Ridiculously good cocktail: Rivera’s Blood Sugar Sex Magic

From Looka!/Gumbo Pages.

From Looka!/Gumbo Pages.

Normally I wouldn’t dedicate a whole post to just one cocktail, but the Blood Sugar Sex Magic is like nothing I’ve ever tasted. I’ve been thinking about it, on and off, since first trying it a couple weeks ago before heading over to Rosa Mexicano’s par-tay. And then at a dinner last week, Matt of Dig Lounge brought it up, and now I’m thinking about it a lot again. So now I have to blog about it, plain and simple.

I had some time to kill before Rosa Mexicano, so Caroline of Caroline on Crack met me for some pre-party drinks at Rivera, which is conveniently within walking distance of L.A. Live downtown. After perusing the cocktail menu, my eye landed on the Blood Sugar Sex Magic: a perfect combination of rye whiskey, agave nectar, basil and red bell pepper. Yes, you read correctly. Since Caroline, who knows her whiskey, said she’d had the cocktail and liked it, I though I’d give it a try. And I’m sure glad I did. It’s absolutely amazing: fragrant, well-balanced, intriguing even.

The only downside is it’s a whopping $14. This was my first time at Rivera, so I haven’t had any of the other cocktails, save for a sip of Caroline’s Donaji made with mezcal, citrus, agave nectar, pomegranate seeds and chapulin (grasshopper!) salt. The Donaji wasn’t really my cup of tea, so to speak, and smelled like a Band-Aid, which Caroline expertly pointed out. But I would go back not just for the Blood Sugar Sex Magic but also to try the restaurant’s happy hour menu, which includes a list of standard throwback cocktails that’s so trendy right now.

Gripe: I probably would have tried one of the drinks on the happy hour menu had I know there was a happy hour menu. When we asked for a menu, we were given the bar’s regular menu despite it obviously being happy hour time. When we went to pay, we asked, out of curiosity, if there was indeed a happy hour menu, and that’s when the bartender handed it over. Poor form.

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Maya Meinert

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10 2009

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  1. 1

    I’m not a fan of whisky, but Blood Sugar Sex Magic is probably one of my top 3, if not my favorite drinks I’ve had here in So Cal!

  2. 2

    Bad form on not handing over the happy hour menu indeed! I hate when bars try to keep happy hour a secret. However, that blood sugar sex magic sounds mighty tasty. They need to get that on the menu.