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The Chestnut Club
Everything but the kitchen sink is fair game in your cocktail.

We’re bullish on summer, but not so keen on the exhausted, sticky feeling we get after a day of having all that warm-weather fun. Even running afternoon errands leaves us as spent as a 5-K.  

So we’re treating ourselves to a little me-time at The Chestnut Club. This new Santa Monica bar reinvents summertime cocktails, including a handful of gin and tonics with add-ins better than boring old limes. (Serrano chiles or kumquats, anyone?) 

Here’s the ideal scenario: Seek refuge from the West Side traffic snarl by ducking inside and easing into a leather Chesterfield banquette. But before you go and order your usual sea breeze, take our word and ask the waiter for a signature gin and tonic. Don’t act surprised when he brings you a stemmed goblet filled with gin, ice, a fresh garnish and fizzy Schweppes tonic ($13). Listen as he explains how Spaniards have refined the traditional English drink by pouring Tanqueray over the garnish to release the herbal aromatics, and by serving it in a wine glass to stay cooler. (We think it looks cooler too.) 

Whatever, cold shower. The fancy G & T reigns supreme as our favorite refresher.

The Chestnut Club, 1348 14th St., Santa Monica; 310-393-1348 or

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