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Cocktail of the Week: The Avocado Project from Picca, Los Angeles

With a cocktail name like this, there are too many ways to imagine what a nightmare drink it could be. A cocktail tasting like guacamole? A project of a cocktail? A Stanley Kubrick movie?

In the hands of head mixologist Julian Cox, the bartender maestro of L.A. behind the drinks at Rivera, Playa, and Short Order, The Avocado Project is a downright brilliant successful project. Mission accomplished.

No, it doesn’t taste like guacamole. It does taste a bit of avocado, in a good way, like how a well rounded cocktail can be based off a muddled fruit or vegetable or herb. Cox introduces fresh avocado to ascorbic acid for the avocado juice, along with some fresh lime juice. Then the avocado is joined by 5 Island white rum and agave nectar for a bit of smoke and sweetness. The drink gets shaken and served up in a martini glass finished with salt.

The avocado pairs brilliantly with the agave and the white rum, achieving a smoky-sweet depth that excellent rum and tequila cocktails succeed at. Also at Picca, the exceptional year old innovative Peruvian restaurant from the red hot Ricardo Zarate, you can get a classic, well balanced pisco sour of course, or a very enticing Zarate’s Tomahawk #15 mixing rocoto infused mezcal with fresh huacatay and topped with cucumber foam. The list always is changing, but make sure to get a Julian Cox cocktail to go with the exceptional ceviches, causa sushis, and the outstanding anticuchos.

Be brave and go for the Avocado Project. You don’t need tortilla chips to dip into it.

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