Tis the Season for Holiday Cocktails! Check Out the Seasonal Spirits Being Offered Up Around San Diego

The Frostini from The Commons
December 20, 2012

Baby, it's cold outside!!  Although San Diego is known for its craft beer, there is a thriving craft cocktail scene that is growing, and restaurants all over town are getting in the holiday spirit with specialty cocktails ready to warm you up this holiday season.  Check out our list of special cocktails and grab 'em while you can.

Sir Ruddy
At Cusp Dining & Drinks, sipping rich, creamy drinks like head bartender Nate Howell’s Sir Rudy make holiday cocktailing a stately affair. The Sir Rudy is made using Cruzan Black Strap rum, Del Maguey Vida, demerara, whole egg and nutmeg. Crowned with a smooth froth that makes it a perfect after dinner delight, this cocktail reigns supreme.  

You don't have to sit through a revival of the Nutcracker to get your fill of the Sugar Plum Fairy, as Jsix restaurant at Hotel Solamar is bringing this figure to life in cocktail form.  One taste of this holiday creation by Jsix Assistant Manager and cocktail engineer Lauren Lathrop Williams will leave visions dancing in your head. The Sugar Plum Fairy is made using brandy, house made plum liqueur and dry curacao and garnished with a spiced sugar rim. It is perfectly on point for the holidays with its deep, balanced flavors and sweet presentation.

Winter Sangria
Bursting with citrus and berry notes, RA Sushi’s Winter Sangria invigorates the taste buds on cold, sleepy days. Made using merlot, sake, Fruja Raspberry, triple sec, blackberry brandy, simple syrup and lemon-lime soda, this cocktail can stand up to even the most biting winter chill.

Leroy’s Kitchen + Lounge offers some Diwali Punch.  Diwali, or “festival of lights,” is a Hindu celebration during which family and friends come together to share good tidings. Inspired by this occasion and the spirit of Christmas, bar manager Emily Tracy created the Diwali Punch, a shareable beverage made using Pink Pigeon Rum, Grand Marnier, amaretto, fresh lime, pomegranate juice, fresh ginger, cinnamon and sliced oranges. This warm spiked punch is truly a cup of good cheer.

‘Tis the season to bundle up and get cozy with loved ones. The chill in the air also makes us crave cold weather treats, so Pacifica Del Mar developed the S’more Sea Salt, a decadent cocktail made using Three Olives S’mores vodka, tres leches liqueur, chocolate and a sea salt-graham cracker rim. This riff on the fireside classic will leave you wanting s’more.

The Gingerbread Man
Beaumont’s Eatery’s lead mixologist Gavin McManes is spreading Christmas cheer with the Gingerbread Man cocktail. The Gingerbread Man cocktail is made with Bulleit rye whiskey, Monin gingerbread syrup, fresh pressed lemon juice, Aztec chocolate bitters and a splash of ginger ale, and garnished with a fresh cinnamon stick.

Downtown's newest watering hole, The Commons is getting in the holiday spirit with three holiday elixirs perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth. The Frostini is made with Rumple Minze shnapps, Irish cream, crème de menthe, a splash of grenadine and garnished with a fresh mint leaf. The Peppermint Froth contains Svedka vodka, peppermint schnapps, simple syrup, a splash of cream and a candy cane adornment. Lastly, the Caramel Apple Martini includes apple schnapps, butterscotch schnapps, a splash of cream and is served with a green apple slice on top.

Cider Smash
Located in Little Italy, Davanti Enoteca is serving their take on a holiday classic with the Cider Smash. The Cider Smash is prepared with spiced rum, hot apple cider, Grand Marnier, a sugar cinnamon coating, an apple slice and a cinnamon stick perfect for stirring things up.

A sophisticated take on a typical spiked cider drink, George’s California Modern's Mixologist Frankie Thaheld has created a standout seasonal cocktail. The Lodge Cider combines house infused vanilla vodka, Lemorton Calvados, Bundaberg ginger beer, lemon, vanilla and mace, for a refreshing burst of flavor accompanied by warm winter notes from the classic holiday spice, mace.

Among an impressive list of incomparable specialty cocktails by Katsuya by Starck San Diego is the Evergreen Fizz. The perfect holiday sipper, the Evergreen Fizz includes muddled rosemary, Oxley Gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, Moscato float and is garnished with Rosemary and a sugared rim.

Sugar Pumpkin Collins
The unstoppable team of Pick & Rocks Cocktails are shaking up the holidays with the Sugar Pumpkin Collins made with vodka, a sugar pumpkin puree, lemon juice and fill soda, and the Pine Pin Fizz made with London Dry Gin, Zirbenz Stone liqueur, egg whites, lime juice, powdered sugar, simple syrup and a pine needle garnish.

The elegant Pony Room of the recently renovated Rancho Valencia is putting the happy in the holidays with four special holiday cocktails. The rightfully titled Jolly Holiday is made with Allspice liqueur, fresh squeezed orange juice, mint leaves, agave nectar, and is served on the rocks with an orange garnish. The Yorkie has Godiva Chocolate liqueur and Rumplemintze in the mix, and is served chilled in a martini glass with a chocolate swirl. The Spiked Pumpkin includes Crown Royal Maple, Allspice Dram, cheesecake and caramel syrup, and is served in a martini glass with a strudel crumb rim. The Winter Warmer boasts house made mulled cider with a choice of Allspice liqueur, spiced rum, or brandy, and is served in a footed coffee mug.

The Douglas Collins
Highly acclaimed lead mixologist Jeff Josenhans of THE US GRANT’s GRANT GRILL has crafted a solid holiday elixirs that is sure to take the edge off. The Douglas Collins is made with Douglas fir gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup, topped with soda water and served in a Collins glass garnished with a Douglas fir branch.

While the mixologists at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina may not be too familiar with roofs, they certainly know a thing or two about roots – liqueur that is. The Up on the Root Top cocktail is made with RumChata Cream Liqueur and root liqueur before and is topped off with a dusting of pumpkin pie spice.

Located in the downtown Gaslamp district, Whiskey Girl is turning up the holiday heat with Jake’s Warm Whiskey Cider. It’s the perfect blend of Spicebox Canadian Spiced Whiskey, apple schnapps and cinnamon, completed with a brown sugared rim.

Be sure to stay safe this holiday season and make sure not to drink and drive!