Edit ModuleShow Tags

8 Valentine’s Day Cocktails to Fall in Love With

Skip the Champagne and go with one of these instead


Level 2's Oro Rosa cocktail | Photo: Brogan Jessup

A number of bars and restaurants are serving up creative cocktails befitting the holiday. Here are six that got my attention.


Oro Rosa @ George’s at the Cove / Level 2

Back in December, on San Diego Magazine’s convivial Happy Half Hour podcast, Troy Johnson and I sang the praises of George’s at the Cove’s Stephen Kurpinsky. Try one of the highlights of his newest menu, made with rose-infused mezcal, smoked lime, maraschino liqueur, Green Chartreuse, and a gentian root tincture.


Heart Shaped Glass @ Campfire

Campfire’s Leigh Lecap makes some tasty cocktails using charred and roasted veggies. This one—made with white rum, roasted beets, Crème de Cacao, lemon, and strawberry, with black sesame garnish—hits all the right notes.

Campfire's Heart Shaped Glass


Man of His Word @ The Nolen

Grab a rooftop seat and sip on this rich, spiced cocktail made with bourbon, Luxardo maraschino liqueur, allspice, cinnamon, rosemary, and chocolate bitters.


Hot in the Dark @ True Food Kitchen

True Food’s offering a special V-Day menu February 10-14. I’m a sucker for anything served in a coupe glass. Add a little heat, even better. This twist on a Paloma is made with Ixá organic tequila, jalapeño, lime, and pomegranate juice.


Rose & Crown @ Bankers Hill

Two words: pistachio orgeat. Tiki cocktails’ secret ingredient—pronounced or-zha—is usually made with almonds and orange-flower water. Here, Bar Manager Zack Gray uses pistachios and rosewater for an orgeat that he adds to gin and fresh lemon juice for a tasty take on a classic Army & Navy cocktail.


Crime of Passion @ Sycamore Den

Two more words: passion fruit. It’s a magical ingredient. Jesse Ross’s gin-based cocktail (which also includes orgeat), gets some kick from a sprinkle of cayenne.


Dirty Cuddle Tini @ Ironside

Meagan Crumpley’s special Valentine’s Day dirty martini is served jet-black, thanks to cuddle fish ink. Consortium Holdings beverage director Anthony Schmidt describes it as "equal parts bizarre and legendary."


El Pinar @ Starlite

One of four special Valentine's Day cocktails by the dynamic bartending duo of Dmitri Dziensuwski and Jack Reynolds, this one is made with mezcal, Ancho Reyes, Licor 43, and lime.

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

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

Inside San Diego's Largest Hop Farm

Star B Ranch in Ramona provides a unique ingredient for local brewers

How San Diego Restaurants Are Dealing with the Plastic Problem

The final piece in the single-use plastic series harnesses insight from local restaurateurs

Owl Farm's Offbeat Beer Styles Attract 'Novice' Beer Drinkers

An unfamiliar brand has a familiar company behind it
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


AquaVie: 10 Reasons It’s Downtown’s Best Kept Secret

The best workout and spa getaway around? It’s actually right underneath your nose.

Enter a Drawing You Could Actually Win

There are more than 1,700 prizes in the Dream House Raffle
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. The Best Burgers in San Diego
    These burgers are food critic Troy Johnson's finalists for the best in San Diego
  2. San Diego's Best Restaurants 2018
    Dig into the 260 winners defining San Diego’s food scene in 2018
  3. The Best of North County 2018
    Our annual list of what we’re loving above the 56, from bites and brews to shopping, wellness, and arts and kids’ activities galore
  4. Your 2018 San Diego Summer Bucket List
    Here’s our insider’s guide for Memorial Day through Labor Day
  5. The Coolest Things Happening in San Diego Beer Right Now
    A dive into the new, notable, and lesser-known in our city’s beer scene
  6. San Diego's Best Restaurant of 2018: The Finalists
    San Diego Magazine's Best Restaurants issue comes out in June. Here are food critic Troy Johnson's finalists for the best of the best.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module