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Going Local in L.A.—GreenBar Collective’s Spirits

October 2, 2012
Green Bar Collective, Downtown LA
GreenBar Collective is L.A.'s first legal distillery since Prohibition.
Photography Adam H. Graham

When California vodka makers Litty Mathew and her husband, Melkon Khosrovian, began searching for a distillery for their line of organic craft spirits, they headed where many of the state’s new wave of creatives head: to downtown Los Angeles. The city’s revitalized central business district, nearly abandoned after World War II suburbanization, is home to iconic architecture like the grand Spanish Colonial Union Station, statuesque City Hall, several Art Deco theatres and, of course, the more modern Walt Disney Concert Hall, designed by Frank Gehry. In April 2012, with encouragement from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s office, the couple opened L.A.’s first legal distillery since Prohibition, GreenBar Collective. It’s housed in a handsome brick warehouse with slatted windows, two copper Vendome stills, and a stylish Modernist tasting room where mixology classes and events are regularly held. The space is pure L.A., and so are the spirits themselves, which are 100 percent organic and derived from locally grown organic fruits and botanicals.

The line of spirits, used by local chefs and restaurants like BLD and Culver City’s Akasha, as well as chefs from farther afield, includes the TRU organic vodkas (Straight, Lemon and Vanilla) and several other aromatic concoctions, including a heady jasmine liqueur, and clove-and-nutmeg-forward spiced rum, a fennel bitters, and a forthcoming whisky.

Mix something up for yourself:

The Moscow Mule was invented in Los Angeles in 1941 by John G. Martin, proprietor of the Cock ‘n’ Bull restaurant on Sunset Boulevard. GreenBar’s version of the classic is below. Many others can be found on their web site.

How to mix the TRU Mule:

1½ ounces TRU organic vodka
¾ ounces FRUITLAB organic hibiscus liqueur
½ ounce fresh lime juice
Shake and pour into rocks glass. Top with ginger beer and garnish with a lime twist.


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Adam H. Graham

Blogger Adam H. Graham

Based in Zürich and New York, Adam H. Graham is a veteran journalist who’s travelled to more than 70 countries and written for numerous publications, including National Geographic Traveler, Monocle, and Travel + Leisure.

Read more about Adam H. Graham

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