Sip Stars: Orange County Cocktail Week

Fresh bevs, swanky scenes, and pairings aplenty are highlights.

OPENING CONVERSATION: Bartenders tend to get a lot of random questions and requests. Examples? Oh, the slice of lime should be squeezed into the drink before dropped in, the egg in a Brandy Alexander shouldn't be overly foamy, a Cosmopolitan should come in a highball glass instead of a martini show the breadth of customer asks. But the easiest? "Make me something delicious" is probably way up. As is "I'll have the special," because every fine establishment should have some sort of special, even if it is a spin on a venerable classic. Bartender-directed requests go on every day of the year, but one week that can change the dynamic up? Cocktail week. Not every city or county has 'em, but Orange County sure does, and it is shall pour again from Sunday, March 2 through Saturday, March 8.

SO... why do we posit that Cocktail Week is a bit different for the man or woman behind the bar, and, for that matter, the sip-seeking patron as well? Because the drinks are pretty well set in stone, or, rather, ice and glass. 320 Main in Seal Beach has a pairing menu that features a Detroiter -- think cynar and apple brandy -- or a genever-tasty Dutch Kills with Pork Sliders. And Hopscotch in Fullerton? They're goin with a Bradley Burger paired up with a Kentucky Apple Blossom. Tasty stuff, and a roam around the menus shall remind you that Orange County is one of the go-to spots for bespoke cocktailia of all manner and sorts.

PLUS... there shall be special events, like a demo in Old-Fashioneds at The Cellar in Fullerton on March 5. Pleasurable (and responsible) imbibing with a way to enhance your home-bartending skills? That's Cocktail Week, OCers.

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