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
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
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
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.
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.