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San Diego Reader guide to best craft cocktails

Shaken or stirred?

Craft cocktails have endured long enough for the hoopla to subside. They’re not a fad anymore; they’re part of the gustatory landscape, like craft beer or farm-to-table produce. The bar has become another open kitchen; the bartender, another chef looking to capture your attention and enrapture your taste buds. There are old standbys; there are rising stars; there are corporate chains looking to get onboard. There is room for disappointments; also for happy surprises. And there is the quiet excitement that comes from knowing they’ll be around long enough for someone to hit upon the next good thing. — Matthew Lickona

Cocktails with a personal stamp — Mary Beth Abate

Drinking as human artistry— Ian Anderson

Quality and balance — Barbarella Fokos

Lame jokes made funny ... just add alcohol! — Ian Pike

Con gusto — Chad Deal

Cocktails as ephemeral art — Patrick Henderson

Variations on a theme — Matthew Lickona

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Craft cocktails have endured long enough for the hoopla to subside. They’re not a fad anymore; they’re part of the gustatory landscape, like craft beer or farm-to-table produce. The bar has become another open kitchen; the bartender, another chef looking to capture your attention and enrapture your taste buds. There are old standbys; there are rising stars; there are corporate chains looking to get onboard. There is room for disappointments; also for happy surprises. And there is the quiet excitement that comes from knowing they’ll be around long enough for someone to hit upon the next good thing. — Matthew Lickona

Cocktails with a personal stamp — Mary Beth Abate

Drinking as human artistry— Ian Anderson

Quality and balance — Barbarella Fokos

Lame jokes made funny ... just add alcohol! — Ian Pike

Con gusto — Chad Deal

Cocktails as ephemeral art — Patrick Henderson

Variations on a theme — Matthew Lickona

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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