Well, it certainly was a Rancho Mirage who’s who at the launch of the 2016 edition of R/M Magazine at Wally’s Desert Turtle last January 6. On hand were not only Rancho Mirage Mayor Dana Hobart and members of the Rancho Mirage City Council but city staff and the Palm Springs Life team behind the magazine’s publication. Also in attendance: cover subjects Scott and Rachel White (he of the Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau). R/M cover dogs—the couple’s two rescues, Spencer and Bella—were regrettably absent.
Naturally, Potter and I were also somewhere in the crowd, celebrating the fact that we became first-time contributors to R/M this year with our stories “Hamburgers: Redefining an American Classic” (penned by Potter), and “Hometown Highballs” (by moi). Here’s just a small preview of the latter:
If there’s anything as emblematic of desert living as sunshine and palm trees, it’s cocktails. So, in a land where happy hour is celebrated virtually around the clock, we rounded up our preferred thirst-quenchers on tap at our favored Rancho Mirage watering holes (listed in alphabetical order, below). Cheers to both time-tested standards and to more modern Johnny (Walker)-come-latelies.
Babe’s Bar-B-Que & Brewhouse
With award-winning craft beer being the main attraction here, it’s no surprise that the Sunnylands Spritzer (named for the Rancho Mirage estate of the late Ambassador Walter Annenberg and his wife, Leonore) contains Lindemans Framboise raspberry lambic (a Belgian-style, fruit-infused beer). Added to it are champagne, Domaine de Canton ginger-flavored liqueur, Absolut Kurant vodka, and sweet-and-sour mix. Gently shaken over ice so as to not cause the champagne and lambic to lose their fizz, it’s garnished with a cherry skewered with a lime twist. The cocktail’s color matches Sunnylands’ pink walls. www.babesbbque.com
bluEmber at Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa
From the resort’s signature restaurant’s “secret menu” (an unpublished list of a half-dozen, long-gone old favorites of which only insiders know) comes the Strawberry Lemondrop. Confected by muddling fresh strawberries, lemon juice, and simple syrup, and shaking over ice with Ketel One Citroen vodka, it’s strained and served straight up in a chilled martini glass with a sugar rim. The garnish? A single strawberry. www.rancholaspalmas.com
Catalan Mediterranean Cuisine
Bar manager Cory Como wanted to coin a cocktail embodying the Mediterranean eatery’s Spain-Italy-California threesome theme. So he infused a liter of Jose Cuervo Especial silver tequila with three red and three green slivered jalapeños. To a shot or so of that he added lime and cranberry juices, serving the result in a sugar-rimmed bucket glass garnished with a lime wheel and a slivered pepper. “I didn’t have a runner-up for the name,” says Como of his creation, which rates a seven out of 10 on the heat index. “Running with the Bulls just hit me like a ton of bricks.” www.catalanrestaurant.com