The Ponte LA :: The Ultimate Amaro Lover's Spot


Earlier this month, talented LA cocktail vet Ryan Wainwright’s  Fall menu debuted at The Ponte featuring cocktails laden with Amari, Grappa and rare fortified wines from Italy. These are grounded in the Italian aperitif-tradition, laid alongside “modern” libations reflective of the change in seasons here in LA. Ryan talked to TBDE about The Ponte, his passion for Amaro and of course, his new cocktails.

A Celebration of Grape

Designed to showcase the grape at different stages of its lifespan, Ryan began the night with the Bishop’s Cup cocktail, which pays homage to the grape and Fall harvest.

This features Gra’it Grappa, Alessio Chinato, Negramaro and a grape reduction.

His other Classics vary and include the traditional The Ponte Martini with a bold pear brandy and gin, balanced by house made lemon bitters and an orange-infused Ponte martini vermouth blend. Later on, we tasted the Caminetto Spritz, born out of Ryan’s desire to create an amaro-based spritz and inspired by the fruitcake desserts he would look forward to as a child during the fall/winter season.

His contemporary cocktail lineup was also fun and reflective of The Ponte's central message. The Millennial Pink featured pomegranate, tequila, lime and allspice dram and captured Ryan's crossover message in a perfect tale of two regions.

"You get flavors of pomegranate and all-spice with fresh tequila and citrus. Or you get the flavors of amaro and chinato, but it comes with rum and bright lemon. That was my goal: translating the flavors of a winter in Italy to our fair city.” 


House of Amaro ... in LA

Though completely renovated, Ryan is no stranger to @thepontela location since he manned the previous joint Terrine, with phenomenal cocktails, complementary of the food. We asked him about what changed since those days and how his passion for Amari led the place to stock one of the greatest, if not the most complete selections of Amari in the City, which you can taste in a flight. 

"For @thepontela , it is all about embracing the mindset of the space and the food. This restaurant is all in on the Italian flavors and for me that means it’s time to think about winter in Italy and all the flavors and ingredients Italians love. My goal was to translate that to a Los Angeles world just like the kitchen does."

“We have one of the largest selections of Amari at in Los Angeles and I’m continuing to build out the collection. I’m lucky in that people seek us out for it and that’s why we get to continue seeking out new flavors and brands and ways to use Amari. While we want to grow, we’re also really careful about only carrying the brands we can get behind. Every bottle at my bar is kept for a specific flavor or with a particular drink in mind."

And with that, our dinner came to our end. As we enjoyed one more drink before leaving the bar, though we knew we'd back in the near future to taste more of The Ponte's always evolving, perfectly crafted cocktail recipes. 

Stay tuned and enjoy more stories behind the drink in our Instagram account and Facebook.