1. The Blind Pig Kitchen + Bar
It’s a meeting of the minds at this Rancho Santa Margarita outpost where mixologist Ryan Autry collaborates with executive chef Karl Pfleider when crafting cool cocktails. Case in point: The Chip Off the Old Block includes pico de gallo and a mini chip and salsa garnish. A second location will open in Yorba Linda in October.
2. Cucina Enoteca
It’s always wine time at this O.C. mainstay at Fashion Island and Irvine Spectrum Center. Choose from more than 250 offerings that range from familiar staples to small-batch gems from the Americas and Europe.
Order a fromage platter at this chic Newport Beach cafe, where proprietor Laurent Vrignaud is serving up rare French wines like the 1988 Chateau Margaux for a cool $800 per bottle.
4. The Recess Room
Five childhood friends are behind this Fountain Valley hot spot. Expect 24 tap offerings, fun cocktails like the rum-driven Mary Poppins and 155 whiskey offerings.
5. Vacation Bar
Downtown Santa Ana is home to this globally inspired concept, where cocktails pay homage to destinations all over the world. Think toasted coconut mixes from Thailand and strawberry spirits from Spain.
Soak in views of the Pacific at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach as lead bartender Tanner Johnson whips up creations that go big on flavor and local and seasonal ingredients. See Frosty’s Last Cocktail that’s served in a sleek glass pipe.