Fall Head Over Heels for These Seasonal Spirits
Between a pinch of spice here and a spoonful of sugar there, San Diego’s fall cocktail scene is on fire this season—along with the outdoor temperatures, which have also been a bit warm as of late. In light of these sunny days, we’ve gathered a few favorite drinks which might even make you forget you’re in San Diego. Whether you’re headed to Kettner Exchange for a Carajillo Old Fashioned or The Cassara Kitchen & Bar for their Rest in Peach cocktail, you’re sure to find something that suits your fancy.
Drink: Autumn Spritz
Order at: You & Yours
Ingredients: You & Yours London Dry Gin, blood orange, cranberry, cinnamon, black pepper, balsamic, sparkling wine
Sprinkle your day with a smidge of fall spice! The Autumn Spritz at You & Yours is packed with a punch of earthy flavors, making this cocktail a cornucopia of all things cozy. Enjoy sipping on its balsamic-kicking notes as you sit in a modern-meets-Old Hollywood oasis. Boasting large windows, beautiful natural light and art deco designs, this is a go-to spot if you want to feel like you’re outside without sacrificing your internal temperature. What better way to celebrate the fall season than to visit this place with “you and yours.”
Location: East Village
Drink: Pumpkin Spice Espresso Martini
Order at: Wolfie’s Carousel Bar
Ingredients: Vodka, coffee liqueur, cold brew, house-made pumpkin spice syrup and nutmeg
PSL season is in full swing—and if you’ve not yet tried Wolfie’s Carousel Bar’s Pumpkin Spice Espresso Martini, then you’re missing out on a treat. Sweet and sophisticated, this one is classy and classic, because who doesn’t love a good PSL? What’s even more is that this unique bar has a real carousel set in the middle of it (built in 1881 by Charles I.D. Looff), giving it a retro and whimsical vibe. Raise a glass to the merry-go-round!
Location: Little Italy
Drink: Holiday Spiked Chai
Order at: Polite Provisions
Ingredients: Brandy, Jamaican overproof rum, coffee liqueur, amaretto, chai, almond milk, egg white, Tiki Bitters, nutmeg
Nothing like a seasonal chai to spike your spirits. With a nod toward eggnog (or, should we say, a “nog” toward eggnog?), Polite Provisions’ Holiday Spiked Chai is a go-to for fall. Sporting a balance of almond milk and amaretto, the sweet flavor profiles are perfectly complemented by a kick of spice from the nutmeg and Tiki Bitters. Escape reality inside Polite Provisions’ 1920s-esque space in North Park. But don’t worry—spiked with brandy and Jamaican overproof rum, the only thing prohibited in this bar is a bad time.
Location: North Park12/30
Drink: Rest in Peach
Order at: The Cassara Kitchen & Bar
Ingredients: Tito’s vodka, peach liqueur, lemon, Ceylon cinnamon, simple syrup
Whether from Georgia or not (heyo, Justin Bieber), we love a good peach. The Cassara Carlsbad Kitchen & Bar is a classy spot that offers a handful of fall cocktails—and one in particular, the Rest in Peach, tickles our fancy. This vodka cocktail comes with a kick from the lemon and cinnamon, making it a refreshing and festive drink for all who are ready to indulge. “Rest in peach” as your eye takes in the calming design aesthetics of this hotel bar and coastal Carlsbad views. Happy harvest season!
Drink: Burlington Sour
Order at: Cutwater Tasting Room
Ingredients: Bourbon, maple, allspice, lemon, egg white
How does the saying go? Oh yeah, “Sugar and spice and everything nice.” We sure do love sweet, sour and spicy—but what’s even better is all three amigos united in one cocktail. Cutwater Tasting Room’s Burlington Sour is the perfect pick-me-up for that 5 o’clock cocktail hour, giving just enough edge to keep you going through the night. Bring some friends and sip leisurely at this casual tasting room. With lots of wide-open space, you can choose between the bar, tables, outdoor seating and fireside lounges.
Drink: Carajillo Old Fashioned
Order at: Kettner Exchange
Ingredients: SDCM barrel-aged mezcal, vanilla cordial, coffee liqueur, mole bitters
Sound the smoke alarm! Anything but traditional, the Carajillo Old Fashioned puts a smoky spin on the expected style of an Old Fashioned. Replacing bourbon or whiskey with barrel-aged mezcal, this trade means business. We see you, Kettner! Vanilla cordial, coffee liqueur and mole bitters each add their own elements to the born-again drink—making for an unforgettable sipping experience. Sip and sit in autumnal bliss as you enjoy Kettner Exchange’s moody indoor space or breezy rooftop lounge, where you can even see views of the harbor.
Location: Little Italy
Drink: Fire in the Cemetery
Order at: Oculto 477
Ingredients: Laphroaig single malt, Monkey Shoulder blended malt scotch, Argonaut brandy, Zucca rhubarb amaro, D’Aristi Xtabetún liqueur, demerara, Angostura bitters
Every day is spooky season at Oculto 477, a speakeasy set beside a cemetery in Old Town. Oculto 477’s spirit-forward drink, Fire in the Cemetery, is a strong cocktail with earthy, herbal tones and a honey taste that lends itself to the “sweet to rich” ratio, which makes it so desirable. Marked by Old Hollywood vibes, including a velvet couch, leather barstools and dimly lit sconce lights, this moody bar is just the spot for an autumn cocktail. Friendly reminder to pay your respects to the spirits who came before us, and also note that reservations are required.
Location: Old Town12/20
Drink: London Fog
Order at: California English
Ingredients: Storyhouse gin, raspberry, elderflower, lemon, elderberry fog
You can never go wrong with sweet and sour. Thanks to the raspberry, elderflower, lemon and elderberry flavors, California English’s London Fog is the perfect blend of subtle and tangy. The London Fog is a captivating choice for days when the fog rolls in. While sipping on this classy cocktail, enjoy the open space of this place—framed with hanging ferns, sage green accents and a gorgeous outdoor patio. Sink into the season and treat yourself!
Location: Sorrento Valley
Drink: Winter Harvest
Order at: One Door North
Calvados, rye whiskey, maple syrup, cassia/chocolate bitters
How ‘bout them apples? Warming you up from the inside out, One Door North’s Winter Harvest cocktail takes you on an apple-bobbing-meets-chocolate fondue flavor experience. Meanwhile, the visuals at this unique North Park restaurant will transport you to a campground in the woods. Take a deep breath and take a step into your next adventure. Replete with canopy tents, forest murals and the option to order s’mores, this spot provides a quaint getaway without having to pack for a camping trip.
Location: North Park