SUMMERTIME IS THE SEASON... for the brightest and lightest flavors, from peach to lime to lemon to a whole caboodle of berries, melons, and vegetables. You could even describe the main taste tone of the warmest part of the year as "cooling," and you wouldn't be wrong. What to do, though, when you begin to long for the luscious ingredients that tend to stand tall in cooler months, the ciders and the darker beers and the beverages and eats that speak of autumn? Well, you hold on for a few more months, and wait for your favorite dishes to roll back around, or you dip into such dishes now, where you can. The Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad is taking a bit of an autumnal path in the hottest days of July, August, and early September with a number of maple-themed bites and libations. For sure, maple is so rich and yummy it never leaves our summer menus — and definitely not the breakfast menu — but to see it in a cocktail, in summer, feels like a postcard from fall.
NOW THROUGH LABOR DAY... dig into a special pool menu that includes a Braised Chicken Sandwich (think chipotle and caramelized onion with dark maple), Tropical Fruits (complete with a "golden maple-yogurt dip"), and Maple-Cinnamon Donut Holes. If you're leaning toward the sipping end of the spectrum, the Strawberry Birch Margarita is made with amber maple syrup, while golden maple syrup gives a Double Grapefruit Greyhound some oomph. Perhaps maple isn't solely about fall and winter, taste-wise, but summery favorites, too. After all, fruit and veg frequently cameo in January; July and August can borrow some maple magic and run with it, in style.