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5 Cocktails to Order Right Now in San Diego

Fun colors, elegant uses of fruit, and drinks that are light and food friendly
Courtesy of Cutwater Spirits

By Kelly Davis

5 Cocktails - Peach

Princess Peach at Fortunate Son

Kelly Davis

There seem to be a few themes running through cocktail menus as bars reopen: fun colors, elegant uses of fruit, and drinks that are light, accessible, and food friendly. Here are some that have caught our attention:

Violet Hour

The Presley

Gins made with actual violets started showing up on the cocktail scene before the pandemic. Empress 1908 Gin, the star of this cocktail, is often mistaken for a violet gin, but it’s actually distilled from butterfly pea blossoms. This delicate flower doesn’t add much flavor, but it does make for a fun cocktail experience, changing from pink to lavender to fuchsia depending on what it’s mixed with. Empress 1908’s flavor is on the citrusy side, making it ideal for The Presley’s eye-catching take on a classic sour (simple syrup, frothed egg white, fresh lime juice).

2855 Perry Road, Liberty Station

5 Cocktails - Poured

Baby, I Was Poured This Way at Cutwater Spirits

Courtesy of Cutwater Spirits

Baby, I Was Poured This Way

Cutwater Tasting Room & Kitchen

Speaking of butterfly pea, this colorful cocktail features a float of Cutwater’s acclaimed white rum infused with it, plus some edible shimmer

dust. Below that is a blend of white rum, a toasted macadamia syrup, coconut, blue curaçao, and lime. It’s a rich, tropical cocktail created to honor San Diego’s LGBTQ community. Through September 30, $1 from the sale of each cocktail, plus a $1 match by Cutwater, will go to The San Diego LGBT Community Center, which provides health care and other support services.

9750 Distribution Avenue, Miramar

Chiefly American


It’s rare to see blueberries in a cocktail, but this strikingly pretty drink from Counterpoint demonstrates the berry’s worthiness. Here, a mellow, lightly sweet blueberry basil syrup is combined with vodka and fresh lemon juice for a perfectly balanced cocktail.

830 25th Street, Golden Hill

Princess Peach Daiquiri

Fortunate Son/Polite Provisions

Fortunate Son itself doesn’t serve cocktails, but you can order off the menu from Polite Provisions next door. This tiki-esque drink (pineapple rum, raspberry, lime, peach bitters) pairs well with the restaurant’s American Chinese dishes, like orange chicken and pan-fried noodles. If you’re a fan of subbing in a cocktail for dessert, this daiquiri is a sweet end to a meal.

2943 Adams Avenue, Normal Heights

5 Cocktails - Lychee

Lychee Chi-Chi at Misadventure Co. Distillery

Courtesy of Misadventure Co. Distillery

Lychee Chi Chi

Misadventure Co. Distillery Tasting Room

Misadventure Co. Distillery uses all manner of discarded baked goods that would otherwise go to the landfill to produce its cocktail-friendly vodka. (Don’t worry—the distillation process removes the gluten.) This fan favorite, made with Thai-basil-infused Misadventure Vodka, lychee, Thai coconut syrup, lime, and pineapple, hits all the right notes and is available at the distillery’s recently launched Thursday tiki nights.

2420 Grand Avenue, Vista

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