitton and JT Torregiani who’ve already found Hollywood success.

First there’s the space, which dates to the ’20s and holds over 300 people, but still feels fairly intimate. The former Club Lingerie and Club L now houses high ceilings with exposed wood beams and brick walls, upraised sections built using wood beams reclaimed from Frank Sinatra’s house, and leather and velvet couches that frame glass tables. You’ll also find two photos of 15-foot-tall nudes that flank the room, but they’re barely worth mentioning since nobody would miss them. Upstairs, there’s a small mezzanine with white walls, a separate bar and windows overlooking all the action, which is considerable, especially after 11 pm.

Beverage Directors Damian Windsor and Jason Bran, most recently from The Roger Room, are overseeing cocktail service. Whereas many bartenders start with spirits and build from there, the duo received a directive to begin with produce, so they’re reverse engineering specialty cocktails. Yes, they’re juicing on the regular, but not in a Barry Bonds or Lance Armstrong way. An adjacent “workshop,” aka prep kitchen, is where they’re juicing, straining and infusing large volumes of fresh fruits like blackberries, strawberries and pineapples.

The Warwick indeed has bottle service, with some brands you’d certainly recognize, plus rare selections like Macallan 25, which command an ultra-premium price tag. No matter what bottles you order, expect fresh juice and garnishes, a soda charger, big block ice, and the option to build the drink yourself, or have a fashionable server assist.

Of course it’s more beneficial to Warwick management if people book a table and start popping bottles. Still, it’s possible to visit the spot by e-mailing for a reservation, stand at the upstairs bar or apart from a bank of couches, and participate for $17 a cocktail. That’s not a cheap drink compared to most other bars in town, but worth the price given the experience.

I was invited to experience Warwick, and my favorite drink was the Blackberry Buck, a vivid, refreshing concoction. Windsor and Bran layer Maker’s Mark bourbon with house-made blackberry ginger beer, which originates in the “workshop” and incorporates fresh lime, blackberries, ginger root, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. The concoction’s finely strained and garnished with a W-clad spear of blackberry, candied ginger and fresh mint leaves.

Address: 6507 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Warwick Blackberry Buck (Drink of the Week)

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Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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