Art Food

CHEERS! La Jolla bars get into holiday spirits

If pumpkin-spice lattes don’t pack the wallop you need to deal with family drama, drinkeries around La Jolla are rolling out alcoholic alternatives for end-of-year festivities.

The Smoke and Maple at La Valencia Hotel

The Smoke and Maple at La Valencia
The Smoke and Maple at La Valencia COREY LEVITAN

2 oz. Woodford Reserve Bourbon

.25 oz. Maple syrup

1 pinch black walnut bitters

2 oz. cinnamon wood chips

This popular new cocktail starts in a cocktail mixing cup with ice. Walnut bitters are added and stirred in before the concoction is poured into a carafe for the fun part. The wood chips are ignited and, via a smoker resembling a bong, their smoke is piped through to coat the carafe. Twenty more seconds of stirring is followed by a luxardo cherry and orange zest and voila.

The Smoke and Maple is $18 at La Valencia, 1132 Prospect St. (855) 476-6870.

The South Park at George’s at the Cove
The South Park at George’s at the Cove COREY LEVITAN

The South Park at George’s at the Cove

1 oz. Monkey Shoulder blended malt scotch whisky

1 oz. Amontillado sherry

1 oz. apple cider honey syrup

1 oz. fresh lemon juice

1 dried apple slice

This apple-cidery masterpiece — named for the neighborhood east of Balboa Park — is built, shaken with ice and double-strained in a Boston tin, then serve it in a festive glass mug and garnished with a dried apple.

The South Park is $15 at George’s at the Cove, 1250 Prospect St. (858) 454-5458.

The Punkin' Rye at Nine-Ten
The Punkin' Rye at Nine-Ten COREY LEVITAN

The Punkin’ Rye at Nine-Ten

2 oz. Templeton rye

.5 oz. Gran Marnier

.75 oz. maple syrup

2 tsp. pumpkin puree

1 putka pod (mini pumpkin)

1 sage leaf

All ingredients, other than the garnishes, are shaken vigorously, then strained into a fancy rocks glass over a single large cube. The putka pod and single sage leaf are placed on top of the cube.

The Punkin’ Rye is $17 at Nine-Ten, 910 Prospect St. (858) 964-5400.

The Figgin' Awesome at Whisknladle
The Figgin' Awesome at Whisknladle COREY LEVITAN

Figgin’ Awesome at Whisknladle

.75 oz. fig-infused bourbon

.75 oz. dry vermouth

.75 oz. maple sugar/water (1:1)

.75 oz. lemon juice

2 dashes Aztec chocolate bitters

1 pinch salt

.25 oz sweet cherry

Figs, actually an inverted flower, are a common dessert treat around the holidays in California. Whisknladle has figured out a delicious liquid way to serve them as well.

The Figgin’ Awesome is $14 at Whisknladle, 1044 Wall St. (858) 551-7575.

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