Please The Palate Pick of the Week: New Years at Big Bar

Another New Year’s Eve has passed. Some people stay at home, some go out to dinner, others head to parties to toast the new year at midnight. What my friends and I do is what we have been doing since December 31, 2013. For seven years, we head to Big Bar in Los Feliz to celebrate. December 31, 2019 was no exception and that is why New Years at Big Bar is the Please The Palate Pick of the Week.

In general, I find New Years Eve to be rather anti-climatic. For some, it is like any other night but for others, there is so much planning and plotting to make the evening different from others because you want to be in the right place at the right time when the clock strikes midnight and the new year starts. But, after all that preparation, it is over in a moment.

This is why I love spending New Years Eve at Big Bar. After lunch with friends, we head to Big Bar. Big Bar starts celebrating at 3:00pm and over the next 10 hours, they celebrate for each time zone. That is 10 time zones in 10 hours and each time zone comes with a special cocktail created in honor of the country celebrating.

This year’s theme had us traveling across time zones and across zones with a Back to the Future theme. The drinks were created by Cari Ha and her team at Big Bar and the menu was designed by Dave Stolte. And of course, the charming Eugene Lee was on hand to take photos.

3:00pm – We started in 17th Century France. Inspired by Marie Antoinette, the cocktail was made with Hennessey Black Cognac, raspberry, lemon and Champagne and served in a coupe (which was modeled after Marie Antoinette’s breast)

4:00pm – We journeyed to 12th Century Scotland for the William Wallace made with Monkey Shoulder Scotch, Jagermeister and house cold brew.

5:00pm – We traveled to 985AD Iceland/Greenland for the Erik the Red, made with Reyka Icelandic Vodka, aquavit, apple, lemon and soda.

6:00pm – Next stop was 1960s Brazil where we honored beloved football legend Pele with a cocktail named for him and made with Leblon cachaca, lime and fruit.

7:00pm – We hopped over to 1950s Argentina to enjoy a cocktail named for the first lady of Argentina, Eva Peron, made with Fernet Branca, Campari, Cynar and Q Kola.

Satisfied with five hours of toasting, we called it a night and I headed home to relax. But, for those who stayed, they enjoyed the following drinks:

8:00pm – Off to 1960s Bolivia where, inspired by the spirit of the revolution, they sipped Che Guevara made with Singani63, cranberry, lime and Q ginger beer.

9:00pm – Time travel went to 1860s Kentucky, the childhood home of Abraham Lincoln. The cocktail was the Abe Lincoln made with Knob Creek bourbon, blackberry, almond, crushed ice and a Lincoln Log.

10:00pm – The ten o’clock hour traveled to 1950 Mexico City with a cocktail named the Mexican Sinatra after Pedro Infante, the Sinatra of Mexico. It was made with Mico tequila, lime, orgeat, nutmeg and rose.

11:00pm – The eleven o’clock hour visited the American Southwest in the 1880s with the Billy the Kid made with Highwest rye, lemon and lavender scented honey

12:00am – When the clock struck midnight in Los Angeles, it was time for a Champagne toast.

Whether we stay for a couple hours, or longer, we get to countdown to midnight more than once. And, there is something very satisfying about that. It really feels like a special night and marks the end of one year and the start of another. And that is why after seven years, spending New Years Eve at Big Bar is the Please The Palate pick of the week.