FIG - Fairmont Miramar | Santa Monica, CA

FIG's new barrel-aged cocktails

A row of petite casks sits above the bar at FIG in Santa Monica.

Inside, the ingredients for White Manhattans, Negronis and Rusty Nails have been mellowing for the last few months, and are now ready for serious cocktailing.

Our favorite is the barrel in which oak-smoothed, ruby-red Negronis ($18), made with Martin Miller's Gin, Campari and Martini & Rossi, age. FIG's creative director, Matthew Lehman, said that he and his team tried several gins and discovered that Martin Miller's offered the right amount of juniper.

The bar's version of the Rusty Nail ($18), made with Highland Park 12 and Drambuie, harkens back to the classic days of austere cocktails. For Lehman, this cocktail was his first introduction to the world of spirit-forward cocktails. The barrel aging elevates this two-ingredient libation into something dangerously drinkable, with the herbal licorice notes of the Drambuie melding with the honeyed maltiness of the Scotch.

A new, unnamed addition ($18), a refreshing concoction of pisco, absinthe and Yellow Chartreuse, is shaken with orange juice and grenadine. This light, refreshingly citrusy pick is perfect to relax with on the restaurant's enviable patio.

FIG at the Fairmont Miramar, 101 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica; 310-319-3111 or