San Diego's Most Beautiful Cocktails
Cocktails for Every Occasion!
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[Updated] Up, neat, on rocks, in collins and coupes—cocktails come in all shapes, sizes and flavors. Undoubtedly, the most important part of a cocktail is the taste, but there’s something about a well–designed and prettily prepared cocktail that makes that first sip—and every sip thereafter—particularly tasty.
San Diego has quickly established itself as a craft cocktail mecca in an era when even the smallest towns tout their own suspender–clad mixologists. For years now, vacationers and locals alike have been able to prolong the paradisiacal sides of sunny San Diego, sipping on the archetypal umbrella–clad cocktail, but more recently bartenders have turned the art of the aperitif into just that—an art, complete with exotic blooms and a rainbow of hues. Whether you’re in the heart of the Gaslamp, one of those circumferential hipster ‘hoods, or a more northern, beachside city, you’re just a jaunt and a drink away from a delicious—and beautiful—beverage.
With unimpeded views of Petco Park, Fairweather—the island–time sister upstairs from Rare Form—boasts some of the best vistas in San Diego. But the views aren’t the only thing to distract your eye; here, the cocktails are just as breathtaking as the panoramic perspectives of the Padres. Fairweather capitalized on the tiki trend big time; most of its cocktails are as refreshing and tropical as a dip in clear Caribbean waters. Sample Fairweather’s take on the classic tiki. Hemingway himself savored mojitos at Sloppy Joe’s in Havana, Cuba and you can try the modern take with the Mojito Caballito—we guaranteed your eyes will feast on this masterpiece as easily as your tastebuds. Light rum, fresh lime sugar, mint, dry vermouth and soda make a simple pairing that’s absolutely beautiful, with layers of color that can only come from fresh ingredients. If you’re looking for a drink that’s as vivid as your personality, pick up a Blue Ricardo. The electric blue tint comes from the Blue Curacao, but the taste is all island, including passionfruit, coconut, pineapple, lemon and the house light rum. Even the Piña Colada is a handsome libation, served in a thick glass chalice and garnered with the proverbial umbrella.
George’s at the Cove
There are few locations as quintessentially San Diego as George’s at the Cove. With ocean views that span for miles, paired with the sound of crashing waves and sea lions below, it would take a particularly delightful drink menu to draw visitors’ senses back inside—which is exactly what George’s provides. Snag a seat on the coveted seaside balcony at the bar upstairs and peruse a menu full of classic and contemporary cocktails alike, spotted with covetable, compounded adjectives like “hand– crafted,” “house–infused” and “fresh– daily.” If you’re looking for something your grandfather—or great–great grandfather—would be proud to drink, grab an Old Fashioned with Bulleit Rye, house gomme syrup, Angostura bitters and orange (circa 1869), or a Negroni with No. 3 London Dry Gin, Campari, Carpano Antica Formula sweet vermouth and orange (circa 1910). For something a little more fantastical and fruity, go with a punch. The Brain Cloud comes in small or large beveled bowls and features Absolut Elyx, St. George Spiced Pear Liqueur, cider, falernum, lemon and black tea. Perfectly refreshing and as stunning as the waves below.