An Evening at Copa d’Oro, Part 1: Decadence & Elegance

Dangerously close to work, so far from home … but the cocktail menu is too good not to be tempted to head over. Copa d’Oro in Santa Monica, run by our friend Vincenzo Marianella, is a stupendously good bar with a world-class cocktail menu, including their 6-8pm Happy Hour Menu — classic cocktails like Aviations, Daiquiris and Ward Eights are a whopping $5.

So yes, a Clover Club to start, please! I was considering continuing in that vein to save a little money, but the rest of the drinks on the regular menu are so damned good, and then of course I spied the bottle of housemade Pimento Dram behind the bar (Damian’s recipe, I believe) … well, that did it. I watched him make this one, so I’m pretty certain about the proportions.


1-3/4 ounces Courvoisier Exclusif Cognac.
1/2 ounce Apry.
3 barspoons Pimento Dram.
2 barspoons Cynar.
3 dashes Angostura Orange Bitters.
2 orange peels.

Spray the inside of a chilled cocktail glass with the oil from a large piece of orange peel. Discard the peel. Combine ingredients and stir for 30 seconds. Strain into the prepared cocktail glass, and garnish with another orange twist.

Lovely drink. The Apry, allspice and Cynar play together very nicely, and the double dose of orange oil kicks up the aromatics that much more.

I’m breaking this post into two to make sure the cocktails index separately, so on to Part 2