Mike Madriaga 9:30 a.m., Nov. 23
I used to think bourbon was a man's drink. But after David and I went on that underground bar tour in New York last year, I learned how tasty and versatile the booze could be in the hands of an expert mixologist, such as Chris McMillian of New Orleans.
There aren't too many places in San Diego that can nail a good bourbon blend, but the bars that do aren't messing around. Small Bar has some great combos, and an extensive selection of bourbon for Manhattan making. Starlite has the Holly Golightly, a Manhattan with a splash of maple liqueur. Quality Social makes a good one, called the Dirty Old Man, with Buffalo Trace bourbon, benedictine, lemon, and peach bitters. It's been off the menu recently, but if you request it, they know what you're talking about. One of my all-time local faves is the Blue Bulleit that the Tractor Room serves up. I've requested it with Buffalo Trace instead of Bulleit bourbon, but realized it doesn't make that much of a difference, so now I just order it as is. This cocktail contains fresh blueberries, Bulleit bourbon, fresh lemon, and a sugar cube. Oh, and it's pretty, too.