The fact that 20-year-old Venice eatery, Joe’s Restaurant on Abbot Kinney, is launching a new market-driven cocktail list with local, seasonal ingredients isn’t really news. Especially in light of the fact that many cocktail-serious bars have already been doing this for years. But that it counts premium liquors for its well booze is pretty darn impressive. Joe’s beverage director Jennifer Zerboni has stocked her bar with Corralejo for well tequila and Rittenhouse Rye, “North American Whiskey of the Year,” for well bourbon (WELL bourbon!) because, as she says, “I like my guests and don’t want them getting headaches from any of my drinks.” Awww, I love her!
And, yes, it’s not your imagination, Rittenhouse Rye IS in very limited supply. “I love the taste of the Rittenhouse, but it is very hard to get so I am always on a waiting list. Whenever we get it in, I stock it in my well because it is a little stronger and I think it makes the drinks taste better. Whenever we are out of it, I stock the well with Old Overholt which I also like a lot, until I get another bottle of the Rittenhouse,” says Jennifer.
If you’re curious about her new headache-free cocktails ($10-$12), though, check out this menu. Below are some of the more intriguing picks.
- B.S. Rita: Corralejo Silver, lime, simple farmers market strawberries, basil, salt rim
- Drunk Chicken: Dry London Gin, lemon, rhubarb simple syrup, egg white, rhubarb bitters
- Fleur de Lis: Luksusowa Vodka, lemon, grapefruit, elderflower liqueur, muddled basil
- Venice Peach: Buffalo Trace Bourbon, housemade peach puree, lemon, peach, pastis
They also serve classics like Sazeracs and Hemingway Daiquiris as well as agua frescas like watermelon mint and cantaloupe ginger for your designated drivers. Go, Joe’s!