Mixologist Combines Alcohol & Literature To Impress Elite L.A. Crowd

By Angelica Martin

Mixologist Zahra Bates got her start in 1994 after lobbying to be put behind the bar at Bar Marmont at the legendary L.A. hotel institution Chateau Marmont. She describes herself at that juncture in her life as merely a “passable bartender” and quickly realized she had much to learn if she hoped to make it as a mixologist. She went in search of answers to Jamaica, Mexico and Cuba,finally landing in London where she received a thorough education in the spirits. It was here she first began to understand how to bring cocktail creation to a higher level of art.

Today Bates resides behind the bar at the highly respected Providence in Los Angeles. Though she’s been a mixologist for nearly 18 years she has only recently begun to come into her own, due in part to her ability to combine her passion for libations with her love of literature. She believes that a truly good cocktail can tell a story as poetically and leave an impression as lasting as the classics. It is in her ability to conjure wit and drama in her creations that leaves her patrons consistently satisfied, and us knowing that creating eloquent cocktails is exactly what Zahra Bates was meant to do.