Top Orange County Cocktail Spots

The Billionaire at Babette’s

Imbibing with friends just got more interesting with these top stops for cocktails in Orange County.

If classical music can have its three B’s–Bach, Beethoven and Brahms–why can’t Orange County’s bourbon cocktails? Here are our picks.

The Billionaire
This new take on a classic Old Fashioned at Babette’s in Newport Coast uses Baker’s 107 bourbon, aged seven years; a jug yeast in Jim Bean’s family for 60 years; a grenadine of 15-year-old Cardenal Mendoza brandy and POM pomegranate; and absinthe bitters. Caution: One can lead to multi Billionaries. 7962 E. Coast Hwy., Newport Coast, 949.715.9915.

The Boulevardier
Aqua Lounge at the Island Hotel in Newport Beach updates another classic, a 1920s-era cocktail from Harry’s New York Bar, using three simple ingredients: Duke Kentucky Straight bourbon, Campari and Carpano Antica Formula vermouth. Retro heaven!  Island Hotel, 690 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, 949.760.4920.

Bourbon and Brine
The juxtaposition that endures on the Drink the Damn Medicine paired-shot series at Lola Gaspar in Santa Ana couples America’s corn whiskey and pickle brine–a classic we never saw coming! 211 W. Second St., Santa Ana, 714.972.1172.

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