Best Cocktails 2012

Our favorite new drinks in Los Angeles

Los Angeles hasn't seen the kind of cocktail innovation currently taking place in Southland bars since the rum-fueled postwar Tiki boom.

What brought us to this exciting point was a succession of waves that have washed across the bar scene since the cocktail revival began in 2008: this one bringing on a rash of classics cocktails; that one proliferating newfangled trends around the city (we're looking at you, bone luge).

Our annual canvassing of area bars has shown, however, that no single ideology currently holds sway in Los Angeles, making the cocktail scene in 2012 less predictable and more delicious. Whereas one bar's drinks are inspired by technology as much as anything, another is more interested in investigating the different flavors that can be sussed out of rye whiskey.

So this year's Best Cocktails (click here to see the drinks–with recipes!) could take you on an ill-advised bar crawl across Los Angeles, one in which you would encounter an impressive range of flavors, drink styles and ideas.

Many of these cocktails will only live on at your home bar, as cocktail menus are so often changing. So go out and taste the best L.A. has to offer in the cocktail department before this delicious moment passes.