The Redlands Signature Drinks Tour 2020
We are officially calling all drinkers and non-drinkers! It is time to break out your walking shoes - the 2020 Redlands Signature Drinks Tour is here! These offerings are diverse and oh-so-tasty. Everyone in your group is sure to find something to please their palate.
Co-owner of Cross + Swan Events, Jacqui Lanier, and I had the pleasure of jumping from restaurant to restaurant tasting each establishment's signature mixed drinks, alcoholic and non-alcoholic. We found the offerings well-crafted and worthy of being deemed "signature." This year's tour has been expanded to include mocktails; we are aware not everyone partakes in the consumption of alcohol.
A little about us:
Jacqui finds herself face to face with unique beverages constantly due to couples frequently showcasing his and hers cocktails at their weddings (which Jacqui and her business partner, Sydney, make sure go off without a hitch). Then there is me - I am five months pregnant and often feel left out when my whole group has mixed drinks.
We hope you find this list fun, and equally as delicious as we did!
- Lavender Collins: Super refreshing and stunning with an extremely distinctive purple color. The cocktail is well-balanced and gin based. Be sure to get your phones ready because this baby is VERY instagramable!
- Mocktails: Olive & Citrus has lots of fun mocktail offerings. They have non-alcoholic wine and spirits! They made me a Seedlip (like gin, minus the alcohol), citrus and soda drink. Very satisfying and not overly sweet. They do not have specific mocktails but are willing to make you something delicious when asked.
Green Awakening: If you are looking for a vitamin boost, this is the drink for you. It is not sweet and tastes like positive life choices with a hint of sunshine. Made with celery, kale, parsley, cucumber, and lemon.
Pro tip: Stop by first or last on your tour to help prepare/balance you.
- Watermelon Paloma: Tequila, fresh watermelon, lime, grapefruit soda. Not overpowering tequila with a refreshing blend of flavors. The watermelon ball garnish was just the right hint of whimsy.
- Watermelon Paloma Mocktail: TAJIN RIM! Need I say more? The tajin and watermelon go perfectly together. Easy and fun to drink. I definitely did not feel left out with this mocktail, since it was the exact same as the cocktail, sans alcohol.
- Hecho en Redlands: (pictured on the right) As the resident local mezcal expert, Don Orange describes this as the perfect introduction to mezcal. A light take on the smoky spirit; good for any palate.
- La Madre Tierra Mocktail: (left) Surprisingly flavorful. In the words of our bartender, Scotty, “it’s all in the muddle.” Bright, lime forward, with a burst of basil. Not missing the alcohol at all. You are able to order this as a cocktail too.
Pro tip: The easiest way to get to Don Orange from Copehouse is to go through Don Orange's back entrance in the alley next to ROC.
- Orange Drop Martini: We can see why this cocktail won the 2018 New Year's Eve Orange Drop Award. It is a perfect, classy Redlands cocktail - sweet, not too strong, a definite crowd pleaser.
- Mojito Mocktail: Each bartender will make their own version, and each one is delicious! This time we were given a strawberry prickly pear mojito mocktail; which had layers of flavor and was absolutely divine. (not pictured)
- Cool as a Cucumber: Light, not too sweet, perfect for warm Redlands nights on the patio.
- Blueberry Mojito Mocktail: Sweet, tart, fresh. I had a tough time just sipping this one. It was so yummy I wanted to drink it all at once! Be sure to ask your bartender which mocktail they recommend; each has their own unique twist on Darby's craft cocktails sans alcohol.
- 50/50 Martini: Tastes exactly like a classic 50/50 milkshake, but with a boozy twist. This is great for those who like to drink their desserts or are new to the alcohol game. It is a nonthreatening treat. Be sure to take a look at their new cocktail menu! It has a unique selection of classics + twists.
- Ginger Lemonade Mocktail: Refreshing, light, bright. The fresh ginger has a little bite and the sweet tartness from the lemonade round out an overall satisfying mocktail.
Bonus comments (because we know you want to hear everything we have to say): We loved the open feel in the newly revived Royal Falconer. The place feels HUGE! Next, try the mango habanero mule - makes you fist pump to *NSYNC (according to their incredible bartender, Sam).
- Phinney Block: Lemon, agave, gin, vodka, cucumber, basil, and elderflower liqueur. We were shocked neither alcohol overpowered the cocktail. It was cucumber forward with basil lightly on the back end. Even if you don’t like basil, you will still love this cocktail.
- Berry Mojito: We recommend letting your bartender make you literally any mocktail they want. Their creativity and craftsmanship is beautiful. The berry mojito wasn't too sweet and was pleasantly tangy. It tastes like spring - light and bright.
- Pear Flower: This bad boy is not your average martini; herbal notes, sweet pear flavor, and one great presentation.
- Old Fashioned: The perfect representation of a classic - quality whiskey, well-mixed, perfectly presented.
- Mocktail: Citrone does not claim to have any killer mocktails up their sleeves, but they will mix something up for their non-alcoholic patrons.
Pro tip: SAY "YES" TO BREAD. It is fresh baked daily.
- Wild Child: Vodka, watermelon, mint, lemon, aloe, rosé, and habanero salt. We see why this will never be taken off Eureka Burger's menu. This cocktail makes you feel like it's summer all year round. It is slightly spicy because of the habanero salt rim where the drink is cool and refreshing with a smooth finish and fresh smell from the aloe.
- Mocktail: Eureka is happy to make you a mocktail! We, again, recommend letting your bartender run wild. They never fail me, and I know they won't fail you.
- Aranciata: The name of this cocktail means "orange" in Italian. It uses Lot22 Cara Cara orange and vanilla white balsamic, which cut through any vodka flavor. The Aranciata is a classic stiff martini with just the right hint of Redlands orange.
- Ginger Mule Mocktail: Rich ginger flavor. Slight spice, followed up by the sweetness of the simple syrup and a yummy citrus lime tang. We HIGHLY recommend this mocktail. Absolutely delicious!
Pro tip: Make a reservation. La Volata fills up quickly. We enjoyed sitting at the bar on the pizza oven side. There is something mesmerizing and magical about watching your pizza be made right in front of you.
Remember to drink responsibly, hydrate, and never drive after drinking. Be like Jacqui, bring your pregnant friend as a guaranteed designated driver.
For the purpose of this tour, each restaurant knew we were visiting and why. If we missed your favorite signature cocktail or mocktail, let us know in the comments!