All the drinks at V DTLA, the new bar and restaurant located on the ground floor of the Seven Grand whiskey bar, are made for sipping and designed for Instagram. The most fantastical — and the most popular — is a drink called the Smoking Pot.
Diners turn their heads and follow the path of the drink as it makes its way from the bar to the table. Fog billows up and over the edges of the serving tray, leaving a gossamer trail behind it. The drink arrives in an actual clay pot, still “smoking,” thanks to a ramekin of dry ice underneath it.
The nonornamental — i.e., imbibable — part of the drink is made with cucumber syrup, fresh grapefruit juice, lime juice and vodka, a little bit like a sour and a gimlet according to bar manager Chrystian Lopez. It’s a simple, sunny cocktail that’s bracingly tart then sweet, like a boozy Sour Patch Kid. And the dry ice isn’t entirely for show: It ensures your drink is ice cold until you get to the bottom of the pot, without getting watered down.
Make one for Halloween, or for the next time you need a reward for adult behavior. (And don’t worry, it works without the smoke show too.)
Smoking Pot cocktail
10 minutes, plus cooling. Makes 1 drink.
When serving this drink at the bar, the bartenders set up a contraption with dry ice to create a smoking effect. Hence, “smoking pot cocktail.” You don’t need to do the same to enjoy this refreshing citrus cocktail.
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¼ regular cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 ounces vodka
- 2 ounces fresh pink grapefruit juice
- 1 ounce fresh lime juice
- Combine the sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and immediately add the cucumber slices. Press them into the liquid so that they’re barely submerged. Let stand until room temperature, about 1 hour, then strain.
- Add 1 ounce of the strained cucumber syrup to a cocktail shaker, along with the vodka, grapefruit juice and lime juice. Fill the shaker with ice, cap and shake vigorously for 5 seconds.
- Fill a highball glass with crushed ice and strain the cocktail into it. Serve immediately.