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A drink + a jam: LA's best summer cocktails and summer playlist (SLIDESHOW)

Chill out with LA's best summer cocktails and summer playlist with these drink + song pairings from our favorite bars.

 (Photograph: Jakob N. Layman)
Photograph: Jakob N. LaymanDrink: Celerium ($10), gin, celery, anise seed, at Stella Barra Jam: "First Breath After Coma" by Explosions in the Sky  
 (Photograph: Jakob N. Layman)
Photograph: Jakob N. LaymanDrink: Banana Hammock ($10), PettyCash rum blend, banana infusion, lime, tamarind, cassia, dehydrated banana chip, at PettyCash Taquería Jam: "It's Raining Men" by the Weather Girls "I'm sure you can connect the dots on this song and drink pairing." –Julian Cox, PettyCash Taquería
 (Photograph: Jakob N. Layman)
Photograph: Jakob N. LaymanDrink: China Doll, jasmine-infused Caprock organic gin, lemon juice, jasmine coconut cream, egg white, at No Vacancy Jam: "China Girl" by Iggy Pop "The drink is for that beautiful female muse that Iggy Pop sings about." –Sean Hamilton, No Vacancy
 (Photo courtesy Church & State)
Photo courtesy Church & StateDrink: Maid in Manhattan ($13), Old Overholt rye, Dolin rouge, mint, cucumber, lime, and Angostura bitters, at Church & State Jam: Theme song from New York, New York by Frank Sinatra "This play on a classic screams New York, New York, a standard and pun intended." –Jonathan Navasartian, barman at Church & State
 (Photo courtesy Church & State)
Photo courtesy Church & StateDrink: Purple Rain ($13), Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Cocchi vermouth, thyme, blackberry and lime, at Church & State Jam: "When Doves Cry" by Prince "I put together a playlist for the restaurant at the same time as the creation of the cocktail list, and it just so happened that When Doves Cry was playing when I came up with this cocktail. Fitting." –Jonathan Navasartian, barman of Church & State
 (Photo courtesy Circa)
Photo courtesy CircaDrink: Carrie Bradshaw ($10), vodka, organic cranberry juice, Combier, lime, citric acid, at Circa Jam: "Summer in the City" by the Lovin' Spoonful  
 (Photo courtesy Rustic Canyon)
Photo courtesy Rustic CanyonDrink: Corazón de Fresas, ($15), Scorpion mescal silver, Gaviota strawberry, lime, basil, at Rustic Canyon Wine Bar and Seasonal Kitchen Jam: "A New Life" by Jim James "This is a perfect summertime cocktail, something you could drink at the beach. Fresh strawberries and basil give a light sweetness, which is balanced out by a hint of smokiness from the mescal. The drink is a bit romantic, so A New Life goes perfectly with it." –Aaron Ranf, Rustic Canyon Wine Bar and Seasonal Kitchen
 (Photo courtesy Red O)
Photo courtesy Red ODrink: Casablanca clear margarita ($14), Casamigos silver tequila, triple sec, clarified lime juice, simple syrup, at Red O Jam: "Bamboléo" by the Gipsy Kings "The song is similar to the cocktail—Latin, unique and something that will stick in your mind after it ends." –Steve Calabro, Red O
 (Photo courtesy Short Order)
Photo courtesy Short OrderDrink: Charlie Brown ($12), roasted peanut infused bourbon, vanilla custard, chocolate and peanut syrups, at Short Order Jam: "Linus and Lucy" by Vince Guaraldi "This shake was inspired by a desert from Nancy Silverton, in which the salted Spanish peanuts stole the show. I incorporated the nuts into a shake and thought the Charlie Brown was the perfect name." –Julian Cox, Short Order
 (Photograph: Michael Gardnes)
Photograph: Michael GardnesDrink: Jardin de Fraises ($10), Clover kefir, strawberries, fig, clover honey and fig balsamic, at Fig & Olive Melrose Place Jam: "Je t'aime...Moi non plus" by Serge Gainsbourg "I am a Beatles kind of guy, but when I think of this summery concoction and its lusciousness, Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin comes to mind with the sensual hit "Je t'aime...Moi non plus." –Michael Loomis, Fig & Olive Melrose Place  
 (Photo courtesy Cut)
Photo courtesy CutDrink: The Monstera Deliciosa ($18), Crusoe Organic Silver Rum, Coleman Family Farms Cherimoya, Pulito Family Farms Lime Juice, Cut Jam: "Wipe Out" by the Surfaris "This drink screams summer with rum and cherimoya, a Southern California fruit that is green and scaly and ugly on the outside but deliciously tropical on the inside. It tastes like banana, passion fruit, mango, pineapple and lychee all in one bite. We salt half the rim to make it go down easy. Finish one and you're well on your way to a wipe out!" –Dana Farner, Cut
 (Photo courtesy the Larchmont)
Photo courtesy the LarchmontDrink: Southern Circles ($13), Atlantico Reserva Rum, lemon, ginger, honey, orange bitters, at the Larchmont Jam: "Dirty Old Town" by the Pogues  
 (Photo courtesy Public Kitchen & Bar)
Photo courtesy Public Kitchen & BarDrink: Pineapple Express ($14), Sailor Jerry spiced rum, lime, pineapple, basil and ginger beer, at Public Kitchen & Bar Jam: "Three Little Birds" by Bob Marley "You can’t go wrong with a little Bob Marley while sipping on some rum." –David Veis, Public Kitchen & Bar
 (Photo courtesy Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel Air)
Photo courtesy Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel AirDrink: Pins & Needles ($18), Tanqueray, rosemary syrup, lemon juice, cucumber, Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air Jam: "Summer Wind" by Frank Sinatra "The perfect song to play this drink on the bar's outdoor terrace on a beautiful, breezy summer evening." –Tim Wilson, Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air
 (Photo courtesy the Pikey)
Photo courtesy the PikeyDrink: She's a Lover ($10), chamomille-infused Bacardi rum, blackberries, mint, lemon luice and honey, at the Pikey Jam: "She's a Lover" by the Pretty Things "The Pretty Things named the drink for me as "She's a Lover" was serendipitously playing when I took my first sip of the cocktail. The fresh ingredients remind me of the perfect summer day." –Eric Shani, the Pikey
 (Photo courtesy Hinoki & the Bird)
Photo courtesy Hinoki & the BirdDrink: The Hinoki Swizzle ($14), Amontillado Sherry, St. Germain, green apple juice, champagne, at Hinoki & the Bird Jam: "In a Sentimental Mood" by Duke Ellington and John Coltrane "Just like the song, this drink is refreshing, light, vibrant and really beautiful." –Sam Ross, Hinoki & the Bird
By Katherine Kims |

We checked out the best cocktail bars and best restaurants in the city to bring you LA's best summer cocktails. Whether you're craving an alfresco swizzler or beachside drink in a bottle, sip on these 20 cocktails that kick off the season. And the best thing to pair with a fun-in-the-sun drink? A summer jam, of course. Turn up the volume and play this cocktail-inspired setlist loud.

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