WHAT Guaro ("wah-ro") has been Costa Rica's spirit of choice for over 150 years. It's got a hint of citrus with a whiff of vanilla and spice. Los Angelenos Sandi and Scott Dinsdale sampled it on vacation and vowed to introduce the drink, derived from pure harvested cane and produced with no additives, back home. Their 70-proof refined version, S Guaro (www.sguaro.com), has become a hit with music and entertainment high rollers—which might have something to do with the no-sugar, no-sulfite, no-carb formula, resulting in virtually no hangover.
HOW Guaro mixes well with everything from coconut to cranberry, making mean martinis, mojitos, and cosmopolitans of all flavors.
GET IT NOW On the East Coast, order the mojito at Hoboken, New Jersey's Brass Rail (135 Washington St.; 201/659-7074). In L.A., try the guaro-based green-tea martini at the Hollywood hot spot Geisha House (6633 Hollywood Blvd.; 323/460-6300). —SARAH MAUD POWELL
Located in a bright red two-story building on Hollywood Boulevard, the Geisha House makes a bold statement before patrons even enter the dramatic, dimly lit dining area designed in vibrant reds with plush banquets, Japanese cherry blossom trees, and busy murals of urban Japan. Part restaurant and part sake lounge, the Geisha House serves modern Japanese cuisine that includes fresh sushi and sashimi. As a live DJ mixes loud clubby tunes, geisha girls (of all ethnicities) serve martinis infused with a variety of sakes which are displayed in a wall-to-wall bar comprised of backlit square alcoves.