The 100 best dishes and drinks in Los Angeles 2014: Drinks

These drinks gave us all kinds of goosebumps—and no, it wasn't just the alcohol. Check out our list of the best drinks we sipped on in 2014.
By Time Out contributors |
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Cocktails, beer and coffee—OK, mostly cocktails—landed on our list of 2014's best beverages. Our favorites included tiki drinks, iced lattes and swills that were made popular in the '70s, but the one thing they all had in common was their ability to make us down them in a flash. Let's just call it magic.

RECOMMENDED: More best dishes and drinks in Los Angeles

Early Ace at The Wallace
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Early Ace at The Wallace

The Early Ace is a rarity—the very last sip you'll take is just as compelling as the first. The Damrak gin-based libation is topped with an incredible pistachio foam that continues to dissolve into the cocktail with each sip. Translation? Ordering it is a no-brainer. $12. - Erin Kuschner
Vaudeville at Faith & Flower
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Vaudeville at Faith & Flower

The Vaudeville, a vodka-based drink with lemon, raspberry gum and aromatic bitters, hits you with a perfume-y, aromatic cloud before it becomes clear why it's one of Faith & Flower's most popular drinks: crisp and complex, the cocktail transports you somewhere else entirely (Gatsby's mansion, perhaps?). $12. - Erin Kuschner


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The Westside at Scopa Italian Roots
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

West Side at Scopa Italian Roots

Not only is The West Side gorgeous—it resembles a snowcone, concocted with vodka, orgeat, cucumber, mint and lime and with a pile of shaved ice on top—but this summery libation is as light and refreshing as they come. $11. - Erin Kuschner
Walnut milk at Moon Juice
Photograph: Brandon Friend-Solis

Walnut Mucuna Merry Milk at Moon Juice

Got milk? Do yourself a favor and grab a bottle of this creamy drink. Made with walnuts, coconut meat, mucuna, tocotrienols, maple crystals and more fancy-schmancy ingredients, you're going to want to ditch that Almond Breeze stat. The pieces of coconut and hints of salt, maple and cinnamon taste like a cozy fall afternoon as you sip on this oh-so-good (and good for you) milk. $12. - Ramona Saviss
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Irish coffee at Tom Bergin's
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Irish Coffee at Tom Bergin's

There's a reason Tom Bergin's is dubbed "The House of Irish Coffee." The cocktail here is a smooth, creamy delight made with Tullamore Dew, Bergin's house blend coffee and cream, and there is no reason why you should visit the Fairfax staple without ordering one. $8. - Erin Kuschner
Lavanda at Gracias Madre
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Lavanda at Gracias Madre

If you're not totally on board with the vegan Mexican food at Gracias Madre, allow head bartender Jason Eisner to help you drink your dinner. The Lavanda is made with both lavender syrup and bitters; the potential for it being too sweet is cut by the tequila blanco and lime, resulting in a fresh, clean cocktail that goes down easy. $11. - Erin Kuschner
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Alabama Slammer at Tunnel Bar
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Alabama Slammer at Tunnel Bar

Tunnel Bar’s mainstay is a rehashed version of a drink that should have died decades ago. With amaretto, sloe gin, rum, orange juice and lime, it’s sweet, tart and delicious, and we’re happy to take it off the endangered cocktails list. $11. - Merin McDonald
Coconut iced tea at Alfred's Coffee & Kitchen
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Coconut iced tea at Alfred Coffee & Kitchen

Alfred's "But first, coffee" signage may be one of the most Instagrammed coffee shop walls in the city, but you shouldn't just focus on coffee here. The refreshing coconut iced tea, one of the shop's many tea offerings, is like a shot of the tropics in liquid form. We think it's pretty Instagram worthy, too. $3.50 - Erin Kuschner
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Tokyo Highball at Bar Jackalope
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Tokyo Highball at Bar Jackalope

Almost more impressive than the drink itself is the massive, perfectly sculpted ice cube that fills the glass of this drink, keeping the Suntory Hakushu 12-year whiskey crisp and cool and utterly refreshing. $14. - Erin Kuschner
Margo's Bark Root Beer
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Margo's Bark Root Beer (available at Salt's Cure, Oaks Gourmet, Whole Foods)

Margo's Bark could have called it quits with their heartwarming and Rockwell-esque origin story: A young Los Angeles boy rescues a dog, proceeds to enter his school science fair with home-brewed root beer he names after said dog, then proceeds to mass manufacture said root beer and donate all profits to helping shelter and rescue dogs. It's only icing on the cake that 7-year-old Oscar Youd's brew happens to be one of the best root beers we've ever tasted. And yes, we are root beer experts. $3-$8. - Jakob N. Layman
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Bourbon coffee porter at Smog City
Photograph: Courtesy Smog City

Bourbon coffee porter at Smog City Brewing Co.

This cozy Torrance brewery is always coming up with unique brews to satisfy its South Bay fans, but this year's bourbon coffee porter knocked it out of the park. With notes of chocolate, vanilla, wood and—duh—coffee, the American porter goes down smooth and oh-so-easy. $2-$6. - Erin Kuschner
Bucky O'Hare at 1886 Bar
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Bucky O'Hare at 1886

Mixologist Gregory Gertmenian gives his twist on the classic ginger buck by adding smoky mezcal and amaro, the bitter-sweet Italian digestif, then topping it with grapefruit soda. $14. - Danielle Jacoby
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The Devil's Gate at The Flintridge Proper
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Devil's Gate at The Flintridge Proper

Named after Devil’s Gate dam, a local landmark in Pasadena, this sweet and spicy cocktail combines Plymouth gin with blackberries, basil and lemongrass, with jalapeno and ginger adding a devilish kick. $11. - Merin McDonald
Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Rum at Trader Sam's.
Photograph: Michael Juliano

Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Rum at Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar

Make sure to say all of those “tikis” when ordering (sing it for extra credit), lest you miss out on this balance of tropical nectars—rum, cream of coconut and pineapple and orange juices—and a tastes-like-Christmas dusting of cinnamon and nutmeg. $11.50. - Michael Juliano
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Iced macadamia almond latté at G&B Coffee
Photograph: Courtesy G&B Coffee

Iced almond and macadamia milk latte at G&B Coffee/Go Get Em Tiger

The New York Times named it the country's best iced latte, and, well, we can't say we disagree. This slightly sweet and creamy concoction uses homemade nut milk for a refreshing, decadent take on iced coffee. $6. - Kate Wertheimer
Shandy Koufax at Harlowe
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Shandy Koufax at Harlowe

Made with Cana Brava rum, a bitter orange amaro, pineapple syrup, fresh lemon, and the kicker—a California IPA—this drink is like a citrusy kiss on a summer's day. $14. - Danielle Jacoby
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Spanish gin & tonic at Beelman's Pub
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Spanish G&T at Beelman's Pub

You think you've had your fair share of gin and tonics, and then you have the Spanish version at Beelman's Pub—a wine glass chock-full of lemon and lime slices and a giant cinnamon stick, giving the gin a spicy finish. $11. - Erin Kuschner
Bealching Beaver Peanut Butter Stout
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Belching Beaver Peanut Butter Stout at The Virgil

The highest accolade we could hope to give any alcoholic drink is that it's just as addictive and tasty as a bowl of Reese's Peanut Butter Puffs, without any of the artificial or sickly sweet flavor. So basically, this Belching Beaver stout.  $8. - Jakob N. Layman
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