Visitors and locals alike, should experience the best of San Diego’s classic cocktails. We’ve been fortunate enough to have a flourishing movement of craft-concocting mastery grace our lovely city in the past couple years, and thus we find no reason not to celebrate San Diego’s fresh and plentiful offerings of an exquisite and time-honored taste. Slink in and stay a while, at any one of these top-notch fine and crafty establishments.
Insiders Only: The Noble Experiment
(Very Close to Gaslamp/Downtown)
777 G. St
San Diego, CA, 92101
Plan ahead: because this hidden away escape from the bells and whistles of the Gaslamp’s bright lights is no longer a secret and its 20-something capacity fills up with reservations fast. Don’t even think about pulling a “walk-in”– a night at Noble Experiment is a serious affair, and it should be treated as such.
For the classic, sophisticated, yet cozy ambiance of one of the chicest new additions to San Diego’s roster of tastemakers’ approved establishments, The Noble Experiment offers up an ever-changing list of classic concoctions served with only the highest caliber of liquors, ingredients, and with the utmost thoughtful precision. Don’t even get me started on their curious obsession with perfectly, impeccable ice. For the best cocktail in town, plan ahead, and don’t miss this spot.
More Information about Noble Experiment here
Also check out:
Off the Beaten Path Beauty: Starlite Lounge
($8 cab ride from Downtown San Diego)
3175 India Street
San Diego, CA 92103
Open Mon-Sat 5 pm-2 am; Fri 4pm-2am; Sun 6 pm-2 am
If you happen to be by Little Italy or Downtown San Diego, you are merely a short hop and a skip away from a spot that has been beloved by San Diegans since 2007, Starlite Lounge: A gorgeous retro beauty nestled in Mission Hills that beyond its farm-to-table fare served until midnight daily, its fabulous interior, and whimsically “starlit” outdoor patio, Starlite serves up arguably the city’s best Mule. A concoction of Rain Organic Vodka, Ginger beer, and Angostura bitters topped off with a lime in their signature copper cup, it’s a loaded vessel that will likely put you on your bum if you dare doubt its potency.
If you choose to dabble beyond the Mule, I’d point you in the direction of the Gunga Din, made with Montecristo 12-year aged rum, cold Earl Grey, cardamon syrup, lemon and a dash of mint. If you’re a real brute or just looking for a potent slap in the face, try the Kentucky Colonel, made with Buffalo Trace Bourbon, ginger beer, lemon, and a dash of house made cherry vanilla bitters for a quick as a lick lullaby into no recollection of last night land…
Read more about Starlite Lounge here
Also check out:
West Coast Tavern
Beyond the Bar: Whisknladle
(La Jolla Area)
1044 Wall Street
La Jolla, CA 92037
Open for Brunch on Weekends
Farm to Table Fare
Covered Outdoor Seating
Happy Hour Daily 5:00-7:00pm (bar area) info
Whisknladle is one of those rare establishments that has never disappointed me. It very well could be the very “jewel” of La Jolla’s namesake and long-standing reputation as one of San Diego’s most picturesque locales, for both locals and tourists alike. Amidst La Jolla’s Downtown area, you’ll find Whisknladle quietly nestled in, just a block or two off the beaten path and away from the gourmet shops and boutiques.
Beyond just their thoughtful and impeccably prepared farm-to-table selections, the handcrafted cocktails also beckon note for their exemplary palatable achievements, and they, too, deserve their own glimmer in the spotlight as well.
Concoctions such as the Tamarind Margarita, with Chinese Five-Spice, Orange and infused-Tequila or The Julian, with cinnamon-infused bourbon, rosemary, and cider are sure-fire libations that will warm your insides. Less fiery vessels such as the Lavendar Cosmo with Blueberry & Lavender infused vodka, white cran & blueberry will brighten the senses. But fair warning if you chose to order the Passion Fruit Vanilla Mimosa: you may want to opt for the pitcher to share as surely your thirsty mates will want more than just one sweet sip.
More Information about Whisknladle here
Grooves and Booze: El Dorado Cocktail Lounge
(Close to Gaslamp/Downtown)
San Diego, CA 92101
Live Music: Electro; Indie; Underground Hip Hop
Happy Hour Specials
While the decor may be a bit on the quirkier side, you can always depend on the vibe, the service, and of course, the concoctions, to always be absolutely on point at El Dorado Cocktail Lounge. East Village’s prime scenester locale also happens to be one of the city’s founding fathers of our explosive craft cocktail movement: True to their interior’s “Gold Rush” theme, the El Dorado staff is adorned in era-appropriate attire with a modern twist, yet their strict technique in crafting the perfect cocktail has and will always remain uncompromisable, despite the large and demanding crowds that flock to EL D every Friday and Saturday night.
While El Dorado changes up its menu and celebrates its release seasonally, tried and true classics never seem to slip away: You’ll never see any lack of the Moscow Mule, served in a Mason Jar and topped with a lime and twisted Mint leaf across the bar, while the Oaxaca Old-Fashioned is reserved only for those true connoisseurs whose tolerance can stand up to its smoky, sensory-arousing allure — and its not so secret sneaky affects.
Read More about El Dorado Cocktail Lounge Here.
Think that we’re missing something special? Think your venue should be added to the list?! Contact us here and we’d be happy to come try the place out and see if it makes the cut!