Although Harlowe Bar in West Hollywood opened in May 2014, now at the end of 2015 it is like a new bar. While the bar looks like a turn-of-the-century brasserie, the team running it is relatively new and in time for the winter season they have created a menu that represents the season, showcasing classic and original cocktails, fountain cocktails from an 1890s Iowa soda fountain and adult floats made with house-crafted sodas and ice creams.
Harlowe Bar is a neighborhood joint. With a lunch counter, turn of the century soda fountain and medicine cabinet, it is “old school California fused with European cafe”, as described by General Manager Billy Bob Thompson.
Bar Manager Wes Gerald joined Harlowe only one month ago. But, after working at Little Fork under Brian Butler, he has a respect for the classics and understands how ingredients work together. His goal for the new cocktail list is to “create a list for people who just want a drink.” Wes continued that “it’s not about heavy drinks. A drink should be drinkable. Drinks should be fun.”
The cocktail list is rather robust with five sections and between two to five selections within each one.
From the Fruit Stand – The drinks in this section are about freshness and brightness.
Aye Poppy (Uncle Val’s Botanical Gin, Gran Poppy, house-made strawberry basil syrup, lemon, egg white) is essentially a gimlet and is a tart easy-sipper.
Pepino Fresca (50 Bleu Vodka, Chareau Aloe Liqueur, cucumber, lime, sugar, celery bitters) is a swizzle and the Chareau adds a beautiful floral, fruity and medicinal note.
Hot for Teacher (El Silencio Mezcal, firewater, lime, pineapple, honey) is sweet, tart and smooth with subtle heat that lingers.
From the Apothecary – The drinks in this section are all amaro-based. When you order a drink from this section, it includes a tidbit, such as a small jar of olive tapenade and a few crostini crackers. After all, as Wes explained, “a cocktail excites the taste buds.”
Fernaiquiri Swizzle (Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum, Fernet Branca, Amaro di Angostura, lime, sugar) – the thick bitter flavor of Fernet Branca is softened by the sweetness of the rum and the tartness of the sugar, but you can still taste the Fernet.
The Evening Shade (Laird’s Apple Brandy, Amaro Meletti, Chamomile syrup, lemon) – the herbal aromas with cinnamon and caramel fragrances of the Amaro Meletti are in harmony with the Apple Brandy and the soothing chamomile syrup. This is an enjoyable sipper.
The Evening Shade and Tidbits
From the Fountain – These are the cocktails that are pre-made and come from the soda fountain. Classics like a Moscow Mule, Old Fashioned and Mexican Firing Squad are in the fountain as well as the Early Riser (Three Sheets Spiced Rum, Kill Devil Coffee Spirit, walnut liqueur, Forbidden Bitters, orange bitters, tobacco mist)
Boozy Floats – This section of drinks are the adult floats. Looking for something a bit more indulgent, this is the section for you.
Floats M’Goats (housemade goat cheese ice cream, gin, Harlowe’s blueberry sage soda) – the tartness of the goat cheese ice cream is balanced with the sweetness of the soda.
Punk’In Drublic (housemade pumpkin ice cream, Michter’s American, Rye Whiskey, Allspice Dram, Harlowe’s walnut soda) – this ice cream float is spicy, nutty and boozy.
Bittersweet Desire (housemade strawberry Angostura sorbet, cava) – A refreshing drink, grab a spoon as you will want to scoop out the sorbet and eat it.
Tis the Season – The last section on the menu are two seasonal offerings for the holidays. Will, a bartender on the Harlowe team, created the LA Snow Day (Camus Cognac, Selvarey Cacao Rum, Menthe Pastille, sugar, cream, candy cane bitters, chocolate shavings). Having just moved from New York, Will brings the cold to LA with this drink that tastes like a mint patty without the chocolate. It is like drinking the cold weather.
7321 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90046