Tale of Two Cities | Best Libations

Jen and Catherine’s top 3 drinks from Los Angeles and San Francisco


PHOTO: InsideScoop.

Now that we’re exploring and reporting from two cities, every month we will bring you our top picks from San Francisco and Los Angeles. It’s been a while since I shared my favorite happy hour spots, so read on for our top libations just in time for your weekend.


PHOTO: superfuture.

Gordon’s Cup | Hinoki & The Bird, Century City 

JEN: Hinoki & The Bird is tucked away in Century City and has rightfully earned its long list of accolades (IMHO). Their creative details are as apparent in their cocktails as their food.

What’s In It: gin, muddled lime, cucumber, szechuan pepper, salt



PHOTO: Night Out.

A Day at the Beach | High Rooftop Lounge, Venice 

JEN: You’ve probably heard my praises about High Rooftop Lounge but when you want to catch a sunset in L.A., there’s no place better. Take one look at their bar stocked with fruits fresh from the farmer’s market, and you know you’re in for a real treat.

What’s In It: Square One organic cucumber vodka, St. Germain, fresh lime


Lucy’s “Spiked” Lemonade | The Misfit, Santa Monica

JEN: With dark wood panelling, suspender-wearing bartenders, and focus on making a damn good drink, The Misfit is like a speakeasy except for the fact that it’s in the middle of Santa Monica’s busiest tourist location and not at all hard to find or get into. Give one of their signature gin or vodka based cocktails a try or, if you’re feeling daring, one of each.

What’s In It: Tito’s Vodka, rosemary rx, the doctor is in



PHOTO: JAX Vineyards.

Red, Red Wine | JAX Vineyards, SoMa San Francisco

CATHERINE: Seeing as San Francisco is a mere 49 miles from the wine capital of the United States, it’s only fitting that one of my top spots is a tasting room in the city. The JAX Vineyards tasting room opened over Indian Summer, giving SoMa inhabitants a welcome escape for a Napa-caliber glass. Most of the space is outdoors, but not to fear: they’re adding a tent so San Franciscans can continue to enjoy the ambiance and vino throughout the winter.



PHOTO: Flavorwire.

Rattlesnake | Beretta, Mission San Francisco 

CATHERINE: Come for the food, stay for a cocktail. Beretta’s intimate atmosphere will make you feel like you just walked into a private party. Sit at the communal table, and you will no doubt ask your neighbor what they just ordered because it will look and smell amazing. The cocktails are not just an accompaniment to your meal; they’re delicious and popular in their own right!

What’s In It: rye, lemon, maple, bitters, egg white



PHOTO: Thrillist.

Somethin’ With Vokahh | Alchemist, SoMa San Francisco

CATHERINE: Alchemist is a speakeasy with silent horror movies projected on the walls and a barista-powered playlist. It’s the perfect setting for a low-key evening with a small group of friends or a rainy-day late night cocktail.  Vodka is my drug of choice, and I can sip this particular cocktail all night long.

What’s In It: vodka, elderflower liqueur, lime, thyme syrup, ginger beer


What are your favorite hometown libations? 


Catherine Abalos is founder and editor of The Single Diaries.

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