Best Summer Cocktails to Celebrate California’s Reopening
As more of California reopens this month, more of us are planning to hit the road in hopes of leaving the pandemic in the rearview mirror. In celebration of California’s reopening, we asked hotels around the state to share their best summer cocktails to toast the return of travel. These hand-crafted cocktails are worth the trip alone, but the boutique hotels serving them make the drive all the more worthwhile with stunning destinations, impeccable service, and indulgent, relaxing settings.
Best enjoyed while lounging on the sunny rooftop pool deck amid the rolling hills of San Luis Obispo, Hotel Cerro’s Spanish Gin and Tonic is a celebration of summer in a glass. The hotel’s expert mixologists combine aromatic gin, violet liquor, and upscale tonics and then garnish the summer sip with beautiful flowers and herbs from the hotel’s very own edible gardens. The drink captures the essence of summer and serves up a taste that is as good as it looks.
On California’s Redwood Coast, the Victorian Inn is serving up two celebratory summer drinks this season. Their Empress Rosemary is a “sidewalk slammer” of sorts designed by the green-thumbed, porch-pounding, sunshine lovers of Humboldt County. It features the purple-hued Empress 1908 Gin, simple syrup, lemon, a splash of soda, and springs of rosemary. Another drink, Ping (named after a dear friend of the hotel), is similar to a lemon drop but with a pool of grenadine glowing in the bottom of the glass.
Nick’s Cove & Cottages
At the water’s edge of Tomales Bay, Nick’s Cove serves up garden-focused cocktails featuring ingredients sourced from the inn’s very own onsite farm and garden. The Croft Cocktail changes seasonally based on the garden’s bounty. Other summery cocktails include the Tomales Tonic with an amazing house-made tonic, the Moscow Mule utilizing a house-made ginger syrup, and Nick’s Bloody Mary with pickled veggies plucked from the garden and a house-made bloody Mary mix that both spicy and addicting.
Noyo Harbor Inn
Kick back this summer at the Noyo Harbor Inn with a Mendocino Mermaid cocktail to watch the sailboats drift and out of the harbor in Fort Bragg. The inn’s HarborView Bistro & Bar serves up an array of cocktails, but the fruit-forward flavor of the lavender-hued Mendocino Mermaid is the perfect concoction for a summer day. The drink is made with El Dorado Demarara white rum, blueberry-lavender simple syrup, guava puree, lime juice, and topped with a slice of star fruit hanging from the rim.
Inn at Newport Ranch
At the Inn at Newport Ranch, they craft a drink called Will’s Fireside Sour to honor the vision of Will Jackson, who is the owner and land steward of the 2,100-acre private timber preserve and cattle ranch on Northern California’s rugged coast. The drink is made with Weller Special Reserve Bourbon, a splash of simple syrup, and a combination of lemon, lime, and orange juice. It’s garnished with Luxardo cherries and rosemary. It’s a perfect drink for soaking up the inn’s majestic views of the Pacific Ocean and redwood forests or relaxing fireside.