Sassafres's Delicious Southern Cocktails - L.A.

Working is the curse of the drinking class

You may have heard that a Savannah townhouse has been meticulously reconstructed inside the new Hollywood bar Sassafras.

The effect of this architectural feat is impressive, the antebellum details pushing the bar's interior toward soundstage territory. The barstools are authentically (read: annoyingly) wobbly, and the bathrooms are equipped with the kind of pull-chain toilets that bring Michael Corleone to mind.

You know what else is old at Sassafras? The cocktails. Seven different barrel-aged drinks grace the list, the mellowed concoctions prominently, kinetically displayed in flip-top bottles that haltingly rotate on a track above the bar.

Dark liquor and fortified wines dominate these drinks, which rest in either new American oak or old port or rye barrels for at least eight weeks before they're ready to drink. The Club Cocktail ($13), built around the Christmasy flavors of aged rum, takes well to the extra bit of woodsy vanilla flavor that barrel aging imparts; the medicinal, bitter notes of Vya vermouth and Carpano Antica ward off any cloyingness.

There are unaged drinks too. The Sassafras Royale ($12), a Flip made with Iowa's Templeton Rye, Root liqueur, malt and the bar's own sarsaparilla, is a delicious soda-counter throwback.

Sassafras, 1233 Vine Ave., Hollywood; 323-467-2800 or