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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.

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Matthew Lickona July 8, 2011 @ 11:21 a.m.

Barb, while you're down at the Starlite, you might try the Kentucky Colonel: Buffalo Trace Bourbon, ginger beer, lemon, house made cherry vanilla bitters. And it's served in a lovely copper mug that stays oh-so-chilly while you sip.

And while the consistency can vary depending on who is behind the bar, the Art Snob at La Mesa's own Turquoise Room can be similarly sublime.

Is it noon yet?

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Barbarella Fokos July 8, 2011 @ 11:34 a.m.

I love the Kentucky Colonel. Lately, it's been a little heavy on the ginger, though, and I'm in more of a bourbon purist frame of mind. ;) I've never been to the Turquoise Room, though, can't wait to try it! Thanks for the tip.

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Joaquin_de_la_Mesa July 8, 2011 @ 11:58 a.m.

Mmmmmmm... drinky pleasure. That blue bulleit doth call to me. I'd love to go out cocktailing tonight.

Lickona, the thought of drinking a cocktail from copper is giving me that metallic taste in my mouth. Does it really taste good?

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Matthew Lickona July 8, 2011 @ 1:53 p.m.

I don't recall anything metallic. Might have to check again.

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