New-school Spins on the Espresso Martini

Photograph Courtesy of Blinking Owl Distillery

The spirits at Blinking Owl Distillery have always been eye-openers, and the chef-driven menus turn heads, too. New brunch service introduces the high-flying Cold Brewski cocktail, served in a coupe with the distillery’s California Straight Rye Whiskey, cold-brew coffee, falernum, oat milk, and coffee-and-cocoa bitters—splendid with the three-tier cream-cheese blini stack. Savor French-press California Straight Bourbon Whiskey-spiked Ethiopian coffee from Chapman Crafted with either superb breakfast pizza: the Everything Bagel pie with Tsar Nicolai smoked salmon or the Cacio e Pepe Bacon. 802 E. WASHINGTON AVE., SANTA ANA, 714-852-3947

The Country Club, a 1920s-inspired restaurant with an 80-foot bar, offers espresso martinis in two iterations. One features traditional Ketel One Vodka; a more intense spinoff uses Jameson Cold Brew Irish Whiskey. Both are made with Mr. Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur and Giffard Vanille de Madagascar liqueur; a trio of decorative coffee beans tops a proper head. Either drink kickstarts the weekend brunch—consider the whiskey version alongside the Bananas Foster pancakes with bourbon-banana caramel—but they’re most popular as a stay-out-and-party drink. 330 E. 17TH ST., COSTA MESA, 949-281-2582

Mayfield—known for its elevated Cal-Levant cuisine, curated gourmet marketplace, and airy decor—offers fancy coffee drinks in the morning. Consider the Irish Coffee and nonalcoholic Fancy Man cappuccino with bourbon-barrel-aged maple syrup. The restaurant gets fancier in the evening, when cocktails include the aptly named Pick Me Up with Ron Izalco 10-year rum, Mr. Black coffee liqueur, Kahlua, cold brew, and a turbinado-ground espresso rim; and the downright decadent off-menu meal-capper Our Carajillo, with Licor 43, espresso, vanilla hand-whipped cream, and shaved chocolate. 31761 CAMINO CAPISTRANO, SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, 949-218-5140

Tiki haven Stowaway at The District lures with “poly-fusion” cuisine, midcentury-kitsch decor, tiki drinks, and more than 100 rums, two of which are used in its Kona Coffee cocktail. Don Q Spiced Rum and Sammy’s Beach Bar Red Head Macadamia Nut Rum—as in Sammy Hagar, aka the Red Rocker—share a tall tiki mug with coffee liqueur, cold-brew coffee, and cream of coconut. Best time to enjoy it? At one of Stowaway’s stellar Enchanted Escape close-up magic shows on Sundays. 2493 PARK AVE., TUSTIN, 657-208-2088

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