In curating our list for this year’s ‘Best’ of all things worth consuming in Orange County, we didn’t forget about the all too important drink category. Whether you are in to craft cocktails, craft brews, a refreshing smoothie or just a cool take home cup, we’ve selected a variety of unique offerings to quench your thirst and satisfy your cravings. Here are some of our favorite things to drink this year in Orange County.
➞ The bar at Anepalco is a den of invention, infusing craft cocktails with a menu of Mexican flavors. Try the bottle-aged L.R.A. ($14), smoky La Niña del Mezcal Espadia, sweet banana liqueur, herbaceous Fernet-Branca, and a dash of chocolate bitters. 3737 W. Chapman Ave., Orange, 714-456-9642, anepalco.com
➞ For those who like a lip-puckering sour to their drink, Lemonade offers a daily sugar-free option that rotates among flavors such as watermelon rosemary, Arnold Palmer, and blueberry mint ($3). And no artificial sweeteners! Locations in Irvine, Newport Beach, and Huntington Beach, lemonadela.com
Quirky Craft-Brew Vibe
➞ Deep in an Anaheim industrial park, Bottle Logic Brewing blends top‑notch beers, nerd humor (order the “Lagerithm”), and a family-friendly space into a weirdly appealing drinking experience. Don’t let the flocks of bearded hipsters put you off. Walk in (often past a great food truck outside), belly up, and enjoy yourself. It’s actually hard not to. 1072 N. Armando St., Anaheim, 714-660-2537, bottlelogic.com
➞ Lime In The Coconut is Taps’ new nitrogen-frozen mix of rums and fresh juices. Mixed tableside and served in a coconut shell, it’s a next-gen Tiki slushie you can down with spoon or straw. Don’t be fooled by its tropical allure; this is one potent cocktail. $18. 13390 Jamboree Road, Irvine, 714-619-0404; 101 E. Imperial Highway, Brea, 714-257-0101; tapsfishhouse.com
Whether it’s freshly brewed iced jasmine milk tea, vegan Thai tea, or strawberry lemonade, the drinks at Snow Monster come in reusable glass jars with adorable black bows and etched monster logos. Keep them as souvenirs or bring them back for refills to reduce your carbon footprint. Locations in Huntington Beach, Irvine, and Westminster, snowmonsteroc.com
➞ Tropical Smoothie CafE boosts the healthy shake to a higher level by using fruits and vegetables such as mango, roasted banana, and tender kale. Tasty upgrades include coconut, almonds, dates, and peanut butter. Multiple locations, tropicalsmoothie.com