Review: Our/Los Angeles Essences
The Our/Los Angeles and other Our/City brand has to date only been applied to vodka, the idea being that each town produces its own vodka which can express the unique terroir of the ingredients in its mash and the water used in the process. Neat idea, and we’ve reviewed a number of the vodkas.
But now the Our/ line has taken another step, with the release of six flavored essences — cocktail syrups — each designed with “locally sourced ingredients and really hero the richness of the Californian landscapes.”
We got all six to try. Note that many of the flavors cross over from one essence to the next; no typos below.
Our/Los Angeles Essences Hibiscus Mint Lemon – Very much like a heavily floral glass of agua de Jamaica, though the mint gives it a different spin and the lemon folds in a boldly sour finish. Lots going on here, and all the ingredients show their faces, but what hangs on in the end is boldly hibiscus. B+
Our/Los Angeles Essences Lemon Lavender – With just two ingredients, this is the simplest of the syrups. The lavender is mild, letting the brisk lemon shine, tempering the sweetness with a pleasant floral note. It’s a versatile syrup that can work well anywhere lemon is called for. A
Our/Los Angeles Essences Hibiscus Clove Orange – I immediately guessed the cloves would dominate here, and I wasn’t wrong. The combination comes across a lot like a spiced cider, and which again all the elements do make an appearance, it’s dusky cloves that are the most impactful. Unsure how I’d use this one. B
Our/Los Angeles Essences Lemongrass Ginger Lime – Arguably the least sweet of this sextet, the lemongrass and ginger give this syrup an aggressive and pungent earthiness, with a densely grassy and rather funky feeling to it. The finish is quite bitter as the lemongrass lingers, giving the conclusion a metallic feel. B-
Our/Los Angeles Essences Sumac Chili Lime – And I was worried about not having enough sumac in my diet. This concoction may sound daunting but it’s not at all, with the lime doing virtually all of the heavy lifting. The chili isn’t spicy, but it does add an earthy texture to the syrup, giving it a more savory, smoldering character. Surprisingly versatile. A
Our/Los Angeles Essences Juniper Lime Lemon Verbena – Again, it’s a rather savory concoction, though less overtly piney than you might expect. Earthy, almost mushroomy notes are prominent up front, as is a grassy element driven by the lemon verbena. Again, the lime takes the edge off of things and drives the overall experience, while the bitterness of the herbs eventually take a back set, ultimately making this a more rounded syrup than initially expect thought. B+
each $15 per 8 oz bottle (16 servings) / ourlosangeles.com