In the modern bartending pantheon, Sam Ross is a fellow of epic proportions. Having helped his mother and sister open Ginger, a cocktail bar at the forefront of the Melbourne cocktail revolution, he headed to the States in 2004 where he mixed drinks at three of New York's legendary locales, Milk & Honey, Little Branch and the Pegu Club, working with fellow cocktail gurus Sasha Petraske and Audrey Saunders.
|L. J. Solmonson|
|Ross Measuring at Comme Ca|
During this time, Ross also came west to help craft the cocktail program at Comme Ça, David Myers' Melrose Avenue bistro, open since 2007. When the cocktail renaissance was a nascent blip on the Los Angeles radar, Comme Ça led the charge in no small part due to Sam Ross's vision and bartender training. Now, many of L.A.'s best bartenders, Julian Cox and Marcos Tello among them, have passed through Comme Ça's doors. Of Ross, Cox has this to say: "Sammy Ross's cocktail program at Comme Ça defined an era of change and craft in the Los Angeles restaurant scene. More than any other restaurant or bar for that manner."
Currently, Ross is busy with Attaboy, his new bar with fellow bartender Michael McIlroy, in the old Milk & Honey space. Still, he makes sure to find time to keep an eye on Comme Ça, a labor of love for both him and Myers. Recently Ross held court at the Comme Ça bar, feeling very much at home as he mixed up a slurry of classic drinks from past and present, and discussed what makes a truly great cocktail. Turn the page for his 5 tips.More »