2017’s Best Orange County Cocktails

Thanks to this blog, I think I might have sprouted my official barfly wings. With so many new places opening, new seasonal menus, and even new distilleries coming online, 2017 was quite a busy year for the Boozeblog. Here are 10 drinks that still make me drool!

Dawn’s Hour – Mix Mix, Santa Ana: “a familiar-looking stirred cocktail whose aroma has me reminiscing about smoking clove cigarettes at a Cure concert. Every drink, a subtle reminder that “It’s Friday, I’m in Love.”

Mix Mix – Dawn’s Hour

Saturn’s Rings – Broadway by Amar Santana, Laguna Beach:If I were to guess what Saturn’s rings tasted like, I’d imagine something like deep-fried space chicken, complete with a big dipper-full of intergalactic gravy. The drink, however, is like a boozy fruit salad in tiki form.”

Saturn’s Rings by Broadway by Amar, Laguna Beach.

Spanish Bombs, 370 Common, Laguna Beach: “this thing drinks like a tequila zombie, however, due to the intense ghost pepper heat, can completely carpet-bomb your taste buds.”

Spanish Bombs, 370 Common

Can’t We All Get Along? Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens, Corona Del Mar:The drink is somewhat like an old bar joke, where a cucumber, wild honey, lime, and charcoal-infused Aquavit find their way into a glass…the punchline is that this drink is completely refreshing, despite looking like a Guinness Stout with a lime wedge.”

Can’t We All Just Get Along? Farmhouse

Mommy’s Juice Box, Social, Costa Mesa: “I hear carrot juice in a cocktail counter-acts any visual buzz from hard alcohol,” I mutter, trying to be witty and social, ordering Mommy’s Juice Box. The tall orange collins glass looks sort of like a Thai-iced tea, but smells juicy, ginger-spicy, with a kiss of herbaceousness.”

Mommas Juice Box, Social Costa Mesa

Overproof & Underpaid, a competition drink at 320 Main’s Tiki Throwdown event by Emily Delicce. “Kind of like a Scot on vacation in Jamaica, where instead of blowing bagpipes, he’s puffing on this, Laphroaig and Jamaican rum, anyone?”

Overproof and Underpaid with Emily Delicce

Frozé – Rooftop Lounge, Laguna Beach: Frozé looks more like a fruit smoothie than anything. Super-sweet strawberry, blueberry, and a kick of fermented rosé grapes ring the nose. “This is like breakfast on a cruise ship,” I quip, trying to suck a small blueberry through a straw to no avail.”

Islay, Scotland – Vacation Bar, Santa Ana: “The drink looks like a pub beer served on nitro, complete with cascading head. The combination of smoked black salt, super-satisfying foam, Laphroaig’s peetfire phenols, and overall mouthfeel left me flabbergasted. “It’s good with mescal too,” says Gaby, with her delightful British accent.”


Islay-Scotland at Vacation Bar

Everything I had during OC Negroni Week. “Pretty sure my pee smells like Campari after Negroni Week” – Overheard in men’s restroom.

Dry Society Negroni with coffee infused Antica

Actuatly, It’s an Old Fashioned, nFuse, Anaheim: “The visual of Brandon delivering his first drink, Actuatly It’s An Old Fashioned, (the typo a nod to the syrup made from local brewery Bottle Logic’s Double Actuator beer), all heads in the bar swivel as he walks my way with such a lavish drink tray: a cross-section of a tree with a full-on Pinterest display, complete with tap handle. I’ve never been served something so pretty.”

Actuatly It’s An Old Fashioned, nFuse

What were some of your favorite drinks in 2017? We can’t wait to see what 2018 brings!

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