By Rachel Wilson
Photos by David Arlen
(Published in the Match 2010 issue)

There’s a mystical, endless-summer vibe that comes from just saying their names out loud (preferably within earshot of a bartender). Beach drinks invoke the laidback paradise of Tahiti, Maui’s sun-baked beaches, genteel Cape Hatteras in the barrier islands, or Ikumi, Japan’s renowned surf beach.

Each of those legendary locales (and a few more) is named in this year’s list of beachy cocktails available at World Famous, the celebrated oceanfront restaurant in Pacific Beach. Some of these classics have roots in the pre-war 1930s; others were created by World Famous owner, Dieter May, and his crew.

All 10 bear the DNA of a great drink: superb ingredients, balance, taste and personality. July Fourth may be months away, but here in paradise, cooling off doesn’t require a heat wave. Life, after all, is a beach.


The Ultimate Surfside Margarita is a proven classic. This rendition, made with premium Herradura Silver Tequila and Cointreau (instead of the usual triple sec), lends an orange essence and ups the pucker factor.


If California-made Skyy Vodka is as hangover-proof as the company claims, then the Skyy Bloody Caliente, with its Atomic horseradish sauce and spices, must be the perfect morning-after cure.

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The Mai Tai may sound tropical, but it was invented in Oakland at a famous bar called Trader Vic’s. World Famous’ Caribbean Mai Tai adds coconut rum, pineapple juice and passion fruit juice to the traditional mix.


Updating the standard gin martini, the Ikumi Beach Martini blends Ty Ku (made with sake and soju, traditional Asian spirits) with Bombay Sapphire gin, a splash of tonic and a fresh cucumber garnish.


Earnest Hemmingway didn’t invent the Mojito, but he was an early and enthusiastic supporter of the cocktail, which was first mixed at a bar in Havana, where the Hem’ was a regular. This rich-flavored Tommy Bahama Barbados Mojito is made with cane sugar, Key lime juice, fresh mint and Tommy Bahama White Sand rum.


The Maui Cosmo uses Ocean Vodka, a sugarcane vodka made with water from an arctic stream that runs miles beneath the surface of the sea. Cranberry and passion fruit juices bring this baby to the next level.


The Absolute Ruby Red is one of World Famous’ most popular drinks. In the mix: Absolut grapefruit vodka, a splash of California sparkling wine and doses of scurvy-inhibiting cranberry, lemon and orange juices.


Blues legend Buddy Guy named his 53rd album, Sweet Tea (a traditional Southern refreshment). Ironically, the Cape Hatteras Sweet Tea, made with sweet tea vodka, fresh lemonade and cracked ice, cures the blues.


Hailing from the Brazilian beach town of Leblon, traditional caipirinhas are made with cachaça (liquor made from fermented sugarcane), lime and sugar. Chambord sweetens the mix to create this Epic Berry Caipirinha.


Basically an adult latte, the Chocolate Horchata Martini blends chocolate liqueur and 1921 Crema de Tequila in a chilled glass, which is finished with whipped cream, chocolate swizzle and a dusting of cinnamon.