With miles of beachfront and sandy shores, Orange County offers up cocktails that are best enjoyed with views of the Pacific.
By Madeline Ewles
Take a drive up the coast to Newport Beach for a sunset drink at Mastro’s Ocean Club at Crystal Cove Promenade. This chic and sophisticated fish house, located across the street from the Pacific Ocean, is the perfect spot to enjoy a cocktail—or two. Order the Patron Pamplemousse, a favorite from the updated cocktail menu and perfectly refreshing on a warm summer night. Patron Silver tequila, Combier Pamplemousse (a light fruit liqueur), fresh squeezed lime, a splash of ruby red grapefruit juice and ice are shaken vigorously before being served in a bucket glass with a sea salt rim and lime zest garnish. (949-376-6990; mastrosrestaurants.com)
Nick’s in San Clemente is an upscale yet casual dining destination with a fresh, modern ambience. The indoor-outdoor restaurant offers a great menu of “liquid assets,” complete with both domestic and imported beers as well as signature cocktails. A specialty drink inspired by the tropical destination, the Hawaiian mojito consists of organic sweet limes muddled with mint, pineapple and Bacardi rum. Shaken and splashed with a dash of Hawaiian “li hing” (a type of dried plum), this cocktail is best enjoyed with sunny skies and ocean breezes. (949-481-2200; thenickco.com)
Three Seventy Common Kitchen + Drink
An eclectic restaurant located in downtown Laguna Beach, Three Seventy Common features chic comfort food with European and Asian influences. Locals and visitors enjoy the fresh, regionally sourced cuisine and creative cocktails, such as the KarmaSutra. This muddled mix of Karma silver tequila, fresh strawberries, Domaine de Canton liqueur, fresh lemon juice and agave nectar are strained into a chilled martini glass. Garnished with a strawberry and a slice of fresh ginger, this cocktail is too good to keep a secret. Order one for a friend and his or her name will go up on the restaurant’s chalkboard so the drink can be redeemed whenever they like. (949-494-8686; 370common.com) B