Blooming Beverages

San Diego’s beverage scene is feeling vernal

Posted on April 12, 2019

“Florals for spring! Groundbreaking.”

Every time I think about floral-themed anything and the coming of spring, I’m reminded of this line, hissed by Meryl Streep’s character Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada. Though she meant it to be snarky, it points to a universal truth: flowers bloom in springtime, and whether one has been snowed in for months (like the rest of the country) or waterlogged from a particularly wet San Diego winter, it’s a sure sign that longer, brighter, and warmer days are to come.

Unsurprisingly, San Diego’s cocktail scene is ready for the change of seasons. For the truly bloom crazy, there’s Carlsbad’s annual Petal to Plate festival — a celebration from April 4-14 revolving around Carlsbad’s stunning flower fields. Park Hyatt Aviara’s The Argyle restaurant will be featuring a grapefruit and rose Spritz with grapefruit and rose vodkas, cucumber, grapefruit, and soda water. Park 101 will mix a drink called The Flower Child with The Botanist gin, lavender, honey, fresh lemon and grapefruit bitters. For beer-lovers, Draft Republic will feature Duck Foot Brewing’s Drink This or the Bees Die Honey Blonde Ale, which uses local orange blossom honey. Over at Barrel Republic, they’re going full tilt on the theme, serving Deschutes Brewery’s Da Shootz! Lager which has floral undertones and a floral can label; Boochcraft’s Apple Lime Jasmine hard cider; Common Cider’s Hibiscus Saison cider, with light floral notes from hibiscus; and 101 Cider House’s Black Dog Cider, which is a sour cider with charcoal, blood orange, and lavender.

The Westin Carlsbad Resort & Spa has its own flower cocktail programming. Mixologist Stephen George at the resort’s 20|Twenty restaurant has created a Lavender Blossom Fizz and a spirit-free The Bloom. The Lavender Blossom Fizz features a choice of Venom Vodka or VeeV Acai, lemon juice, lavender simple syrup, and a spritz of orange blossom water, garnished with edible flowers and a lemon twist. The Bloom mixes lemon juice, lavender-infused syrup, and club soda, with an edible flower garnish for a buzz-free refresher.

Blooming Beverages

The Westin Carlsbad Resort & Spa’s Lavender Blossom Fizz

Downtown, The Pendry Hotel’s cocktail bar, Fifth & Rose, will be debuting a new spring menu for April. Tastes will include cucumber, rose, lotus blossom, and more. The Blue Lotus cocktail will feature Hendricks Orbium, a limited edition quinine, wormwood, and blue lotus gin available only at select bars throughout the United States.

Other options abound around town. North Park’s 619 Spirits features the Yellow Rose during brunch time, which mixes its rose petal vodka with Champagne. Little Italy hotspot Herb & Wood also has two floral brunch cocktails: the Hibiscus Mimosa infused with kaffir lime leaves and fresh lime essential oils, and the Mezcal & Flowers with mezcal, aloe liqueur, Chartreuse, agave, mint, and lime.

If Miranda Priestly couldn’t get on board with these enticing florals, perhaps she just never liked spring?   Jackie Bryant

Lavender Blossom Fizz: Photo courtesy of Westin Carlsbad Resort & Spa