I think we can all agree, it's been a long, HOT summer here in San Diego. As the temperatures finally start to fall, stores are putting out their boots and sweaters, and restaurants around the city are switching up their menus with delicious fall offerings.
In the drink world, cocktail menus are going to the darker side, with scotch, bourbon, and darker rums taking dominant roles. For the ultimate in what I call "comfort in a cocktail," several San Diego watering holes are taking on the divine pancake topper, maple syrup. And this Saturday-morning-French-toast, you-name-it-variety Belgian waffle lover couldn't be more excited.
At Hake Kitchen & Bar, Cocktail Curator Joan Villanueva created One for Miko, in honor of his former roommate and the best maple syrup he's ever tasted, from Canada. Combining rye whiskey, Ancho Reyes (ancho chile liqueur made in Puebla, Mexico), maple syrup and lemon juice, it's the perfect comfort cocktail for cool fall evenings.
Sip your amber gold in style at Gaslamp hot spot Saltbox. The cleverly monikered Notorious F.I.G.(giggle) contains Milagro Reposado, fig-infused sherry, chili pepper, maple syrup and black walnut bitters.
Coffee lovers will go jittery for the delicious Between the Bars at Jsix. With cognac, clove-maple syrup, cold brew coffee, bitters, whipped cream, cinnamon and nutmeg, it's got every single thing you could want in a fall/winter cocktail!
Watch an extraordinary Pacific sunset at Cusp Dining & Drinks in La Jolla. The appropriately matching On the Cusp of Fall is made with scotch, lemon juice, grapefruit juice, maple syrup and bitters, and looks like sunset in a glass. California livin' at its best.
Prefer craft beer over cocktails?
Be sure to head over (now) to Abnormal Brewing in Rancho Bernardo for the Full Pint Breakfast Porter. Clocking in at 9.5 percent ABV, this imperial oatmeal porter is made with Brazilian coffee roasted by Carmel Valley's Mostra Coffee Roasters and a lot of maple syrup. Head Brewer Derek Gallanosa notes, "The idea for this beer originated at the Firestone Walker Invitational when my friend Danny from TheFullPint.com asked me to create a beer to debut at their anniversary party." Collaborating with Head Roaster Mike Arquines of Mostra, coffee and maple syrup soon joined hands in liquid matrimony, and the result is pure deliciousness. But get your coffee-maple-loving behind over there soon. "This is a once-in-a-while specialty beer, so don't expect it to come back anytime soon," he says. GO!
Got a maple cocktail or homebrew you want us to know about? We'd love to hear more!