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5 Fall Cocktails to Try

New seasonal drinks from Campfire, Grant Grill, Trust and more


Two of Campfire's 'From the Grill' cocktails | Photo by Lyudmila Zotova

It's October in San Diego and the temperature has finally dipped below 75 degrees. It might last just a few days, but, for now, let’s embrace it with cocktails.


Grant Grill's The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Charred Parsnip @ Campfire

When Campfire opened in Carlsbad last month, one of the big hits on their cocktail menu (overseen by the talented Leigh Lecap) was a charred corn syrup and tequila concoction. That’s it in the photo above—the color comes from activated charcoal, which doesn’t affect the taste—just the look. When corn slipped out of season, they swapped the charred corn syrup for a charred parsnip syrup and garnished the cocktail with freshly grated cinnamon. “It tastes like sweet carrots licked by winter spice,” says Campfire bartender Seth Marquez. (Read more about Campfire’s “From the Grill” cocktails in this Tales of the Cocktail feature.)


Togarashi Tonic @ Underbelly Little Italy

Cold weather = ramen. Underbelly’s Little Italy location recently added several ramen-friendly cocktails to its menu. The standout is the Togarashi Tonic, made with dry gin, Thai-basil syrup, cucumber, and togarashi shichimi, a savory Japanese spice mixture with a nice bite. It makes for a pretty perfect twist on your classic gin and tonic.


Quad Alehouse's Got Eem

Outlaw Josey Wales @ Grant Grill

Grant Grill’s “Chef de Bar” Cory Alberto has been coming up with some clever theme menus. Spring was music-inspired, summer was a nautical theme. For fall, Alberto’s inspiration is classic Western films. He recommends you try The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, made with rye whiskey that’s been fat-washed with a dry aged ribeye, Cynar, and sweet vermouth, topped with cigar foam. If the cigar foam’s not your jam, try The Outlaw Josey Wales (rye whiskey, maraschino liqueur, and a house-made Mexican root beer that’s brewed with tamarind, dry chilis, and Mexican sarsaparilla root).


Got Eem @ Quad Alehouse

Imbibe magazine recently called mezcal and Cynar “a match made in flavor heaven.” Quad Alehouse’s new cocktail pairs a smoky mezcal with Cynar, a bittersweet amaro made from artichokes. Sweet vermouth and chocolate bitters round everything out.


Trust Cocktail #9 @ Trust

In addition to a small selection of classic cocktails, Trust has slowly been building a menu of originals. They’re up to nine, and the last one includes a magical concoction called “fall syrup,” made with dates, cinnamon, star anise, and allspice. It’s combined with Carpano Antica sweet vermouth, Rutte Genever (Dutch-style gin with a malty, nutty flavor), and black walnut bitters.

Got suggestions for a future post? Write to 2kellydavis@gmail.com.

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