Tonight: Drago Centro Debuts Summer Cocktail Menu for $8

— by Caroline on Crack

Drago Centro's Jaymee Mandeville by Caroline on Crack

Drago Centro’s Jaymee Mandeville fixing up a new summer cocktail.

Tonight at downtown’s Drago Centro restaurant, bar manager/mixologist Jaymee Mandeville will unveil her all-new summer cocktails for only $8 each. That’s right, for one night only, boozers on a budget can enjoy the nine new cocktails at a price that’s unusually low for downtown. Normally the “Nuovi Classici” (New Classics) and “Classici” (Classic) cocktails here run $12, which is still not too bad for the area.

Last night, courtesy of a hosted preview, I got a taste of Jaymee’s new cocktails which showcase ingredients evocative of sultry days like honeydew, white tea and strawberry shrub. Yum.

The great thing about her concoctions is that even though they seem like they have a lot going on in terms of a variety of unique ingredients, they always turn out so well-balanced and, well, delicious.

The following four stood out to me:

American Cherub: Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Lillet Rose, strawberry shrub, cherry tomatoes, toasted fennel tincture

American Cherub summer cocktail by Caroline on Crack

OK, this was my absolute favorite on the menu. Turns out strawberries make delicious shrubs as the sweet-sourness of the vinegar is a natural complement to the berry. Really approachable, especially to those who are still hesitant about vinegary cocktails.

Summer Dalliance: Nolet’s Gin, St. George Absinthe, creme de violette, Bing cherries, lemon, prosecco

Summer Dalliance cocktail by Caroline on Crack

Full-bodied, almost like a sangria but dry thanks to the prosecco and oh-my so potent.

White Picket Fence: Laird’s Bonded Apple Brandy, Schizandra white tea, peach, lemon, egg white, Miracle Mile Forbidden Bitters

Drago Centro's White Picket Fence by Caroline on Crack

Now this one is best enjoyed on a porch but the outdoor patio at Drago will do nicely. The bitters in this tea cocktail adds complexity and at the same time rounds it out.

Don’t Be Square: Templeton Rye, Jacopo Poli Miele Grappa, Benedictine, rock sake, Junmai Daiginjo, Bitter Truth Creole Bitters

Drago Centro's Don't Be Square by Caroline on Crack

It’s like a Vieux Carre but with lighter ingredients for the summer, says Jaymee. But just don’t let it sit too long as the ice will soften its flavors, at least too much  for my tastes.

Photo Gallery of the New Summer Cocktails

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Drago Centro
525 S Flower Street
Los Angeles, California 90071 (map)
(213) 228-8998
Facebook: Drago Centro
Twitter: @DragoCentro