Movers and shakers

The first cocktail Jason Kosmas sipped was called a watermelon Jolly Rancher. “I didn’t know what was in it, but I was dying to make this drink,” Kosmas says. After researching it, he was surprised to discover that watermelon wasn’t one of the ingredients. That’s when he became interested in bartending. Today neighbors can find him behind the bar at Bolsa with fellow bartender Eddie “Lucky” Campbell, whipping up “geeked-out cocktails”. For example, the BeeKeeper combines tequila, mescal and lime in an absinthe-soaked glass with homemade honey straight from Bolsa’s beehives. The Old Precarious uses persimmon-infused rum, bitters, vanilla tincture, cinnamon and orange oils. The creations pay tribute to the pre-Prohibition era while adding contemporary twists. Kosmas opened the Employees Only cocktail lounge in New York City, ranked No. 8 on the World’s 50 Best Bars by Drinks International magazine. He also co-wrote the bartending book, Speakeasy: Classic Cocktails Re-imagined from New York’s Employees Only Bar. Kosmas trained with legendary mixologist Dale Degroff, whom he calls “the James Brown of cocktails. He put the cosmopolitan in Madonna’s hand.” Despite the seemingly complicated recipes, Kosmas knows the drink still has to make sense. “If it’s not accessible to people, if they don’t understand it, they’re not going to drink it,” he says.

-Davis & Llewellyn

Three more spots to sip a cocktail

1 Tillman’s Roadhouse
Lucy Brennan has been noted as one of the nation’s top five mixologists, serving up tasty concoctions like the Sassy Sara with vanilla vodka and pineapple rum, and the blood orange margarita.
Seventh & Bishop

2 Bar Belmont
You can’t beat the view at the Belmont Hotel’s lounge, which offers a variety of picture-perfect cocktails.
Sylvan & Fort Worth Avenue

3 Beckley BrewHouse
This local hideout offers an array of cocktails, including a lengthy martini list. From the Bubble to the Dirty Pickle, there’s plenty to explore here.
Beckley & Zang