We took a whirlwind tour through the restaurant-lined streets of downtown Culver City this past month during their Third Annual “Spiked Lemonade Tasting.” You could seriously spend all summer long tasting your way through this incredibly varied “gastro-hub” and still have more exciting hot spots to experience by the fall.
Each and every venue we entered had a unique decor, vibe and titillating options for the palate. For you, I picked my topFAVS, so that you too can get started on your own exploratory tour of the tastes of Culver City, if even in your own abode. You can also catch the next Third Wednesday venture in July. They’ll be featuring drinks with an Americana theme in honor of our country’s independence.
Hands down, my absolute favorite spiked lemonade of our evening jaunt was featured at Wildcraft Sourdough Pizza entitled ‘Summer Lush’. With puree peaches, cinnamon and lemon, how could you go wrong? Pure yummy! They also have an awesome selection of beers and the wood fired pizza looks incredible. The vibe at Wildcraft is super chill as well. A smiling bartender, walls plastered with colorful imagery and positive sayings, booths and high bar tables create a sleek and comforting feel in this small naturally lit space. I can’t wait to go back and sample everything on the menu!
Wildcraft’s ‘Summer Lush’ Spiked Lemonade by Sunny Hanna, Mixologist
3 cups water
2 cups white sugar
1 cinnamon stick
3 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice
24 oz premium sake
Puree peaches then add water, sugar and cinnamon. Simmer for 30 minutes then cool for 15 minutes. Add lemon juice and sake. Serve over ice.
I absolutely loved Ford Filling Station’s super refreshing lemonade. Spiked with a hint of spicy, their little shots of bliss tingled the taste buds and tantalized my senses. Ben Ford, owner of Ford Filling Station gastropub has not only created an amazing ambiance and menu for his classic gastropub, but has also recently released a new cookbook that will have you lighting up the BBQ in a whole new mouth-watering manner for many, entitled Taming the Feast.
Ford Filling Station’s Spicy Cucumber Lemonade
Spicy Cucumber Lemonade
2 oz Tito’s Vodka
3/4 oz Spicy Cucumber Syrup*
1 oz Fresh squeezed lemon
2 Dashes lemon bitters
*Spicy Cucumber Syrup
1 cup simple syrup
6 small cucumbers, sliced
1 jalapeno, sliced
Puree in a Vitamix or blender. Strain juice
Sauntering into Seventy7 Lounge my eyes became wide with giddiness and amazement. This little French Speakeasy, hidden away down a sweet alleyway, is petit and impeccably designed. Dimly lit with crystal chandeliers, hues of red, and complete with soft velvet wallpaper, (yes, velvet!), the entrance alone indulged our senses. The bar top held a hand pulled juicer, holding fresh lemons, ready for the creation of our lovely lemon libation. Matthew Goldberg, Seventy7’s gracious GM, rolled the unique array of ingredients right off his tongue and told us about the retro happenings that occur at his swanky joint. From live bands, burlesque dancers, to Happy Hours, this spot became an immediate favorite that I intend to frequent freely.
Seventy7’s Spiked Lemonade
Absolut Herbaceous Lemon Vodka
Berenjager Honey Liquor
Fresh Lemon Juice
Tender Greens can thankfully be found all over LaLa Land and down the coastline. It’s a spot that will fuel your senses, your whole entire body, and your heart. They are in the business of creating fresh organic food that begins with the harvested goodness from local farmers. “From Farm to Fork,” they call it. Their Sustainable Life-Project offers nourishment, knowledge about sustainable farming, and both culinary and life skills to emancipated foster youth, culminating with the opportunity of employment at Tender Greens. Oh, and their Culver City Spiked Lemonade was nothing but pure summer goodness.
Tender Greens’ Spiked Lemonade
The Culver Hotel was the last of our hotspots to visit in Culver City. I’ve named them as my final favorite, not just because of their lip smacking little drink, but because of the incredible architecture and ambiance of the historical landmark. It felt as if we were entering Paris in the decade of the 20’s. Couples swirled in tandem before a live band, situated in front of circular white clothed tables spread across the hotel ballroom entrance. From the tall ceilings, carved columns, arched glass windows, and black and white checkered flooring, the boutique hotel invites a certain attitude to burgeon from within. It’s also fun to know that this gem is what Culver City centered around in the mid-twenties. It brought a little Hollywood to the West Side, and even hosted all 125 little Wizard of Oz Munchkins during their shoot. It’s said that there is an underground tunnel in which they traveled to the studio each day. The history alone is means to experience The Culver Hotel.
The Culver Hotel’s Spiked Lemonade
Passion Fruit Puree