14 California Cocktails that will make your taste buds sing!

14 Best California Cocktails

California is a state that has everything, from stunning beaches and towering mountains to vibrant cities and endless vineyards.

It's a place that represents the best of America and attracts people from all over the world. But what about its drinks? What are the best California cocktails that can capture the essence of this beautiful state?

Well, let's start with the ingredients. California is known for its fresh produce and diverse cuisine, which means that its cocktails are no different.

From citrus fruits to herbs and spices, the drinks here are bursting with flavor and creativity. It's all about taking the freshest ingredients and combining them in unique ways to create something truly special.

But it's not just about the ingredients. California is also a place of innovation and experimentation, where people are always pushing boundaries and trying new things.

This means that its cocktails are constantly evolving and adapting to new trends and tastes. Whether you're looking for a classic cocktail with a modern twist or something completely new and unexpected, California has it all.

So, if you're a cocktail lover looking for some inspiration or just someone who wants to explore the best that California has to offer, then this is the place for you. In this post, we'll be taking a look at some of the most delicious and creative California cocktail recipes out there.

From the classic margarita to the trendy avocado cocktail, we'll show you how to make the perfect drink for any occasion. So, grab your shaker and let's get started!

1. California 75 Cocktail

California 75 Cocktail

The California 75 Cocktail is a refreshing and effervescent twist on the classic French 75. This lemon cocktail swaps out gin and Champagne for Vermouth and sparkling wine from California, resulting in a light and flavorful drink that's perfect for sipping on a sunny day.

The cocktail is easy to make with just a cocktail shaker and measuring cup, and can be served in a flute or coupe glass with a lemon twist or cheek. If you're looking for a unique and delicious cocktail to try, the California 75 is definitely worth a taste!

2. California Gold Rush Cocktail

California Gold Rush Cocktail

The California Gold Rush Cocktail is a refreshing twist on the classic Gold Rush cocktail. Instead of bourbon, this cocktail uses California Chardonnay and a honey and thyme simple syrup to create a savory and flavorful drink. Squeezed fresh lemon juice adds a citrusy kick, while a thyme sprig garnish adds a touch of elegance.

This cocktail is perfect for any occasion and is sure to impress your guests with its unique blend of flavors. Be sure to check out the other delicious wine cocktail recipes in the California Wine Cocktails E-Book for even more inspiration.

3. Strawberry Lemon Smash

Strawberry Lemon Smash

The Strawberry Lemon Smash is a refreshing and fizzy cocktail that combines the sweetness of California strawberries with the tanginess of lemons. Made with California sparkling wine and lemon simple syrup, this cocktail is a perfect blend of flavors that will leave you wanting more.

The recipe is easy to make and uses only a few ingredients, making it a great option for any occasion. What's more, this cocktail is packed with California-grown produce, making it a true representation of the Golden State. So, if you're looking for a delicious and refreshing cocktail that celebrates the flavors of California, the Strawberry Lemon Smash is definitely worth a try.

4. Fresh Cherry Limeade Cocktail

Fresh Cherry Limeade Cocktail

The Fresh Cherry Limeade Cocktail is a must-try for anyone looking for a refreshing and nostalgic drink this summer. Made with sweet and juicy Brook's cherries, chunky lime wedges, coconut rum, and a splash of simple syrup, this cocktail is bursting with flavor. What's even better is that by enjoying this cocktail, you're supporting hardworking American farmers and business owners in California.

The muddling and mixing of the cocktail create an intense flavor and vibrant color that is sure to impress. Although a few bar tools are required, improvising is always an option. Overall, the Fresh Cherry Limeade Cocktail is a perfect addition to any summer gathering or a relaxing evening at home.

5. SoCal Citrus Sangria

Socal Citrus Sangria

The SoCal Citrus Sangria is a perfect cocktail for those who love bold flavors and a little bit of sweetness. Made with California Zinfandel wine, this cocktail is perfect for those who want to experience the signature grape of California. The addition of freshly squeezed orange juice and slices of orange and lime give this cocktail a bright and zesty flavor.

A splash of honey adds just the right amount of sweetness to balance out the boldness of the Zinfandel wine. Making this cocktail ahead of time allows the flavors to meld together, resulting in a richer and more delicious cocktail. If you're looking for a refreshing and flavorful cocktail to enjoy during California's citrus season, the SoCal Citrus Sangria is definitely worth a try.

6. Pomegranate Vodka Cocktail With Lemon & Rosemary

Pomegranate Vodka Cocktail With Lemon & Rosemary

The Pomegranate Vodka Cocktail with Lemon & Rosemary is a refreshing and festive drink that adds a wintry kick to any celebration. Made with Hangar 1 Vodka, grilled meyer lemon juice, and fresh rosemary, this cocktail is a perfect representation of California's diverse culture and abundant produce.

The sweet and tart taste of fresh pomegranate juice pairs beautifully with the bitter-sweet depth of caramelized meyer lemon juice. The addition of rosemary simple syrup adds a bit of piney depth, while Hangar 1 Vodka's clean and warm floral notes add a touch of elegance to the mix. This cocktail is perfect for any occasion, and it's sure to impress your guests.

7. California Kir Royale Pomegranate Cocktail

California Kir Royale Pomegranate Cocktail

The California Kir Royale Pomegranate Cocktail is a festive and bubbly cocktail that is perfect for toasting the holiday season. Made with California sparkling wine, fresh pomegranate, and pomegranate liqueur, this three-ingredient cocktail is effortless to make and beautiful to look at. The use of dry sparkling wine gives it a crisp and refreshing taste, while the pomegranate adds a sweet-tart balance and a beautiful garnet color.

This cocktail is a California twist on the classic Kir Royale cocktail, which is traditionally made with champagne and crème de cassis. The California Kir Royale is a great way to celebrate the holidays and everything you're grateful for, and it's sure to impress your guests with its festive and elegant appearance.

8. Bourbon Brown Derby Cocktail

Bourbon Brown Derby Cocktail

The Bourbon Brown Derby Cocktail is a California classic that has been around since the early 1930s. This refreshing cocktail is made with just three simple ingredients: bourbon, grapefruit juice, and honey syrup. The honey syrup adds a touch of sweetness to the tangy grapefruit juice, while the bourbon gives the drink a robust flavor that is perfect for sipping.

The cocktail is named after the iconic Brown Derby diner in Los Angeles, which was a popular spot for Hollywood royalty like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. This cocktail is a must-try for bourbon whiskey lovers and is sure to impress at any party or gathering.

9. Red Apple Sangria

Red Apple Sangria

If you're looking for a delicious and easy-to-make sangria recipe, look no further than the Red Apple Sangria from California Grown. This wine-based cocktail combines California apples, oranges, cinnamon, and red wine to create a flavor that's both irresistible and perfect for the celebratory season. The orange brown sugar rim adds an extra touch of sweetness that's sure to impress your guests.

What sets this recipe apart from others is its simplicity – all you need is a knife and some fruit to get started. If you're a fan of California apples, be sure to check out the other apple-centric recipes and round-ups on California Grown's website. Don't forget to share your pictures of this delicious cocktail on social media using #CAGROWN.

10. Surfer on Acid

Surfer On Acid

The Surfer on Acid cocktail is a refreshing and tropical drink that is perfect for a hot day in California. Made with equal parts Jägermeister, coconut rum, and pineapple juice, this cocktail offers a unique combination of flavors that is both sweet and bitter. The Jägermeister provides a slightly bitter backbone to the drink, while the pineapple juice and coconut rum add a fruity and sweet taste.

The Surfer on Acid can be enjoyed straight up, in a shot, or as a cocktail, making it a versatile drink for any occasion. Whether you're at the beach or at your local bar, the Surfer on Acid is a must-try cocktail for anyone looking for a refreshing and unique drink.

11. California Cosmopolitan Cocktail

California Cosmopolitan Cocktail

The California Cosmopolitan Cocktail is a refreshing and zesty cocktail that is perfect for holiday parties. This classic cocktail has a twist with a bright citrus flavor that balances the sweetness of Triple Sec. The cocktail is made with vodka, orange juice, and lemon juice, and is garnished with a slice of orange.

The rim of the glass is coated with sanding sugar, giving it a sparkling and sweet touch. The California Cosmopolitan Cocktail is a nicely balanced cocktail with a fun boldness that is sure to impress your guests. If you're looking for a refreshing and sweet cocktail option for your holiday party, the California Cosmopolitan Cocktail is definitely worth a try.

12. Chai Spiced White Russians

Chai Spiced White Russians

The Chai Spiced White Russian is a delightful twist on the classic cocktail that is perfect for the holiday season. Made with Hanger 1 Straight Vodka infused with chai tea bags, this cocktail has a slightly floral nose and a balanced profile that makes it a perfect base for both sweet and savory cocktails.

The addition of chai spice, which includes cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and pepper, gives this cocktail a warm and cozy flavor that is perfect for cold weather. Served over ice and garnished with cinnamon sticks and star anise, this cocktail is not only delicious but also visually stunning. It's a must-try for anyone looking to add a little spice to their cocktail game this winter.

13. Lemonade Lillet Spritz

Lemonade Lillet Spritz

The Lemonade Lillet Spritz is a refreshing and elegant take on hard lemonade that's perfect for warm weather. Made with Lillet Blanc, gin, lemon, honey, and soda water, this cocktail is bubbly, subtly sweet, and easy to drink. It's garnished with a long spiral of lemon peel, which adds a burst of lemon flavor to each sip.

This cocktail is perfect for sipping on while chatting away the hours with friends or for washing away the hardest of work weeks. If you're looking for a light and refreshing cocktail that's perfect for summer, the Lemonade Lillet Spritz is definitely worth trying.

14. Raspberry Frosé

Raspberry Frosé

If you're looking for a refreshing and fruity cocktail to sip on during the warm summer months, look no further than the Raspberry Frosé. This wine slush cocktail is made with raspberries, peach, and rose wine, and can be made either in a blender or an ice cream machine.

The sweetness of the cocktail will vary depending on the wine and fruit used, but it's the perfect drink to cool down with on a hot day. The bright pink color and fruity flavors make it a celebration of summer in a glass. If you're a fan of frozen drinks and love the taste of rosé wine, the Raspberry Frosé is definitely worth a try.