Fall is known for it’s classic combination of Sunday football and beer. Not a beer drinker? What about those Thursday and Monday night games? Introducing our guide to craft cocktails in Huntington Beach. Whether your team is winning or losing, there’s no better celebration or way to ease the pain than your favorite hard alcohol. If you’re trying to escape the football mayhem at home, these restaurants are the perfect getaway for a girl’s night out at any time of year. As an added bonus – all of our top picks have impressive appetizer and dinner menus to satisfy every craving.
We decided to start with the classic Hawaiian Mai Tai cocktail, a popular choice at Duke’s, located steps from the famous Huntington Beach Pier. Sip on Hawaiian juices with light and dark rum and orange curacao while watching the waves crash on the beach. The best part of their Mai Tai creation is their use of POG (passion fruit, orange, guava) juice. Or is it the 151 proof rum? If you need a nice cool down, ask for the frozen Mai Tai with orange sherbet.
The Kimpton Shorebreak Hotel recently completed a major $3 million renovation, and part of their facelift includes a new Pacific Rim-inspired restaurant, Pacific Hideaway. Freshly opened on May 2, the elevated surf shack features mid-century modern and global decor, island flavors and colorful plates, and a refined yet laid-back bar experience. Solidifying its intentions as ‘the place to be’ for the best regional and international brews and cocktails, the casual, yet refined bar offers locals and visitors a great venue for a casual drink or a night out. The bar menu incorporates central coast wine, sake, and cocktails utilizing ingredients from global coastlines, such as the Captain Barbosa with Lustau Sherry, Ron Zacapa 23 year aged rum, Ancho Reyes, cinnamon-demerara syrup, and black walnut bitters. Recommended cocktail? Try the Do Not Disturb - sauvignon blanc, aviation, sparkling wine, honey, lemon—garnished with an edible orchid and a mini “Do Not Disturb” sign hanging from the glass stem.
Try traditional with a twist at Watertable with their HB Old Fashion. The blend of Mount Gay black barrel rum, coconut sugar reduction, and orange bitters will leave you with a slightly sweet finish. If you’re looking for something more classic, choose from any of their fine MaCallan scotches or an Ardbeg decanter scotch.
25 Degrees certainly knows how to have fun with their drinks. The Redhead in Bed comes extremely well recommended and mixes Ketel One Citroen vodka, strawberries, lemon juice, and sparkling wine for an added kick. For those who like to drink their dessert, 25 Degrees offers four spiked shakes, mixing vanilla ice cream and your choice of Guinness, Maker’s Mark, Kraken Black Spiced Rum, or Kahlua among other sweet milkshake additions.
A guaranteed winner for all things craft cocktail, The Corner has an extensive list of specialty cocktails using freshly muddled ingredients. A fan favorite is the Dark and Stormy, a blend of Goslings dark rum, lime, and ginger beer. The Tangerine Gimlet also delivers for vodka drinkers with juicy tangerine and lime. If you can’t decide on one of the cocktail menu offerings, sit at the bar and ask for Chris, the restaurant owner and a true mixologist. He’ll whip up something tasty using your chosen ingredients. Be sure to also check out their six variations on the classic Bloody Mary from their Sunday Brunch menu.
Our final stop is certainly not the least qualified in terms of alcoholic beverages. While SeaLegs is best known for their wine selection and California cuisine, their craft cocktail menu is sure to impress. Ranging from the traditional Moscow Mule to an iced coffee with a kick of Irish whiskey, we had a hard time narrowing down a top pick… but what’s a cocktail list without some tequila? The Watermelon + Habanero Margarita takes the cake for unique ingredients with a combo of tequila, fresh watermelon muddled with spicy habanero, house made simple syrup, and a chili candy rim. Refreshing with a kick!
* Header image courtesy of the Kimpton Shorebreak Hotel.