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Destination: Cocktail -- The Tar Pit shares a few favorite recipes and dishes on its all-female bar staff

November 12, 2010 |  6:00 am

Tar-Pit-Cocktail Friday marks the launch of the new Nightlife page in the Calendar section of the paper, and each week it is my duty to scour the city for a cocktail recipe to feature on that page. The feature is called "Destination: Cocktail," because if I've done my job right these are drinks that you would hop in your car and drive miles and miles to taste.

As you can imagine, this kind of drinking research is pure drudgery, with me sullenly putting on my high-heeled boots and blue-glitter eyeshadow before dragging my tight-jean-clad body to bar after bar for the purpose of sipping some of L.A.'s most inventive cocktail creations. I never meet anybody and I have no fun whatsoever. But I do it for you.

For the launch of "Destination: Cocktail" I decided to head to the Tar Pit, Mark Peel and Jay Perrin's little slice of Art Deco heaven on La Brea. A saucy jazz band was playing as my friend and I sat down to decipher the lengthy cocktail menu. So much drinking to do, sigh.

Soon we were introduced to general manager Shel Bourdon who let us in on an interesting Tar Bar factoid: Currently, and not necessarily by design, the Tar Pit is in possession of an all-female bar staff. (Sorry boys, girls mix better here.) And these aren't just any women -- their credentials are uniformly impressive.

Bourdon hails from the Doheny and the Bazaar by Jose Andres as does bartender Kate Grutman; head bartender Danielle Crouch made the journey from New York's Clover Club; and bartender Katie Darling splits her time with Cana Rum Bar.

Happily for us the ladies of the Tar Pit have opted to share some of their favorite cocktail recipes with us. Following the jump you'll find two recipes created by Bourdon and Crouch. And to see the recipe that ran in Calendar -- for a delicious little number called the Silver Lining -- click here.

The Tar Bar, 609 N. La Brea, L.A. (323) 965-1300. www.tarpitbar.com

--Jessica Gelt

Photo: Oaxacan Devil (left) and the Copper Penny. Credit: Jessica Gelt / Los Angeles Times

Shel Bourdon "The Morning Cure"
1 1/2 ounces Beefeater gin
3/4 ounce lime juice 
1/2 ounce Lillet Blanc
1/2 ounce St-Germain
1 mint sprig
1 dash cardamom bitters

Muddle mint with lime and add other ingredients, dry shake and pour into a collins glass. Top with crushed ice and a splash of tonic.

Danielle Crouch's "Peep Show"
1 ½ ounces Genever gin
½ ounce orgeat syrup
½ ounce Averna
¼ ounce Creme de Violette
½ ounce lime juice
2 dashes Angostura bitters

Shake and strain back into the tin. Dry shake and strain into a glass. No garnish.