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Tucked away in LA’s Baldwin Hills neighborhood, Post & Beam has been serving Southern-influenced seasonal cuisine since 2012. With write-ups from the likes of The LA Times, Vanity Fair and The New York Times, which included the restaurant in its coverage of the “belle epoque for African-American cooking,” it’s easy to see how this trendy eatery has become a much-needed hot-spot for mid-city residents who are tired of travelling for decent food and drinks.
SPY sat down with Post & Beam’s general manager, Sam Ory, to uncover three of their most popular summer cocktails. Whether you’re a reader from Texas who’s craving a taste of LA, or you live in Hollywood and want to discover a new favorite libation, mix one of these drinks at your next get together. Your guests will be pleased as spiked punch.
1. White Peach Sangria
Sangria is an ever-present summer drink. Post & Beam adds its own touch by basing their version on white wine and spirits. Recommended for before or during light dinners of grilled chicken or fish, it’s also fruity and refreshing on its own.
“It is a great candidate to make ahead of time in a punchbowl for your next barbeque, with bits of fresh fruit floating in the icy punch,” says Ory. “The fruit pieces are like a dessert to munch on after you’ve enjoyed the cocktail.”
2 Bottles Dry White Wine
1 Bottle Sweet White Wine
4 oz Light Rum
5 oz Brandy
5 oz Fruit Schnapps
8 oz Pureed Fruit
32 oz Fresh Juices
Assorted Fresh Fruit Slices
Combine all ingredients except ice into a large punch bowl. Drop fresh fruit slices in as well. Add ice just before you’re ready to serve. Makes about 20 servings.
Another classic that Post & Beam updates with fresh ingredients is the Hurricane. While you can find this famous New Orleans cocktail on many menus, it is often made with overly sweet syrups that ruin the tart, refreshing kick of real passion fruit. A bit more potent than the White Peach Sangria, Ory recommends making a pitcher of Hurricanes ahead of your next party.
“My version is built as a Tiki-style punch with three types of rum and the freshest ingredients we can get,” he says. “When the season is ripe, we actually puree the passionfruit growing on our patio fence.”
1 oz Light (Clear) Rum
1 oz Dark Rum
1 oz Spiced Rum
0.75 oz Passion Fruit Puree
0.5 oz Simple Syrup
0.5 oz Orange Juice
0.5 oz Lemon Juice
0.5 oz Grenadine Syrup
Use all measurements as ounces for a single cocktail, or cups for a pitcher-sized batch. Simply mix all ingredients together and stir well over ice. Garnish with an orange slice.
3. Clemendrop Martini
This pre-dinner drink is simple to mix, but elegant enough to impress dinner guests. “The ingredients for this refreshing beverage are a little more exotic, but can be found in many grocery stores, and certainly at specialty liquor stores,” says Ory. “I use a locally-made gin distilled from clementine juice called Astral Pacific… if you can’t find it near you, look for a mild, aromatic gin.”
The other main ingredient, Aperol, is an Italian bitter orange aperitif that is popular for summer cocktails. “Put all this together with a couple of dashes of Angostura bitters from the tropical Caribbean island of Trinidad; you get a beach breeze feeling wherever you are.”
1.5 oz Astral Pacific Gin
0.75 oz Aperol Liqueur
0.75 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
0.75 oz Simple Syrup
2 tbsp Granulated Sugar
Zest of 1 Lemon
Mix all ingredients in a large heavy glass, cover with ice and stir well with a long spoon. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass with a rim of lemon sugar. To make lemon sugar, zest a fresh lemon into 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar, and stir well. Rim the top of your glass with lemon juice and dip it into the sugar for a sweet and sour rim.