May 13th is World Cocktail Day and since travel abroad is still limited, we’ve compiled some of the best flavors from around the world to be enjoyed right here, in San Diego! From Mexico to London, Cuba to Italy, these cocktails are sure to quench your thirst and help quell your travel bug for the near future.
If you’ve traveled to Italy, you know the country is abound with delicious beverages like wine, Chiani, and Peroni. But none quite compare to the Aperol Spritz, a low-alcohol cocktail known as “Italy’s Drink”. Operacaffe, an inviting restaurant in the Gaslamp District, serves authentic Italian cuisine, along with wines, spirits, and house cocktails, including the Aperol Spritz. One sip of the Aperol, an Italian bitter aperitif, and Prosecco cocktail and you’ll be instantly transported to summer in the Italian countryside!
The first Margarita is believed to have been invited and served in Tijuana, just South of San Diego, so it is no surprise there are many tasty versions served in the city. One of the most refreshing can be found at Romesco, a hidden culinary gem tucked away in the beautiful Bonita neighborhood. Try the Tamarindo Margarita, made with tequila, lime, cane syrup, tamarindo, and Tajin, or opt for a spicy Cielo Rojo Margarita, habanero-infused tequila, strawberry cane syrup, orange juice, lime, salt, and chili.
This may come as a surprise – the classic Bloody Mary we know and love most likely originated from Paris, France, created by a bartender named Fernand Petiot. Said to be named after Queen Mary Tudor of England, these cocktails that combine booze and tomato juice have only gotten more extravagant over time. Locals can get their bloody Mary fix at Point Loma Fish Shop, with two delicious options! In the Fish Shop Bloody Mary, you will find vodka and signature bloody Mary mix, served over ice with a Fish Shop seasoning rim, and garnished with Fish Shop shrimp, fresh lemon, and lime. The Fish Shop Bloody Maria substitutes tequila for the vodka, so you get that extra kick.
Used as a medicinal drink in Cuba, early Mojitos were a comprised of moon shine mixed with mint, sugar cane syrup, and lime. Pirates that invaded Cuba replaced the moon shine with rum to create the more modern-day Mojito, like the one found at Duck Dive, in PB. The beach bar’s Blueberry Mojito consists of a delicious blend of Bacardi Rum, blueberry, fresh lime juice, and mint – perfect for sipping on a sunny San Diego day!
Waterbar boasts some of the city’s best views, but did you also know they’ve also got quite the lineup of adult beverages, including cocktails like Kappa’s Cup?! Inspired by the Pimm’s Cup, a light and refreshing cocktail originally served by James Pimm at his oyster bar in London, Waterbar’s cocktail is a delightful blend of Bombay Sapphire gin, St. Germain, Crème de Mure, lavender, blackberry, and lemon. Fun fact: the original recipe reportedly helped aid in digestion.
Many credit Spain for the invention of Sangria, but the beloved summer drink actually dates back to the early Greeks and Romans, who mixed their wine with sugar, spices, and whatever else they had on hand. They called the drink “hippocras”! For a sangria you’re sure to love, visit Shake and Muddle, found in Chula Vista. The fusion cocktail mixology bar offers a Layered Sangria, with house marinated white sangria on bottom, and house marinated red sangria on top.