12 Essential Must-Try San Diego Summer CocktailsEat + Drink From guava foam to smoked dates — put these 12 places on your summer cocktail bucket list
There’s something refreshingly memorable about the perfectly concocted summer sipper in San Diego. Its jovial nature. Its cooling demeanor on those consistently sweet 75 degree days.
Perhaps you’re looking for a place to venture after the beach or before your much-anticipated dinner extravaganza. Whatever the reason, these 12 essential San Diego summer cocktails are sure to ignite excitement in all eager imbibers.
1. Beer Pops from Del Sur Mexican Cantina
Summer, beer and popsicles all go hand in hand. That’s why Del Sur Mexican Cantina is serving up Beer Pops: spicy popsicles made to melt in your beer. Imbibe in a Michelada with a tajin rim paired with a sangrita popsicle made with tomato juice, citrus and chile.
2. Caribe Welcome from Miss B’s Coconut Club
Making its mark in north Mission Beach is Miss B’s Coconut Club — an island-inspired eatery that celebrates a rich Caribbean culture in north Mission Beach. Their Caribe Welcome is handcrafted with Puerto Rican rum, apricot brandy, Coco Lopez coconut water and fresh lime juice. The best part? It’s served in a whole young coconut.
3. Coronado Luau Special from False Idol
After you grab your black angus rib eye with horseradish hollandaise from Craft and Commerce, venture to the connected False Idol for your post-dinner indulgence. Try the Coronado Luau Special — a rum and brandy thing of beauty, and an ode to the long lost Luau Room (a tiki restaurant and bar that resided in the Hotel Del Coronado from 1949-1969).
4. Not So Watermello from The Nolen
Located on the 14th floor of the Courtyard San Diego in the Gaslamp Quarter, The Nolen is a rooftop bar with incredible views of the San Diego Bay and the downtown skyline. The Not So Watermello is a tequila cocktail featuring curaçao, watermelon juice, agave and a spicy tajin rim.
5. Baewatch from Sycamore Den
Sycamore Den is a 1970s-inspired cocktail bar located in Normal Heights, serving up contemporary takes on classic cocktails of the decade. Bring your date in for a Baewatch — a citrus-meets-smokey cocktail featuring mezcal, Aperol, grapefruit, cucumber, lime and a house-made pink peppercorn infused cordial.
6. Smoked Date from Campfire
The mixologist masters at Carlsbad’s latest hot spot — Campfire — serve up a Smoked Date drink said to be nostalgic and reminiscent of summer camp itself. The concoction includes Amontillado sherry, trail mix syrup, rum infused with cold smoked medjool dates and fresh squeezed lemon juice.
7. Sea3 at George’s Level 2
The Sea3 at George’s Level 2 is a margarita inspired by the sea. Go for a dip in the Pacific, then follow it with a libation of dehydrated mango, lime & chile infused tequila, lime, agave nectar, and a sea cube while you gaze at the ocean below.
8. Lemongrass Sour from Mister A’s
Venture to the amazing city rooftop of Mister A’s for a sunset — and snag their Lemongrass Sour while you’re at it. Let your tastebuds boogie to Farmer’s organic gin, lemongrass, egg white, elderflower and fresh lime served up in a coupe topped with edible flowers.
9. Vittoria from Catania
If you’re in need of a European vacation this summer, transport yourself from Venice to Puglia to Sicily by way of the La Jolla coastline and Catania. Pineapple scotch, lemon, galliano, and house made amaretto come together to create the Vittoria — a cocktail for all the senses.
10. Swell Times Mai Tai from OB Surf Lodge
The OB Surf Lodge (in Ocean Beach) is home to a wrap-around outdoor patio — ideal for sipping on summer drinks. Playing off the local waves, the Swell Times Mai Tai recipe includes guava juice and a nitro guava foam.
11. Deb’s Coconut Margarita From Coasterra
Made with olmeca altos reposado, coconut cream, lime juice, and a coconut salt rim, Deb’s Coconut Margarita will quite literally let you leave all of your summertime worries behind as you float on into a sea of liquid bliss on Harbor Island.
12. Bed, Bath & Sake at Wokou Ramen & Yakitori
And, to round out the list in a relaxing and blissful way, venture to Wokou for ramen, yakitori, rice bowls, and noodles, and also — the Bed, Bath & Sake cocktail made with lavender-infused sake, vodka, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, and Mio sparkling sake.
The art of drinking cocktails is one of San Diego’s most beloved summer pastimes. And we hope these 12 libations have inspired you to get out there and sip the season.
Have a drink we didn’t catch on this list? We’d love if you shared it with us in the comments below. Cheers!