Acabar's Time-Traveling Cocktails | Tasting Table Los Angeles

Josh Goldman and Julian Cox's time-traveling cocktails at Acabar

With its intricately carved columns and hand-painted Moroccan tiles, Acabar, Octavio Becerra's new Spice Route-inspired restaurant, feels like a portal into some distant and exotic era.

It's fitting, then, that the restaurant's cocktail menu reads like something out of a history textbook–except this is one lesson we don't mind studying for.

Inspired by Heston Blumenthal's London restaurant, Dinner, which prepares dishes culled from centuries-old cookbooks, barmen Josh Goldman and Julian Cox have drafted a roadmap of noteworthy cocktails throughout history.

"We wanted people to be able to experience the roots of cocktail culture," says Goldman, who holds a history degree from U.C.L.A.

Acabar's Interior (Photo: Alen Lin)

Classic drinks are listed chronologically, from an early 19th-century Cognac punch topped with shaved nutmeg ($10) to the Russian Spring ($14), a vodka, Champagne and cassis creation from 1980s London.

It's a fascinating trip best described as "Josh and Julian's Excellent Adventure."

Make stopovers for the Ti Punch ($12), a tribute to Martinique's bare-bones national drink, made with grassy agricole rum, cane syrup and a twist of lime; and the invigorating Sherry Cobbler ($12), concocted from a 1882 recipe combining dry Amontillado sherry, muddled fruit and crushed ice.

Tiki aficionados should seek out Acabar's potent recreation of the rum-powered Zombie ($14), served on tap. The drink's inventor, Don the Beachcomber, set an infamous "maximum two per customer" rule during the 1930s to entice guests; it's in effect here, too.

Historical accuracy was never so much fun.