‘Tis the season for sipping! From fully decked-out pop-up bars to holly jolly tipples from your favorite long-time pubs, check out these hotspots for holiday cocktails in San Diego.
If you didn’t think Top of the Hyatt at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego could get any better, the rooftop bar will be over the top this holiday season. Now to Dec. 28, Top of the Hyatt will transform into Over The Top Holiday Lounge for the 21-and-older crowd. Step into a winter wonderland and enjoy drinks like Let it Snow, made with vodka, white chocolate liquor, eggnog and graham crackers. Located 40 stories up, Over The Top Holiday Lounge is as close to the North Pole as you can get.
Parq Nightclub introduces Santa’s Lair (pictured at top of page), a fully immersive pop-up bar holiday experience in the Gaslamp District, now through Dec. 23. The holly jolly space is adorned with glowing lights and wrapped gift boxes from Santa’s little helpers, while guests can dig into tasty bites and premium holiday sips served in festive drinkware. The Not My Buttons is a smooth blend of Grey Goose with St. George Spiced Pear, gingerbread and cardamom, while the Havana Christmas is handcrafted with Havana Anejo, allspice and lemon and orange citrus. Santa’s Lair is open Thursday through Saturday, 4 to 10 p.m.
Through Jan. 2, Nason’s Beer Hall at Pendry San Diego, in partnership with holiday-themed apparel company Tipsy Elves, has transformed into a winter wonderland of more than 20,000 Christmas lights, entertainment, frosty beers, holiday-themed cocktails, tasty bites, a giant Christmas cookie and Santa photo ops. A portion of proceeds from the three seasonal signature Tipsy Elves cocktails (Tipsy and Toasted, Tipsy and Bright and Breakfast at Tipsy’s) will benefit the San Diego Food Bank. Plus, celebrate National Ugly Sweater Day celebration on Dec. 16, featuring the world’s largest ugly sweater, live Christmas carolers and a visit from Santa.
Grab a seat at the fire pits or on one of the swinging benches at The Presley, located at Point Loma’s Liberty Station, for holiday cocktails in San Diego. Its trio of limited-edition libations includes: Santa’s Cookies Martini with vanilla vodka, amaretto, half and half, frosting and sprinkles; Holly Berry Sour with bourbon, cranberry juice, vanilla chai simple syrup and lemon juice; and North Pole Shot with peppermint schnapps, crème de cacao and whipped cream.
Happy Does at Gaslamp Quarter is keeping spirits bright with Let it Snow, made with Old Forester Bourbon, cinnamon simple syrup, amaretto, heavy cream and egg with a cinnamon coconut rim; and Partridge in a Pear Tree, made with pear vodka, white cranberry juice, cinnamon simple syrup, triple sec and lime juice.
A Gaslamp staple for nearly a century, Patrick’s invites imbibers to savor holiday cocktails in San Diego while enjoying a steady rotation of local musicians. For the month of December, patrons can order the Irish You a Merry Christmas with Glendalough Irish Whiskey and an apple cider orange wedge; and the Maple Cinnamon Whiskey Sour with Knob Creek Bourbon, lemon juice, maple syrup and a pinch of cinnamon, served with a cinnamon stick garnish.
The Deck at Moonshine Flats whips up the White Christmas Marg, with tequila, cream of coconut, triple sec, lime juice, soda water and a red sugar rim; and the Grinch Stole Christmas, a vibrant combo of vodka, rum, melon liqueur, pineapple juice, Sprite and a red sugar rim, for the holiday season. Pair these tipples with stick-to-your-ribs smoked wings or a loaded brisket fries.