San Diego Bar Crawl

Bankers Hill

Bankers Hill

During San Diego Bartenders Weekend, I had a chance to check out a few spots. After Craft & Commerce, we headed over to Bankers Hill for the Campari and House Spirits party. It might as well have been called the Negroni party but they did have other (fantastic) drinks!

Campari and House Spirits party

The Intern – Campari and House Spirits party


One of my favorites was the Intern, a tall and refreshing drink featured a very lightened-up Campari. The Krogstad provided a fine structure for the drink. I occasionally avoid pineapple juice in drinks because they tend to be too sweet for me but this one was perfect. It felt like a modern tiki cocktail with the orgeat by way of Sweden and Italy (and Portland!).

The InternKrogstad aquavit, passion fruit tea-infused Campari, pineapple, lemon, orgeat


burrata and strawberry toasts


We had an array of tasty snacks at Bankers Hill. The next time I’m in San Diego, I’d like to come back for dinner.




Negronis are so easy to love. I enjoyed it with Aviation gin since it complemented the herbal, slightly bitter notes well.


Bankers Hill 

2202 4th Ave., San Diego, CA 92101  —  (619) 231-0222
Tipsy Crow - stock market menu

Tipsy Crow – stock market menu


While I was in San Diego, I heard about a bar that kept track of how well their spirits were selling via a stocks exchange like scoreboard. I headed to Tipsy Crow not knowing it was in the Gaslamp district. The bar turned out to be slightly touristy but since it was early, we were one of the few groups there. I studied the scoreboard and decided on Tanqueray which was at $6 at the time. After I ordered, it jumped up fifty cents.

Tanqueray martini

Tanqueray martini


Sadly, the martini was not especially made well. I doubt there was any vermouth in it. Although the bartender didn’t shake it, it was instead slowly swirled over ice in the tin. It was a bit odd. If I had any bitters on me, it would have benefited the martini. Still, a $6 Tanqueray martini was a small price to pay to appreciate the ordering system.


Tipsy Crow

770 5th Ave., San Diego, CA 92101  —  (619) 338-9300
Bols Genever at URBN

Bols Genever at URBN


At last year’s Bartenders Weekend, I really wanted to stop into URBN for pizza. I was really happy to see this year there was a Bols Genever event at URBN. We had shots of Bols Genever and beer to go with our fabulous pizza. I had to make myself stop eating because I knew we were immediately going to the Bon Vivants’ Hawaiian Luau following this event.

pizza at URBN

pizza at URBN


I’m definitely making it a point to stop in for dinner the next time I’m in San Diego. And it’s so close to Seven Grand San Diego.

URBN Coal Fired Pizza

3085 University Ave., San Diego, CA 92104  —  (619) 255-7300

Affray at Sycamore Den

One of my favorite bar experiences in San Diego last year was visiting Noble Experiment and meeting Eric Johnson. He moved on to open Sycamore Den. We popped in to check it out in between events but alas, he wasn’t working. Instead, Nick Messina took care of us.

My friend ordered the Affray, a brown, bitter, stirred cocktail. This is the kind of drink perfect for someone drinking Negronis all day and still wants another Negroni.

Affray – bourbon, apple brandy, orchard apricot, sweet vermouth, Angostura bitters, Peychaud’s bitters


Kentucky Commander


I wanted something less aromatic and saw the Kentucky Commander which sounded perfect. The fizz was just the thing to have before heading off to dinner.

Kentucky Commander – bourbon, Cherry Herring, lemon, orgeat, egg white, Peychaud’s bitters, soda

Sycamore Den will be fun to visit the next time I’m in town. I’m glad we had a chance to sneak away from the other activities for Bartenders Weekend to check them out.

 Sycamore Den

3391 Adams Ave., San Diego, CA 92116  — (619) 563-9019

San Diego Bartenders Weekend


© The Minty 2014