Finding Cozy Cocktail Spots

Juan Tequila in San Diego
Juan Tequila

The shortest day of the year falls on Friday, December 21st, when the sun will disappear from the sky at around 4:46 p.m.  But no need to stay at home or head to bed early, invite a small group of friends or grab your favorite book and check out these cozy cocktail spots that are perfect for sipping an adult beverage or two.

Located in Mission Hills, Farmer’s Bottega is an intimate eatery with vintage décor, fresh and sustainable plates, and a lineup of creative craft cocktails. Under the dim glow of the Edison bulbs that hang from the iron chandeliers, get comfy with Washington St. Cider cocktail. The blend of Barenjager Honey Bourbon, Greenbar Apple Bitters and apple cider is sure to warm your soul.

Sit beneath the gorgeous display of blossoming cherry trees that can be found at Little Italy’s Cloak & Petal, near the corner of Grape and India Street. Here guests can feast on authentic Japanese sushi, appetizers and other small plates, paired with one of the restaurant’s innovative cocktails. Try the Cloak Cup Julep, with floral notes of lavender and Chilean pisco. The cocktail also features woodsy elements of reposado tequila, exotic flavors of Japanese persimmon falernum, almond and aromatic mint.

Del Sur Mexican Cantina, tucked away off 30th and Juniper Street in South Park, has a quaint patio ideal for sipping vibrant cocktails. For chillier nights, pull up a stool to the bar or request a booth inside and enjoy one-of-a-kind margaritas, such as the Mango Chili Margarita made with 100% agave tequila reposado, mango, pineapple, lime, triple sec and housemade serrano shrub. If you’re feeling a little hungry, snack on the Del Sur Queso Fundido, a house cheese blend spiced with roasted poblano, Anaheim pepper, onion and mushroom – yum!

Venture into The Whiskey House, an intimate and cozy Gaslamp District spot offering whiskeys, draft beers, an eclectic wine list and plenty of craft cocktails. Snuggle into a booth with your closest friends and admire the alcohol wall, which displays over 2,800 varieties of whiskies. Opt to try one of Whisky House’s classic cocktails, like thePaper Plane, a combination of bourbon, Amaro Montenegro, Aperol and lemon.

While Tajima is known for their exceptional ramen bowls and authentic Japanese cuisine, the Mercury location also features cocktails of the month to help wash down your meal. Small tables and limited bar seating create an inviting atmosphere, where lively conversations can be enjoyed. During the month of December, guests can sip a Jolly Juice sparkling blend of cranberries and apples, with added warmth from spiced rum and herbs. The Hot & Schnappy, creamy hot chocolate spiked with Peppermint Schnapps, will also be available through the end of the year.

Chandeliers, leather furniture and a “starry” lounge are unique design touches that make Juan Tequila one of the trendiest spots in the Gaslamp District. Hunker down into an over-sized booth and browse the cocktail menu, which consists of concoctions like Driftwood, an old-fashioned tribute to Mexico chili-infused mezcal, sotol, cacao, amaro and peach. This chic restaurant also offers appetizers to pair with your cocktail, and you’ve got to try the Ceviche De Juan Tequila – local fish, pickled tomatillo pico, avocado, lime and orange, served with tortilla chips.