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The Bar at Moniker General’s Guava Clouds, S.A.: a play on the classic margarita

Daytime coffeehouse gives way to a growing night scene on weekends

Guava Clouds
Guava Clouds
Matt Lopez

I’ve just grabbed dinner with a friend at Liberty Public Market, and now I’m meandering toward the sound of a band coming from The Bar at Moniker General, where we are bound to stumble onto another round of drinks. The bar manager, Matt Lopez, informs us that the daytime coffeehouse gives way to a growing night scene on weekends. “We’re doing live music every Friday and Saturday night from 6-8 pm, so it’s a great place for people to come, have some cocktails, and be in a relaxing space,” he says. “The whole atmosphere changes tremendously compared to Moniker Coffee — the music, the vibe, the lighting, everything.”

Place

Moniker General

2860 Sims Road, San Diego

He guides me to a popular choice from the menu, Guava Clouds, S.A. (for South America). The drink features a guava foam topping — hence the name. “With the foam, it looks like a cloud on top of the cocktail.” Sprinkled cinnamon shavings and a rim of black Hawaiian lava salt contrast the pale pink whip floating atop the more vibrantly pink drink. Placing a dehydrated blood orange wheel for garnish, Lopez then slides me the finished cocktail and prefaces my experience with, “You’re going to get the flavors of the tequila, you’re going to get the guava syrup, and some nice citrus...”

“It was kind of inspired by everyone’s love of margaritas,” says Lopez. “We were thinking of a play on [the classic]… so we tweaked a few things.” A house-made guava syrup balances sweetness with the earthiness of Mi Campo Blanco Tequila. “It’s a newer brand. It’s a phenomenal 100% blue agave tequila, and their blanco’s great — it’s got some notes of pepper, but it’s a little bit sweeter on the front end. So, it pairs really well with cocktails in general.”

To top it off, Lopez opts for Luxardo Triplum instead of Cointreau. “I love the Luxardo brand, and wanted to do something a little bit different from what everyone else is doing. That also adds quite a heavy nose of orange that connects to the flavor profile of a margarita.” A saline solution brightens the overall taste. “It’s really simple ingredients you can use to enhance the flavor of cocktails. It pulls out the saltiness of the cocktails, pulls out the citrus notes, and I feel like it pulls everything together.”

Whipping that guava syrup with egg whites creates a luscious topping that cushions the sharpness of the spirit and citrus. And there’s a textural bonus as well: “I was thinking, as far as the foam goes,” says Lopez, “it’s somewhat reminiscent of drinking the head of a pint of Guinness. It gives a great mouthfeel and great texture… It’s just creamy, in a sense.”

The Bar at Moniker General
  • The Bar at Moniker General’s
  • Guava clouds, S.A.
  • 2 oz Mi Campo Blanco Tequila
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • ½ oz Luxardo Triplum
  • ¾ oz guava syrup
  • 1 5 oz agave syrup
  • 2 dashes saline solution
  • 1 dash blood orange bitters
  • Rim a rocks glass with Hawaiian lava salt. Combine ingredients, add saline solution, then hard shake and strain over ice into glass. Top with whipped guava foam, sprinkle cinnamon and garnish with a dehydrated blood orange wheel.
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Guava Clouds
Guava Clouds
Matt Lopez

I’ve just grabbed dinner with a friend at Liberty Public Market, and now I’m meandering toward the sound of a band coming from The Bar at Moniker General, where we are bound to stumble onto another round of drinks. The bar manager, Matt Lopez, informs us that the daytime coffeehouse gives way to a growing night scene on weekends. “We’re doing live music every Friday and Saturday night from 6-8 pm, so it’s a great place for people to come, have some cocktails, and be in a relaxing space,” he says. “The whole atmosphere changes tremendously compared to Moniker Coffee — the music, the vibe, the lighting, everything.”

Place

Moniker General

2860 Sims Road, San Diego

He guides me to a popular choice from the menu, Guava Clouds, S.A. (for South America). The drink features a guava foam topping — hence the name. “With the foam, it looks like a cloud on top of the cocktail.” Sprinkled cinnamon shavings and a rim of black Hawaiian lava salt contrast the pale pink whip floating atop the more vibrantly pink drink. Placing a dehydrated blood orange wheel for garnish, Lopez then slides me the finished cocktail and prefaces my experience with, “You’re going to get the flavors of the tequila, you’re going to get the guava syrup, and some nice citrus...”

“It was kind of inspired by everyone’s love of margaritas,” says Lopez. “We were thinking of a play on [the classic]… so we tweaked a few things.” A house-made guava syrup balances sweetness with the earthiness of Mi Campo Blanco Tequila. “It’s a newer brand. It’s a phenomenal 100% blue agave tequila, and their blanco’s great — it’s got some notes of pepper, but it’s a little bit sweeter on the front end. So, it pairs really well with cocktails in general.”

To top it off, Lopez opts for Luxardo Triplum instead of Cointreau. “I love the Luxardo brand, and wanted to do something a little bit different from what everyone else is doing. That also adds quite a heavy nose of orange that connects to the flavor profile of a margarita.” A saline solution brightens the overall taste. “It’s really simple ingredients you can use to enhance the flavor of cocktails. It pulls out the saltiness of the cocktails, pulls out the citrus notes, and I feel like it pulls everything together.”

Whipping that guava syrup with egg whites creates a luscious topping that cushions the sharpness of the spirit and citrus. And there’s a textural bonus as well: “I was thinking, as far as the foam goes,” says Lopez, “it’s somewhat reminiscent of drinking the head of a pint of Guinness. It gives a great mouthfeel and great texture… It’s just creamy, in a sense.”

The Bar at Moniker General
  • The Bar at Moniker General’s
  • Guava clouds, S.A.
  • 2 oz Mi Campo Blanco Tequila
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • ½ oz Luxardo Triplum
  • ¾ oz guava syrup
  • 1 5 oz agave syrup
  • 2 dashes saline solution
  • 1 dash blood orange bitters
  • Rim a rocks glass with Hawaiian lava salt. Combine ingredients, add saline solution, then hard shake and strain over ice into glass. Top with whipped guava foam, sprinkle cinnamon and garnish with a dehydrated blood orange wheel.
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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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