Soju cocktails – Solaire Restaurant + Bar

Soju cocktails - Solaire Restaurant + Bar
Santa Cruz 75: bubbles, elderflower and lemon. $8
Bubbly Berry: bubbles, berry, lemon, pomegranate and hibiscus. $8
Solaire Restaurant + Bar, Santa Cruz CA

I don’t know why I think that soju cocktails are ever going to please my palate. I always have a false sense of hope that I’ll finally like how they taste. Well, I was wrong yet again! Solaire doesn’t have a proper liquor license so they’re stuck with serving hard liquor replacement cocktails. Both of these were especially sweet and nauseating.

Solaire menu

Solaire menu.

Hotel Paradox pool area
Hotel Paradox pool area.


The Big Unit cocktail – Hi Tops

The Big Unit cocktail - Hi Tops

Tito’s tequila, lemon, elderflower, champagne. $10
Hi Tops, San Francisco CA

Meh, I’m kinda tired of the specialty cocktails at Hi Tops. The ingredients usually sound great, but somehow the actual cocktails are usually a letdown. This cocktail was too tart and had no body, ugh!

Bike rack sidewalk stencil
Bike rack sidewalk stencil, The Mission.

Artic char – Maven

Artic char - Maven
Fried brussels sprouts, white beans, red verjus, golden raisins, dill. Bloomspot 4-course chef’s tasting menu with cocktail pairings for two.
Maven, San Francisco CA

I love how crispy they fried the skin on the char. The brussels sprouts were delicious and the shallot(?) compote on top was also yummy. A successful dish.

Bitter Brother in Law cocktail - Maven

Bitter Brother in Law Cocktail: pisco, vermouth, elderflower, gentian, Peruvian bitters.
Why the bitter in-law gotta be latino?! 😉

Cocktails – Salt Kitchen & Tasting Bar

Bass Solo cocktail - Salt Kitchen & Tasting Bar
Bass Solo: rye whiskey, dry vermouth, trio of bitters. $9
Salt Kitchen and Tasting Bar, Honolulu HI

I really liked this restaurant in the Kaimuki neighborhood of Honolulu. I would have never found this place, but my friend who lives on the Island invited us out for dinner. I’m glad he did because this restaurant had a really cool vibe and kinda reminded me of a typical neighborhood SF restaurant. The food was delicous and these cocktails were tasty too!

Mexican martini - Salt Kitchen & Tasting Bar
Mexican Martini: tequila, elderflower, fresh lime, olive. $9

Sunset at Waikiki Beach
Sunset at Waikiki Beach. Ah, makes you want to move there!

Elderflower and cucumber collins – All Bar One

Elderflower and cucumber collins - All Bar One

Cocktail with Hendrick’s gin, elderflower cordial, lemon, soda and fresh cucumber. 5 O’Clocktails £4.25
All Bar One, London ENGLAND

Ahhh, this was a nice and refreshing cocktail to have on a bright sunny day. We packed in a lot of sightseeing over the two full days we were in London so this cocktail was well deserved, lol!

London Bridge sign, River Thames
London Bridge sign. This isn’t the prettiest bridge on the River Thames, but I guess I had to walk on it to check it off the list.

Cocktails – Beretta

Nuestra Paloma Beretta

Nuestra Paloma – tequila, elderflower, cointreau, grapefruit, bitters. $10

7×7 Magazine’s The Big Eat San Francisco: 100 Things to Eat + Drink Before You Die – 2010

Dolores Park Swizzle Beretta

Dolores Park Swizzle – rhum, lime, maraschino, absinthe, bitters, garnished with mint. $9

Airmail Beretta

Airmail – rum, honey, lime, prosecco. $9
Beretta, San Francisco

If I had to rank these 3 cocktails from best to OK, I would say Nuestra Paloma, Airmail, then Dolores Park Swizzle.  The Nuestra Paloma had a great, distinct flavor combination.  I personally love tequila, and the addition of the other ingredients made for a wonderfully bright (and strong) drink.  The Airmail was good and very drinkable.  It didn’t taste particularly special though.  I didn’t enjoy the flavors int he Dolores Park Swizzle.  The cocktail was beautiful, but there was something in it that turned me off.  Perhpas it was the addition of absinthe.  I must say that I’m always impressed by the bartenders at Beretta for their cocktail making abilities, and almost all of their speciality cocktails are DELICIOUS!  During my last visit, though, our first drinks didn’t arrive at our table until our second dish was out.  Now that’s kind of inexcusable – sorry!