BEER & WINE
THE GRANT GRILL
The world famous US Grant Hotel is home
to the Grant Grill and one of the best
cocktail programs in town. Mixologist and
sommelier Jeff Josenhans continuously
updates a menu full of fresh and bottle-conditioned libations mixed with
ingredients picked from the hotel’s
rooftop garden. 326 Broadway
Tip: Try the signature US Grant Centennial
Celebration Barreled Manhattan—a
pre-mixed, American oak-barrel-aged cocktail
made in collaboration with High West
Distillery to commemorate the US Grant’s
100th anniversary in 2010.
CRAFT & COMMERCE
Lined with classic literature and taxidermy,
C&C’s cocktail and craft beer program
has been lauded in national publications
like Food & Wine and GQ. Clever cocktails
include rum-champagne punch bowls for
sharing and the Mexican Fire Drill, jalapeño-infused tequila with pineapple, lime,
Demerara sugar and smoked salt.
675 W. Beech Street
Tip: Chef Jason McLeod won two Mi-chelin Stars at Ria in Chicago, so don’t
hesitate to head to happy hour hungry.
Belly up to the
bar at Solace
Drinking establishments across the
county are elevating San Diego’s
cocktail culture and blurring the
line between mixologist and chef by
taking advantage of local produce
to create world-class cocktails.
SOLACE & THE MOONLIGHT LOUNGE
Offering some of the best cocktails in North County, this bi-level, modern American restaurant and bar keeps thirsts sated with everything
from wine on tap to skinny cocktails made with certified organic spirits
from Greenbar Collective, a sustainable distillery in Los Angeles.
25 East E Street
Tip: In keeping with this bar’s reverence for The Big Lebowski, try the
Dude Abides with white whiskey, Kona coffee liqueur, chilled organic
coffee and half ’n’ half.
Just a stone’s throw from Lindbergh Field, this bayfront bar and
restaurant offers one of the best views of the San Diego skyline to
drink in during happy hour. Also drink in the crowd-pleasing menu
of cocktails and more than 400 bottles of wine.
880 Harbor Island Drive
Tip: Get into the vacation spirit with the Desi Arnaz, a medley of Cruzan
mango rum, papaya nectar, mint, fresh lime and soda splash.
THE LION’S SHARE
Tucked just off the beaten path downtown, this celebrated cocktail
hideaway is lined with reproductions of famous works of art playfully
tweaked by local artists. Drinks range from approachable classics to
more adventurous numbers, like the I’ll Be Your Huckleberry with
aged rum and Sriracha bitters. 629 Kettner Boulevard
Tip: Gamey menu choices like kangaroo tartare and antelope sliders
earned the location a spot on Food & Wine’s list of bars with the best bar
food in America.
Solace & the
Local cocktail aficionado Michael Esposito founded Snake
Oil Cocktail Co. in 2010 and helms this consulting firm
specializing in crafting cocktail menus for bars, restaurants
and events for prestigious clients like the New York Yankees
and Rolls-Royce. Snake Oil recently took over the alcohol
concessions at the San Diego Symphony, where they serve
up the innovative with the classical.
Esposito’s Favorites for Sipping
and Snacking, San Diego-style
Cocktail Bar: Lion’s Share
Superb Libation: “Beets Me” at George’s California Modern
Craft Beer Bar: Toronado—it’s a whirlwind of beer!
Local Brewery: Alesmith
Eatery: Whisknladle La Jolla—local farm to table with integrity
Taco Shop: Las Cuatro Milpas
Happy Hour Spot: Waterfront Bar & Grill