Mary Carol Fitzgerald
Credit: Mary Carol Fitzgerald

6 Cocktails You Need to Try at San Diego’s Newest Caribbean-Inspired Rooftop

Sip Back and Relax at Coco Maya, Where Caribbean Cuisine and Inventive Cocktails Collide

Combine impeccable culinary craftsmanship and a stunning rooftop dining space and you get Coco Maya, Little Italy’s newest Caribbean-inspired hot spot. Featuring the bold and exotic flavors of Latin America, Coco Maya’s menu brings island-style flavors to the table, but the highlight of the menu is undeniably the restaurant’s outstanding collection of signature cocktails. Whether you’re in the mood for a smoky mezcal-forward sipper or a cold brew-infused rum espresso martini, these concoctions are sure to wow your palate and help you get your buzz on. Here are six drinks you need to try ASAP at Coco Maya along with a signature dish to pair them with.

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Drink: Siempre Verano

Blanco tequila, xtabentún, mango, cucumber tonic, aloe, hibiscus

Credit: Mary Carol Fitzgerald

Pair it with: Coconut Shrimp

Coco Maya’s Siempre Verano cocktail, which translates to “always summer,” offers a refreshing, lightly sweetened beverage perfect for a warm day. Utilizing blanco tequila, xtabentún, mango, cucumber tonic, aloe and hibiscus, this beverage is fruity, botanical and well-balanced. And due to its tequila-centric nature, we recommend pairing it with their crispy coconut shrimp–don’t forget to ask for an extra side of their rich and decadent honey ginger dipping sauce. This pairing offers a chance to experience the flavors of Caribbean cuisine without straying too far out of your comfort zone.


Drink: Gring Groni

Coconut oil-washed pineapple-infused rum, bananarol, Cocchi vermouth di Torino

Credit: Grind & Prosper

Pair it with: Jerk Chicken and Gnocchi

The tropical Gring Groni combines housemade coconut oil-washed pineapple-infused rum with bananarol and Cocchi vermouth di Torino to create a rich cocktail loaded with notes of citrus and spice. It’s fun, adventurous and undeniably flavorful, making it a perfect match for their jerk chicken and gnocchi. Cooked in their coal-fired Josper Oven, Coco Maya’s jerk chicken brings together all the authentic flavor of traditional jerk chicken with a smoky finish. Combine this with rich asiago cheese-stuffed gnocchi–prepared with diced mango and brown garlic butter–and you have a food and beverage pairing that is rich, sweet, spicy and undeniably decadent.



Drink: Side Piece

Tamarind and chili oil-infused mezcal, watermelon, lime, mint

Credit: Mary Carol Fitzgerald

Pair it with: 24-ounce Bone-In Rib Eye

Made with tamarind and chili oil-infused mezcal and finished with watermelon, lime and mint, the Side Piece cocktail is a mezcal-lover’s dream. Blending the smoky notes of mezcal with sweet and zesty elements of watermelon and lime, this cocktail will evoke visions of pristine blue water and sandy beaches. Pair it with their famous 24-ounce bone-in rib eye, which is aged wet for 28 days, prepared over the fire and served with a choice of a creamy blue cheese sauce or a spicy peppercorn glaze. This premium cut of meat packs a flavorful punch, making it an excellent follow-up to the bold and spirited flavors of the Side Piece.


Drink: La Lechuza

Vodka, pomegranate, pineapple-hibiscus kombucha, papaya cordial, ginger

Credit: Grind & Prosper

Pair it with: Jerk Chicken

Nothing goes better with a stunning San Diego sunset than a refreshing and fizzy vodka cocktail, and the La Lechuza is exactly that. Stirring together vodka, fresh pomegranate, pineapple-hibiscus kombucha, papaya cordial and raw ginger in an owl-shaped glass, La Lechuza is citrusy, refreshing and herbaceous—the perfect pre-dinner drink! We recommend following it up with their authentic jerk chicken to make for a meal that is light yet incredibly flavorful. The chicken is prepared using their coal fired Josper Oven and incorporates their signature jerk sauce as well as fresh mango-habanero butter, making it a unique expansion of the traditional Caribbean flavor palate. The chicken also comes with their cinnamon sweet potato as a side, which is simply to die for.



Drink: Peacock Ponche

Mezcal, sherry, overproof rum, Jamaica tea, grapefruit, pomegranate, honey, bubbles, nutmeg

Best Cocktails in San Diego
Credit: Grind & Prosper
Best Cocktails in San Diego
Credit: Grind & Prosper

Pair it with: Taste of Coco Maya

Having trouble deciding on a flavor profile or which specific piece of Caribbean cuisine you’d like to explore? We recommend going for it all and pairing the Peacock Ponche with Coco Maya’s incredible tasting board option: Taste of Coco Maya. The Peacock Ponche incorporates a wide range of flavors and elements including mezcal, sherry, overproof rum, Jamaica tea, fresh grapefruit, pomegranate and nutmeg to create a cocktail that is refreshing, smoky and smooth, hitting all the core components of an island cocktail concoction. Then, for those looking to experience a little bit of everything Coco Maya has to offer, follow it up with the Taste of Coco Maya, featuring all of their most popular dishes, including the 24-ounce bone-in rib eye, their authentic jerk octopus, a Caribe Caesar salad and crispy coconut shrimp.


Drink: Marquesitas Espresso Martini

Cold brew-infused rum, vanilla-infused orgeat, coffee liqueur, salted caramel mascarpone foam 

Credit: Grind & Prosper

Pair it with: Marquesitas

Espresso martinis with dessert is a time-honored dining tradition, and Coco Maya takes this to a whole new level with their Espresso Martini and Marqesitas pairing. The Marquesitas Espresso Martini breaks the norm by using a cold brew-infused rum as the star ingredient, marrying it to perfection with orgeat and coffee liqueur, then finishing it with a salted caramel mascarpone foam topper. It’s rich, decadent and has the perfect amount of sweetness, making it a world-class dessert drink. Speaking of dessert, we recommend pairing it with their marquesitas, a popular Latin treat that combines a crispy thin waffle overflowing with Nutella, cherry jam and edam cheese filling. This combination makes for one dessert that will leave you and your table speechless.


Coco Maya
1660 India St
San Diego, CA 92101

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