After months of anticipation, I finally managed to be in LA on a night when The Edison was open, so I went to check it out. Of course, a lot of the key people were away at cocktail conference in New Orleans, but you can’t always get what you want.
I walked a short distance into an alley near Second Ave. and Spring Street and immediately saw two big bouncers and a hostess in a long vintage style beaded dress. Once inside, I spotted a shoeshine guy in vintage attire; he sat in a room ringed in art Nouveau style iron work. The main part of the spacious bar is down a long, nearly two-story staircase. Casting a dim glow over the lower floor was a trippy hanging light made up of Tungsten filament bulbs and old blue glass insulators that spiraled down for what seemed like forever.
The voluminous bar is in the basement of an old private power plant; big metal structures that look like burners and furnaces are still in place, with low velvety banquettes and sofas set around them. Light is a recurring theme at the Edison, in the decor and even down to cocktail skewers in the shape of little light bulbs.
Part of the reason I wanted to visit was because I knew from conversations with Edison Spirits Director Aidan Demarest that the Edison loved champagne and sparkling cocktails. Demarest said that bubbly has a beguiling quality that tempts visitors to try other ingredients they’ve never tasted before. As you might expect, the bartenders dress in shirts, ties and vests and greet guests with a politesse not found a most bars in LA. The drink menu is labeled a Catalogue of Parts; inside I found drinks like the Absinthe 75, made with the licorice flavored green spirit; and The Mistress, a flirty drink with pomegranate syrup and champagne.
But since it’s spring I decided to try a the Amelie, a seasonal strawberry sparkling cocktail that’s new on the list. Demarest was even kind enough to share the recipe below. I sipped the fresh, cool Amelie and then got on to my next appointment, unfortunately before the 8:30 aerial dance and acrobatic show. I plan to go back on July 28 for the special event called Radio Room, when Demarest will be working behind the bar and treating guests to some of his electrifying cocktails while a unique cabaret style show that includes AiRealistic unfolds above.
2 fresh strawberries, hulled
2 cucumber slices
1-1/2 ounces white rum
3/4 ounce lime juice
1/2 ounce honey syrup (equal parts honey and water blended)
float of champagne
In a cocktail mixing glass, muddle the strawberries and cucumber slices. Add the rum, lime juice and honey syrup and ice. Shake until well chilled then strain into a tall, Collins style glass filled with ice. Top with a float of champagne. Serve with a straw.
From The Edison Room in Los Angeles