April 13 2011 03:10 PM

Grant Grill's floral infusions, The Hopping Pig's martinis, El D's Family Night and more

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Grant Grill's floral-infused cocktails

Edible flowers were the starting point for the new list of seasonal cocktails at Grant Grill (326 Broadway, Downtown), but when mixologist Jeff Josenhans set out to begin experimenting, he accidentally looked at the wrong (read: inedible) list of flowers.

“So, I ended up eating a poisonous flower,” Josenhans laughed. “My entire mouth went numb.”

Josenhans is the man behind Grant Grill's Centennial Manhattan, a 100-day, barrel-aged cocktail that's as smooth as it is strong, and he's a driving force behind the newly formed San Diego Chapter of the United States Bartenders' Guild, which hosted its kick-off event on Sunday in the ballroom of the U.S. Grant Hotel.

The seasonal cocktails he eventually came up with are creative and tasty, and the drinks smell damn good, too. I tried the Libation Lilac, made of lilac-infused Tanqueray vodka, parfait amour, fresh lime, lavender bitters and egg whites— and my nostrils got just as much pleasure as my taste buds. On Friday, April 15, Josenhans will release his new menu to the public in a Tax Day Celebration, when the drinks will be $4.15 rather than the normal $12.

Last Monday, The Hopping Pig (734 Fifth Ave., Downtown) posted an update on its Facebook page that I couldn't resist—“Chocolate Bakon Martini, $6.” The Pig is relatively new (it took over the building where Aqua Blu used to be), and it seems to be targeting the Uptown hipster crowd. The Chocolate Bakon Martini was more Hershey's bar than it was Miss Piggy, but good nonetheless.

Family Night at El Dorado (1030 Broadway, Downtown) is home to some of the best craft-cocktail deals in town. Every Tuesday, the bar features a different “cocktail family” and lets you sample 'em for $5 a pop. Enjoy live jazz and live-art displays on Tuesday nights, too. I went when the bartenders were experimenting with different takes on the classic Moscow Mule and had a delicious Dark & Stormy (dark rum, lime and ginger beer).

And, in honor of our Food Issue, try pairing the good-looking, great-tasting food at Alchemy (1503 30th St., South Park), with one of the restaurant's savory craft cocktails. If you, like I do, secretly drink pickle juice every now and then, try out the Dirty Pickle (vodka, pickle juice and cornichon).

Calendar

  • Visit one of the 70 participating restaurants, bars, coffeehouses and nightclubs in town on this night and 25 to 50 percent of sales will go to local HIV/AIDS services and prevention programs. 
  • Anthony Bernal and Chris Ward, who are vying to replace Todd Gloria on the San Diego City Council, will discuss urban issues, such as parking, homelessness and new developments
  • The new exhibition designed by Dave Ghilarducci is made from hundreds of rolls of packing tape and bound together by layers of plastic shrink-wrap. Visitors can navigate their way through cocoon-like passageways...
  • The renowned Mexican black and white photographer presents an exhibition exploring the principal themes within three groups: "Bestiarium"," Fantastic Women" and "Silent Natures."
  • Presented by Pacific Arts Movement, the sixth annual mini film fest features 14 film programs from 10 countries that includes everything from docs to romantic tearjerkers. See website for full lineup and...
  • The San Diego County Bike Coalition hosts this monthly bike-in happy hour event to get biking residents involved in their communities and discuss bike projects planned for that specific community
  • Debunk some of the stereotypes surrounding cannibalism at this new exhibition that takes a hands-on approach to the subject. Includes video games and interactive activities where patrons will have to decide...
  • So Say We All's monthly storytelling night features stories about those jobs we took because we had to take a job. Featured readers include Allison Gauss, Annmarie Houghtailing, Cecile Estelle, and more
  • Artists from the all-abstracts group show will talk about their work and techniques. Artists include Edwin Nutting, Danielle Nelisse, Leah Pantea, Lenore Simon, and more
See all events on Thursday, Apr 28