San Diego's Best Cocktail-Focused Instagram Feeds
Who to follow for recipes, event info, and stories behind your favorite drinks
From Stephen Kurpinsky's Instagram feed, Strawberry Fields Forever, created by Level 2's Jennifer Welsh. | Photo: Stephen Kurpinsky
Craft cocktails can be quite stunning—the colors, the garnishes, the glassware. Even the most descriptive writing doesn’t fully capture the beauty of a perfect cocktail. So, for folks who appreciate a good-looking drink, below is a by-no-means-comprehensive list of Instagram accounts that are a must-follow for fans of San Diego’s cocktail scene.
Addison bartender Ian Ward’s IG shots of cocktails-in-progress offer a glimpse into the thought and creativity that goes into his creations. “Hello Gibson Drinkers,” he writes in one post, “Cippolinis in chanterelle and black mustard seed.”
Jason O’Bryan, bar manager at The Lion’s Share, occasionally blogs at drinksanddrinking.com and posts photos of his cocktails on his Instagram account of the same name. A former writer for the Boston Phoenix (RIP), O’Bryan tells the stories behind his creations, like why he had to rename his dad’s favorite cocktail.
Speaking of Sycamore Den, cocktail caterer Barçon is the marriage of the Den's cocktail expertise and MIHO Catering Co. Just a glimpse at their IG page and you’ll want to buy vintage glassware and throw a fancy party.
Recently, on his YouTube show Bartender at Large, Polite Provisions’ Erick Castro got tips for photographing cocktails from Arlene Ibarra (a pro who shoots lovely photos for Sycamore Den, Polite Provisions, Rustic Root, and Lionfish, among others) and Efren Augustin, a self-described “part-time drinkstagram-er” whose feed is one of my new faves.
"Plants. Booze. Revelry" is how Kindred describes its Instagram feed. Just this week, the South Park vegan spot rolled out a new cocktail menu, featuring IG-worthy drinks like Late Antiquity and Three Seashells.
Stephen Kurpinsky makes good use of the perfect natural light at George’s at the Cove’s Level 2 bar to highlight his and his team’s creations (Jennifer Welsh’s take on a Negroni is featured above). Follow Kurpinsky for teasers for his monthly Craft at the Cove events (shot by Arlene Ibarra) and bartender takeovers at Tijuana speakeasy Nortico.
Jim Sullivan has a cool story. He’s a trained chef whose culinary knowledge lends insight to his photography. I’m a big fan—check out his pics of Steven Tuttle’s (Kettner Exchange) Negroni week cocktail, or Kindred’s Chromostring and you will be, too.
Speaking of tiki cocktails, Grass Skirt also does a really nice job of highlighting their colorful drinks.
Looking for recipes to up your home bartending game? Liquor distributor Young’s Market combines photos with recipes. I recently acquired a bottle of St. George’s Bruto Americano, so I’m looking forward to mixing up some Besos de Bruto. The Sueño de Verde, featuring mezcal, Ancho Verde, and kale syrup, also looks mighty appealing.
Got a favorite San Diego cocktail Instagram feed that I didn’t include? Email me and I’ll feature it in a future blog post.