The Grant Grill in San Diego has been around since the 1950s but it’s far from dated. In fact, The Grant Grill Lounge has one of the country’s most innovative cocktail program, with ever-changing cocktail programs and creative offerings. Case in point: the newly launched, seasonal Tall Sails cocktail menu, created by Grant Grill Lounge’s chef de bar, Cory Alberto, which pays homage to San Diego’s recent Festival of Sails celebration, and the awe-inspiring ships that passed through the city during the weekend event.
There are a handful of thoughtful and unique drinks, including The Star of India, with scotch, cherry heering, dry vermouth, seasonal citrus and kiwi-strawberry soda and the rum-based Old Man and The Sea, a bottled beverage that pays homage to author Ernest Hemingway’s classic tome.
Talls Sails cocktails at The Grant Grill Lounge
The Royal Clipper, Sweden, 1902
Made with vodka, Branca menta, Swedish punsch, homemade pistachio orgeat and grilled pineapple juice
The Star of India – Isle of Man, UK, 1863
A boozy blend of scotch, cherry herring, dry vermouth, seasonal citrus and kiwi-strawberry soda
USS Constitution “Old Ironsides,” Boston, MA, 1797
A unique creation with aged rum, rye, birch syrup and tobacco bitters
The Concorde “Queen Annes Revenge”AKA Booty Juice! – France, 1717
A playful mix of Nolets Gin, Hine cognac, Chareau aloe liquor, grapefruit juice and Domaine Santé All-Sass Riesling nectar
Old Man and The Sea
Plantain and mate infused local rum, absinthe, maraschino, blue curacao, guarapo sugar cane juice, clarified guava juice, Pacific Ocean sea salt
As for Alberto’s favorites and inspirations for the Tall Sails menu, “the USS Constitution or “Old Ironsides” would be my personal favorite cocktail from the current menu,” he says.
“I grew up an hour north of Boston and will always think of the area as home. Every year as a child my school would take a field trip to Boston Harbor and tour the Constitution and learn about the history of the harbor and the ship and it always fascinated and awed me.”
The cocktail combines the two prominent spirits of that time. “Rum, which is what our independence was founded on and the Boston Tea Party was truly about and Rye, the grain commonly grown and distilled at that time (George Washington had the largest distillery in America) with tobacco bitters and birch syrup. I appreciate it for its balance and directness and that it reminds me of home.”
Another standout? The $95 Old Man and the Sea bottled cocktail. “My favorite author and one of my favorite people of all time is Earnest Hemmingway,” reveals Alberto. “And it’s no secret the man loved to drink.”
Alberto continues, “This custom hand-painted-bottled cocktail is force carbonated and bottled on site and inspired by Hemmingway, his fishing adventures through Cuba and the main character in his novel The Old Man and the Sea, Santiago. It combines native flavors of Cuba with elements of the sea and is a great social cocktail.”
The Grant Grill Lounge details
326 Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101 (at the US Grant Hotel); 619-744-2077; grantgrill.com; @grantgrill
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