30 Iconic and Unique Cocktails in California
Cocktail is a mixed drink that is usually made from an alcoholic drink mixed with other ingredients such as tonic water, soda, and the likes. This type of drink can be strong, sweet, sour or a mix of different flavor that will make it step up from your usual liquor. There are bars that serve cocktails with the same name but might have a different taste. This is because the amount and quality of ingredients they mixed might be different from each other.
Nowadays, cocktails can be seen not just in bars but also in some restaurants and diners. Aside from that, this type of drinks can be very simple to look at to something that is really bright, colorful and sometimes it can be over dramatic. How it looks actually made cocktails more inviting. Here in California, there are tons of cocktails that are one of a kind –with its mix or its appearance.
Today, we have listed 30 unique to crazy cocktail drinks that you will find in the state. Some are simple but has an amazing taste and some are really Insta-worthy. The first seven on our list is from the happiest place in the world- Disneyland! Having that said, we know that you know what to expect.
- Mint Julep, Cafe Orleans
Mint Julep is a lime and mint cocktail that is quite popular around the globe. But, Café Orleans in Disneyland made this cocktail more refreshing to the eyes. It comes in a cool light green color topped with lemon and bright red cherries that really stand out. If you want to get the perfect pair for it, then order for a Pommes Frites.
- Carthay Circle Cocktails, Carthay Circle
Carthay Circle has the best cocktail menu in the park. Some drinks are really simple to look at and is in the usual cocktail glass. But what makes it really unique is the mixture or flavors. The Tequila Daisy cocktail is not made from daisy but is as charming as the flower. It is a mixture of tequila, triple sec, agave nectar, lime juice, egg whites (yes, the usual egg whites), sugared viola garnish, and a splash of violet liqueur. You should not miss their martinis and gin & tonics as well!
- Michelada Pop, Uva Bar
This one is really different from other cocktail drinks. This is because what you need to do is get your most loves Uva Bar popsicle, tomato lime is our favorite, and dunk it in any glass or beer! Weird step but this is certainly something you want to try. And since there are other flavors to choose from and there are several beers as well, the mixture of flavor can be different every time.
- Fun Wheel, Cove Bar
Fun Wheel is one of the most Insta-feed-worthy cocktails ever! The layer of colors is really magical and appealing. It is something that will make you ask, “How?” Well, this cocktail will give you that fruity flavor with a kick at the end. Each color has a particular flavor that blends well together.
- Bananas Foster Martini, Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen
This diner had made the impossible possible as they created this one of a kind cocktail- Bananas Foster Martini. This looks like a very sweet drink that is alcohol free, but it’s really not. It is a martini that has a creamy banana flavor mixed with some caramel syrup that helped hid the strong taste of the alcohol.
- Nuevo Niche, Napa Rose
Napa Rose serves a lot of different signature cocktails in their diner but this Nuevo Niche is something that you do not want to miss if you are a resilient drinker. This is made from Zaya 12-year Rum, Poire Williams, fresh Lemon Juice, Honey, Taylor’s Velvet Falernum. From this list, you can easily tell how strong it is.
- Tiki Drinks, Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar
It’s hard to pick a favorite and the craziest or most unique one in all the cocktails served in Tiki Bar. All of them are different, all of them are appealing, all will have a different effect on you! There are drinks served in unique cups or in a pineapple and there are some drinks served from the usual glass but was made really bright and colorful. So if your drinking with friends, better go to this place and order all the cocktails you like. Then take a picture of it and boom! You will certainly gain a lot of followers!
Now, we’ll go to random cocktails that you can find around the state.
- The Balboa, Balboa Bar & Grill
This cocktail is served by several bars in San Diego. But, if you want to drink it in the coziest place, then Balboa Bar & Grill is the place to be. What makes this unique is that it is made specifically for San Diego. It’s like the town’s national cocktail. This is made from Henebery rye, R&D sarsaparilla bitters, fresh lemon juice, and honey syrup. Simple but is really something you’ll go back for.
- Starlite Mule, Starlite
If you want to try a drink that will give you that rustic vibe, then this Startlite Mule is the one that you should order. This is made with Rain vodka, ginger beer, lime, and Angostura bitters. And the last and most important thing is the ice cold copper mug that top it all of! Your Starlite Mule will not be the same without this very iconic copper mugs!
- Trust Cocktail # 2, Trust
If you want something hot and we mean spicy, then this Trust Cocktail # 2 is a must try for you! Who would have thought that infusing jalapeno with your favorite tequila will taste this great?! Well, thanks to the rest of the ingredients - fresh grapefruit juice, agave syrup, and Scrappy’s Firewater Bitters, this cocktail became very sophisticated. This will surely make you feel hot for some time.
- The Ticket, Sycamore Den
This one is for the dads. Well, you do not have to really be a dad just to get one but it started in a dad-themed bar in 2013. This drink is made with a blend of bourbon, Orchard Peach liqueur, lemon juice, simple syrup, and Angostura bitters. This is truly a great treat for a grown up man.
- Skubic Diver, Ironside
This drink is named after Michael Skubic, founder of San Diego’s Old Harbor Distilling Co. This was made to give honor to him and all his years of service not just to the company but also to the state. This is made with Old Harbor’s San Miguel Southwestern Gin, St. George Basil Eau de Vie, fresh lime juice, simple syrup, and celery bitters. So if you want something simple but savory, then this is the one for you.
- Sea Cubed, George’s Level2
A cocktail that is simple but is a great work of art. This is what Sea Cubed will bring you. Since Level2 is situated in La Jolla cove, the access to sea grass is quite easy. So, what they do is they hand pick each sea grass and freezes it into ice cubes. This is what they will put in each glass of this margarita. As the ice melt, the sea grass will give more flavor to your drink.
- Elizabeth’s Sexy Party, The Lion’s Share
This is a classic favorite. It looks like a regular glass of whisky but will the flavor will burst inside your mouth in every sip. This cocktail is made from St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, a rich, spiced liqueur made from Jamaican pot-still rum mixed with Buffalo Trace bourbon, cinnamon syrup, and chocolate bitters. Something sweet and savory.
- Penicillin, Little Dom’s
Little Dom’s is one of a popular place in Los Feliz. You might even see celebrities and other famous personality going in and out of the place. If you want to drink some beer or cocktail, this is one of the comfiest place in town. One of the must try cocktails here is the Penicillin. Yes, it was named after a medicine because its taste might heal you from all your stress. This is made with Grouse Blended Scotch, House-made Ginger Syrup, Lemon, Clover Honey, Atomized Laphroaig 10.
- Brown Derby, The Edison
The Edison is also a go-to place of celebrities that made it very popular in Downtown Los Angeles. Their cocktails are commemorated by a famous mixologist, Marcos Tello. With and expert in mixing, you can’t go wrong in ordering drinks from this place. You might want to try one of their best sellers, Brown Derby. This is made with Woodford Reserve Bourbon, clover honey and grapefruit.
- Roh- Dee- Oh, Bar 210
Bar 210 is a popular place in Beverly Hills. Gala, exclusive dinners, and other classy events and gathering had been held in this place. But, it’s not just the ambiance of the place that made this famous but also with its menu. When it comes to cocktails, you might want to try a house favorite Roh- Dee- Oh. The name is already appealing and when you take a sip, you will be amazed on how the Hendricks Gin, mint, lime juice, simple syrup and ginger ale blended well.
- Santa Monica Gimlet, Copa d’ Oro
This place is a high-class lounge that features craft cocktails made with organic fruits & herbs in a low-lit intimate setting. If you want to try something that is well-known in Santa Monica Farmers Market, then order for the Santa Monica Gimlet. This is made with Tanqueray Gin, celery, cucumber and lime juice. This combination made it very citrusy.
- South of No North, Roger Room
This is new addition to the list of cocktails from an extensive bar with vintage freak show pictures on the walls. This is a combination of Bombay Dry Gin, Hennessy V.S., all spice dram and fresh lemon juice. Very simple but the flavor is quite unique,
- Surfrider Cocktail, The Beachcomber
The Beachcomber is a real must visit place in Malibu. Dining in will give you an awesome view of the beach and if you want a cocktail while relaxing in their comfy seats, then order up for a Surfrider Cocktail. A light rum, blue curacao, sweet & sour and pineapple juice mix that is refreshing to drink and look at.
- Wilshire Sazerac, Blvd 16
Blvd 16 is a modern bar situated in Westwood. As much as possible, they try to make their meals complement each other in a classic and comfortable manner. With their cocktails, the Wilshire Sazerac is on top of the list. It’s a mix of Jack Daniels, Green Chartreuse, Peychaud Bitters. The Jack and Green Chartreuse make this a Westside-friendly version of the classic New Orleans cocktail.
- Mulholland Drive, Station Hollywood
Elegance and comfort is what Station Hollywood offers. And with their cocktails, a must try is their Mulholland Drive. The name is from a Hollywood movie and a Valley. This drink is made with a combination of Vanilla bean-infused Cazadores Resposado, ginger syrup, lime and soda. Sweet, citrusy, and more flavors in one.
- Mai Tai, Smuggler’s Cove
This bar is a real Instagrammable place. With all it’s stunning vintage tiki inspired interior and historic nautical and rum décor this place is really dramatic. You might want to roam around and see more cool displays. But that’s not all! This place is also known for their exotic cocktails. One of the crowd favorite is the Mai Tai. A citrusy that will make you enjoy the rest of the night!
- The Big Night, The Rich Table
This place is a new American open kitchen type of restaurant that uses Californian fare from local ingredients, served in a salvaged-barn-wood space. The Big Night is one iconic drink from this place. Nasturtium is the base of this sensational cocktail. The green color might not be too attractive to some but the taste is something you won’t regret trying.
- Cable Car, Harry Denton’s Starlight Room
If you are looking for a rooftop terrace with a great view, a place with excellent drinks as well, then go to Harry Denton’s Starlight Room. In the list of their cocktails, you might love to try their Cable Car. This is a sweet concoction of Sailor Jerry rum, lemon, and cointreau with a cinnamon-sugar rum. It does not look appealing but it’s something worth paying for.
- Odder Pop, Church Key
If you want to try out an extremely different cocktail mix, then better check out Church Key’s odder pop. It looks like a simple ice pop because it is inside a plastic tube that was chilled and froze. It also has a fruity color like other ice pops. It is served in a glass that is smoking with coldness.
- Baby’s First Bourbon, Harvard&Stone
The foundation of this drink is cool and very funny. As its name states, it is basically a cocktail fit for beginners. It is a mix of whiskey sweetened with almond syrup, scented with lemon and touched with a hint of Angostura bitters. So, if you think you’re not yet ready to drink those strong cocktails, this will be a good way to start.
- English Milk Punch, Faith and Flower
Faith and Flower might hold the sweetest name but it is known in Los Angeles as a drinking destination. A classic favorite that had been in the menu for years was the English Milk Punch. At first look you’ll doubt about the “milk” because it’s clear. But the taste is there. It is because this is made with milk, clarified in a complicated process taking several days, flavored with spices and mellowed with bourbon, absinthe, Batavia arrack and three rums
- Scorpion, Tonga Hut
For an extremely high tech and unique drinking experience, Tonga Hut is the best place to be. If you want something pretty cool and attractive to be served in your table, then better go for their Scorpion. The name is a killer and the drink is something to boast about. It is a circus of rum, brandy, almond syrup and more, is fruity and cold, and it comes in a bowl for two.
- Oyster Shooters, Tipple & Brine
At Tipple & Brine, a shooter is less an appetizer than it is a formidable cocktail. This may be served in a trio of small shot glasses. One sluiced with vodka and horseradish, the other with bourbon and bacon, the last one with tequila and smoked roe. You will really fill full and tipsy after this shooters and some oyster.
This is it for our list of iconic and unique cocktails in the state. Some items on the list are not on the bar or diner’s menu but something worth asking for. If you know more, please let us know! California always have a lot to offer so we know that there are other cocktails that deserve more attention! Always remember, drink in moderation!