Holiday cocktails to ring in the season


Looking to spice up tradition this year? Here are 14 festive cocktails available at bars and restaurants around San Diego to get you in the holiday spirit.

Estancia Spice and Estancia Wonderland
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Estancia Wonderland (left) and Estancia Spice are available at Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa.
(Courtesy of Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa)

This year, Estancia La Jolla Hotel and Spa will donate $1 from every holiday drink sold to Feeding San Diego. So in the spirit of giving, try its Estancia Spice — spiced rum with house-made pumpkin kefit soda — or opt for an Estancia Wonderland, comprised of Woodfort Double oak bourbon, crimson pear shrub and muling spice-infused foam.

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Scintillio is available at Barbusa in Little Italy.
(Sophia Kicko)

Little Italy’s Tree Lighting Ceremony happens every season, but this year you can have your view and drink it, too. Italian eatery Barbusa offers a cocktail inspired by the well-known Poinsettia Christmas Tree, made with pomegranate and orange juice, Grey Goose Cherry Noir, Cointreau and Prosecco. The Christmas tree look is complete with a star anise and fennel frond garnish.

Copper Fangs
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Copper Fangs, available at Blade 1936 in Oceanside.
(Sophia Kicko)

Pair a slice of pizza at Oceanside’s Blade 1936 with a glass of Copper Fangs. This spin on a traditional apple cider consists of Sabe Copper, lemon juice, liquid alchemist apple spice and a dried apple chip.

Time Killer
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Time Killer is available at JRDN in Pacific Beach.
(Courtesy of JRDN)

Take a break from holiday shopping to spend an hour at the beach with a Time Killer. JRDN’s beachy winter drink mixes three types of rum with coconut and pineapple, adding orange, mint leaves, grated nutmeg and a literal cherry on top.

Better When Buzzed
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Better When Buzzed is available at Backyard Kitchen & Tap in Pacific Beach.
(Courtesy photo)

Backyard Kitchen & Tap spikes its chai with Better When Buzzed, made of Jack Daniels Whiskey, spiced chai, cinnamon syrup, almond milk, nutmeg, cinnamon dusting and a star anise.

Cold Fashioned
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Cold Fashioned is available at Cloak and Petal in Little Italy.
(Courtesy photo)

Cloak and Petal’s spirit-forward cocktail is a cool take on an old classic. Its Cold Fashioned mixes Mr. Black Cold Brew Coffee Liquor, Western Grace Brandy, Averna Amaro and Angostura bitters for a drink that boasts notes of caramel, vanilla and walnut oak.

Hazy Shade of Winter
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Hazy Shade of Winter is available at Union Kitchen & Tap Encinitas.
(Courtesy photo)

Ron Zacapa Centenario rum is combined with orange sherbet, buckwheat honey, egg yolk and grated nutmeg, then poured over a large iced cube for a chilled, winter-inspired cocktail at Union Kitchen & Tap Encinitas.

Huckleberry Bourbon
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Huckleberry Bourbon is available at Et Voilà! French Bistro in North Park.
(Courtesy of Alternative Strategies)

Head to Et Voilà! French Bistro for a soul-warming Old Forester Bourbon served on the rocks, complemented by a lemon finish and maple and agave-infused huckleberries.

Canela Girl
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Canela Girl is available at Jalisco Cantina in Oceanside.
(Courtesy of Alternative Strategies)

Canela is a girl’s name that means cinnamon, as well as the name of Jalisco’s spicy holiday beverage. This cinnamon blanco tequila and spiced rum cocktail is paired with fruity marmalade, orange bitters and cinnamon syrup.

Pomegranate Copita
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Pomegrante Copita is available at Rancho Bernado Inn.
(Courtesy of Rancho Bernardo Inn)

Indulge in the crisp feeling of fall by sipping Chef Christopher Gentile’s pomegranate cocktail, complete with rose water, Del Maguey mezcal, lemon and a rose flower garnish.

Cider Lowball
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Cider Lowball is available at Water Grill in Gaslamp.
(Courtesy of Water Grill)

A blend of bourbon whiskey, unfiltered apple cider, lemon juice and Bénédictine (herbal liqueur) creates an elevated alcoholic apple cider, complete with a Granny Smith apple slice and cinnamon stick to boot.

Champurrado Tropicale
Champurrado Tropicale is available at both Puesto locations in Seaport Village and La Jolla.
(Anne Watson)

Puesto’s twist on Mexican hot chocolate mixes Champurrado with blue agave tequila, Guanabana liqueur, passionfruit and lime juice, giving the traditional winter drink a beachy touch.

Spiced Pumpkin Martini
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Spiced Pumpkin Martini is available at One Door North in North Park.
(Courtesy of One Door North)

Skip Starbucks and stop by One Door North for this adult-version of a pumpkin spice latte — a pumpkin and spiced rum martini, topped with cinnamon, black pepper and Szechuan spices.

Santa’s Cider
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Santa’s Helper is available at The Oceanaire in Gaslamp.
(Courtesy of The Oceanaire)

Hop aboard a sleigh and fly to The Oceanaire for a chilled cocktail, made with Grey Groose vodka, St-Germain Elderflower liqueur, Bénédictine, cookie butter syrup, Martinelli’s apple juice, lemon juice and an orange peel.

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Sara has always been two things: a writer and a San Diegan.