How to Choose Your Go-To Cocktail

How to Choose Your Go-To Cocktail


The process of choosing the perfect drink is a lot like selecting a potential mate. You don’t want to settle for something too simple, yet high maintenance and flashy don’t quite describe your type either. Your go-to cocktail needs to be classy, unique, and keep you coming back for more. It may not be the right drink for everybody, but it needs to be perfectly suited to you.


Much like the world of online dating, being faced with endless drink options makes the decision even harder. We’ve all been there. You know you want a drink, you just don’t know what. The back bar is full of bottles you’ve never seen in your life, the cocktail menu is littered with words you’re not entirely sure are even a language. With extensive lists of handcrafted cocktails, local and regional craft beers, and eclectic wines from around the world, how is anyone supposed to choose just one cocktail that will define the way they enjoy alcohol for the foreseeable future?


We’ve divided the cocktail menu up into ‘Classics’ and ‘Originals’ – all with flavor descriptions and the ingredients they’re made with. A bar is supposed to be a place to talk, relax, laugh, enjoy time with friends, loved ones and neighbors. It’s not supposed to feel like you’re taking an exam.


Choosing a drink you can order anywhere and make yourself is easier said than done. But don’t worry. We have five suggestions to make the quest for your go-to cocktail a little bit easier.



  • Moscow Mule


A Moscow Mule is beautiful, yet still has personality. Perfectly balanced with flavors of lime, vodka, and fresh ginger, the Moscow Mule is an ideal cocktail for drinkers who don’t necessarily like the taste of alcohol. Ours is expertly crafted with Potocki rye vodka, FRUITLAB Ginger Liqueur, lime, angostura bitters, and ginger beer for a refreshing, fizzy finish.


  • Vodka Martini


A Vodka Martini is sophisticated and sassy – a signature drink for the intellectual set. As such, your preferred position is at the bar, regaling others with stories from your world travels and attempts at writing the next great American novel. Our version of this classic cocktail is clean and racy, served ice cold and bone dry.


  • Old Fashioned


Loyal, strong, and chivalrous, the Old Fashioned has a bit of an ego – with good reason. It’s been around since 1806. Originally made up of a little water, a little sugar, a lot of liquor, and a couple splashes of bitters, we take the debauchery down a notch with smooth, small batch California whiskeys.


  • Manhattan


A Manhattan is street smart and independent. A spirit-forward drink that’s tough at first taste, but fairly sweet after a few sips. If you like whiskey, this is the cocktail for you. At IRIS Food and Spirits, we make ours with Rittenhouse rye and Carpano Antica sweet vermouth.


  • Summer in Brittany


This cocktail is one of our original in-house creations. It’s elegant and fruity with subtle floral notes. With sparkling rosé, Iris Liqueur, and fresh strawberry, Summer in Brittany is easy to drink and ultra-refreshing on a hot day.


An Inside Look on IRIS Cocktails – Featuring the Turf Club Smash


One of the best things about the bar program at IRIS is our close relationship with the kitchen. Often times in a typical restaurant space, the kitchen and bar operate as separate entities. They are usually situated very far away from each other, utilizing separate workstations and ingredients. Here at IRIS, the bar is quite literally attached to the kitchen, and we thrive on sharing knowledge and ingredients like fresh fruit, herbs, even vegetables.


Lead Bartender Kadee’s recent creation, the Turf Club Smash is a perfect example of this symbiosis. Featuring fresh local peaches, fresh squeezed lemon juice, passion flower bitters from our friends at Workhorse Rye, and a robust canadian whiskey as the base. The result is a summery, bright, and incredibly refreshing drink, which is absolutely perfect for the upcoming race season in July.


Come have a drink with us


At IRIS Food and Spirits in Del Mar, we have crafted what we believe to be an incredibly user friendly bar program. As we choose to only work with producers that exist outside of the lexicon of popular liquor brands, we feel it’s our duty to not only be knowledgeable about what we’re serving, but be there to help you find something you love in a pressure-free environment.


Our bar is fully stocked with everything we need to make your go-to cocktail – whatever that may be. Just take a seat on our covered patio or in our dining room, soak in the spectacular views and we’ll take care of the rest.

IRIS Food & Spirits, July 1, 2016

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