THE RAYMOND 1886
SUMMER’S ‘BEYOND THE STARS’ DRINK MENU SOARS
It has been awhile, but after some bar personnel changes, there’s a new seasonal summertime cocktail menu at The Raymond 1886 in Pasadena reminding L.A. area imbibers who is still the ‘top dog’ in the local drinking game. The new sci-fi themed ‘Beyond the Stars’ menu really soars into quarantine era uncharted territory.
The last two+ years during COVID-19 hasn’t seen too many new cocktail menus around town but the
‘Beyond the Stars’ lineup, spearheaded by new head barman Miguel Perez, aims high and connects with quality cocktails more times than not.
The new menu features ten creative, comforting and cool cocktails, from refreshing to boozy apt to delight your summer drinking experience.
My favorite of the new drinks comes courtesy of bar stalwart Nate Baker as his Walter, Texas Space Ranger packs a potent punch that will knock you into Nirvana. A killer mix of Buffalo Trace Bourbon, sarsaparilla syrup and pecan bitters, this one is definitely spirit forward and will blast you into orbit for one fun ride.
Another standout comes from newcomer Jose Luis Valcarcel as his Supernova will take you to mezcal mecca. A combination of Vida mezcal, aperol, banana liqueur, passion fruit, Coco Lopez (cream of coconut) and lime, this one is sensationally smoky with a strong to sweet taste. This is a complex cocktail with a lovely presentation as the aperol is mixed in tableside to give the drink a mad scientist appeal.
A drink destined to be a social media standout is Abby Peoples’ Alien Pool Party. A green blend of tequila, cucumber juice, honey, lime, jalapeño, salt and pepper, this picturesque libation is destined to be uploaded and will collect numerous likes. The mix of cucumber juice and jalapeño creates a taste similar to wheatgrass, which can be slightly off-putting, but thankfully the balance is good enough to create a refreshing and enjoyable drink. For crying out loud, it even comes with a plastic little green alien that’s yours to pose and keep.
And cheers to fellow newcomer Andrew Garcia as his Fermi Paradox is frothy and fantastic. A mix of bourbon, St. George spiced pear, sage honey lemon, and egg white, this one is a solid option for day drinking.
Speaking of day drinking, Abby Peoples’ Andromeda should be the summer’s number one new daytime cocktail (alongside your Bloody Mary and/or Mimosa). Whether it’s kicking off brunch, happy hour or just a good time out, Abby’s Andromeda is just what you need. Nice and refreshing, this blend of gin, Cocchi Americano, rosemary vanilla, lemon and soda water, is a clever take on a gin and soda. Cheers to Abby!
Bar guru Miguel Perez needs to be applauded for overseeing ‘Beyond the Stars’ and for his two additions to the drink menu. His Jupiter Jazz is a boozy blend of cognac, zucca rabarbero amaro, maraschino liqueur, and Barolo chinato. It’s another spirit forward standout that hits on all levels. Miguel’s Nameless Planets is sweet but stiff utilizing a Peruvian agave spirit. A mix of Agave de los Andes Plateado, passion fruit, demerara, lemon and blueberries, this is what relaxing summer drinking is all about.
And let’s not forget Luis Nava who, in my opinion, has been a past bar menu MVP. This time around he got crafty and clever with his Infinity and Beyond. A mix of scotch, blackberry sorbet, chipotle honey, pineapple and lime, this is a complex cocktail that is superbly solid. I love it when these mad scientist bartenders think outside the box.
Thinking outside the box is exactly why The Raymond 1886 has long been a cocktail destination for people who enjoy forward thinking, creative and comforting cocktails. Since 2010, the little bar at The Raymond has been wowing imbibers and this ‘Beyond the Stars’ menu, featuring new young talent, continues in the rich tradition of offering the best and boldest cocktails in SoCal.
The Raymond 1886 is located at 1250 S. Fair Oaks Avenue in Pasadena. The bar is currently open Tuesday – Sunday from 4pm to 9pm. Call 626-441-3136.
Story By: Jose Martinez
Photography Courtesy Of: The Raymond 1886