As it starts to feel more like summer each day in San Diego, the increasing temperatures have us craving exotic cocktails like those you’d find yourself sipping on a tropical vacation. Fresh fruit juices from mangos, guava and pears, along with frozen purées and ripe from-the-garden herbs are just a few of the ingredients we all appreciate in an authentic island-inspired beverage, and we’ve rounded up some of the best spots in the city to find these cocktails!
Del Sur Mexican Cantina, located on 30th Street in the South Park neighborhood, is a vibrant bar and eatery where you can find an array of creative craft cocktails and margaritas. Many of the drinks listed on the menu are made with 100% agave tequila and a variety of fruit juices, including the Mango Chili Margarita. This tropical favorite, consisting of 100% agave tequila reposado, mango, pineapple, lime, triple sec and a housemade serrano shrub, will whisk you away on an exotic vacation with just one sip.
If you’re in search of a view that you’ll enjoy just as much as your drink, look no further than Waterbar in Pacific Beach. This spacious hangout has floor-to-ceiling windows, where you can’t help but stare at the waves crashing against the sand as you wait for your food and drink. To compliment the impressive views, order an impressive cocktail such as the Viking Skeid. The spicy yet refreshing combination of Ketel One Vodka, spiced pear liqueur, lime, Angostura bitters and ginger beer will make it hard to only order one!
Another classic Pacific Beach spot, which boasts one of the best patios in the area, is Backyard Kitchen & Tap, near the corner of Garnet and Mission Boulevard. All-American cuisine, craft cocktails, outdoor cabanas and a laidback atmosphere all make Backyard the perfect after-beach destination in PB. Unwind with a lively Guava Mojito beverage, made with Captain White Rum, Malibu, guava purée, lime and mint. This flavorful concoction will make you feel like you’re lounging under a cabana on a faraway island.
Mavericks Beach Club, which can be found just steps from the ocean in Pacific Beach, has become a top party spot for those looking to get a little wild any night of the week. With outdoor games, sports, live music, DJs and a dance club in the evening, the fun never seems to end at this multi-level entertainment venue. The fun is even carried throughout the menu, which features Baja-inspired bar bites and feisty drinks, like the Mavericks Margarita. The mix of El Jimador Silver, desert pear syrup and fresh lime juice will have you dancing the night away!
PB’s premier neighborhood beach lounge and eatery, The Duck Dive, is a great spot to enjoy coastal favorite dishes and cocktails made with “off the beach” flair. Kick back and sip on a summertime favorite such as the Mezcal Me, Maybe? The oh-so-tasty combination of tequila, mezcal, fresh grapefruit, passion fruit syrup, falernum, lime and guava nectar, makes up just one of the many delectable drinks on the menu. Duck Dive also features sharable punch bowls, perfect for groups of three to six! All dive punch bowls, including The Starboy made with tequila, mezcal, passionfruit, guava, starfruit and bubbles, are 2-for-1 on the weekends from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
If you’re feeling like a summer cocktail from the comfort of your own home, pick up a bottle of CaliFino Reposado Tequila to create a Jalisco Sunrise. This classic cocktail is the perfect fusion of citrus and hints of vanilla from the Reposado, shaken with fresh orange juice, which makes for one good drink. Recipe below to practice your craft!
2 oz. CaliFino Reposado
3/4 oz. orange curacao
3/4 oz. orange juice
Shake, strain over fresh ice
Top with Pama liqueur
Bartenders choice: Salt rim if desired
Garnish with an orange slice