Abbe Lewis / September 2012
Los Angeles—What do you do when you find empty planters on the sunny roof deck of a downtown Los Angeles hotel? Make lemons for the lemonade, of course. That’s what Klaus Puck, beverage director of WP24 Restaurant & Lounge (and yes, he’s Wolfgang’s brother), did when he noticed the empty planters at Blue Rooftop Bar at The Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles. The new poolside Cocktail Garden—boasting some 15 varieties of fresh herbs and fruits—is used as libation inspiration for both Blue and WP24 Restaurant & Lounge.
Puck saw the planters and wanted to put them to good use by incorporating them into cocktails. He works with the beverage, spa, and culinary teams of the property, as well as a local gardener, to create the cocktail list using the ingredients. Currently on the summer menu: Verbena Lemonade (go to FoodArts.com/drinks to find the recipe) and Pineapple Mojito (Bacardi Superior Rum, pineapple, and mint). Other rooftop herbs and plants include chervil, chives, fennel, oranges, lemons, and pansies, all labeled with antique spoons.
For now, the menu is planned to change with the seasons at least three times a year.
“No matter how fresh herbs can be through delivery, there’s nothing like the flavor of just-picked herbs—it’s much more intense,” states Puck. “And they’re not just requested on the pool deck—I get cocktail requests from the guest rooms.”
An oasis in the desert, indeed.
Find the recipe for WP24's spiked verbena lemonade here.