A Tonic for What Ails Ye

I’m a sucker for a great classic cocktail — and by great, I mean a drink made with few ingredients, where you can taste the high-quality spirit the beverage is built around. A perfect margarita, for example — lime, agave syrup, good tequila.

A lady gets her close up

A lady gets her close up

I used to think the rechristening of bartenders as “mixologists” was a bit silly. (What would be next — busboys would now be “dishware reutilization engineers”!??) But then on one of our rare evening adventures into civilization without the kids, our pal Alex took us to an establishment in Culver City called Oldfield’s Liquor Room that he liked to frequent with his mistress. The bartender, who was also apparently the proprietor, was a buxom woman in pointy glasses and an old timey baby doll dress. The mercifully manageable bar menu contained a dozen or so “house drinks” based on classics and made with house-infused syrups and bitters. Those we tried were delicious, and I thought, “Okay, she’s more like a chef — and maybe they do deserve something more elevated than ‘bartender'”. More