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Dining Guide for Families in Orange County

Holiday Spirits at Scott’s Restaurant & Bar

After a day of holiday shopping, if you’re anything like me you look forward to resting your feet and unwinding with a cocktail and a few lite bites. I now know where I will be doing just that after my next shopping excursion to South Coast Plaza. This week I had the opportunity to sample an innovative and sophisticated selection of Winter Crafted Cocktails created by lead mixologist, James Wood at Scott’s Restaurant & Bar in Costa Mesa.


Photo courtesy of Alan De Herrera

Winner of The Reader’s Choice Vote for Best Bartender and Best Signature Cocktail as well as OC Weekly’s Drink of the Week Award twice, James was snapped up three months ago by Scott’s and has embraced the restaurant’s “organic and sustainable” philosophy in the mixes and garnishes he uses as he creates their ever evolving cocktail menu.

There is something for just about every taste preference on this season’s menu with options such as:


The Blossom. Photo courtesy of Alan De Herrera

A golden-orange spicy blend featuring Templeton Rye with St. Germain Elderflower Liquer, Noilly Prat Vermouth, whiskey barrel bitters and an orange twist garnish.

A light creamy treat with rye whiskey, Heering Cherry Liquor, vanilla, chocolate bitters, and rosewater that could almost qualify as a light dessert.


The Rosemary. Photo courtesy of Alan De Herrera

A fresh blend of Junipero Gin, St. Germain Liquer, and bruised rosemary that will make you feel as if you are walking in a forest of pine trees on a crisp day.


The Jalisco. Photo courtesy of Alan De Herrera

A smooth, refined take on a margarita featuring Agave Underground Tequila with Cointreau Noir, lime, rhubarb bitters, and a hint of Kubler Absinth which adds a bit of intrigue.


The Rouge. Photo courtesy of Alan De Herrera

A gorgeous, cranberry red cocktail that looks like the holidays and blends Hardy VS Cognac, port, lemon, cranberry, and cinnamon.


The Hops. Photo courtesy of Alan De Herrera

A refreshing hops flavored concoction of Hophead Vodka, Aperol, honey, orange, and lemon.


The Barbadian. Photo courtesy of Alan De Herrera

For rum lovers, a light cocktail with a hint of tartness and herbs featuring Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum, Amaro Nonino, Hibiscus Elixir, lime, and mint.

With such interesting sounding options, you may be hard pressed to make a decision. I asked James if he had a favorite to which he replied, “It’s like answering, ‘Who’s your favorite child?’, you may have a favorite, but you’ll never admit it.”. Well, I like them all as well, but have to confess my favorite child is Blossom. Whatever your selection, you will find yourself sipping and savoring each ingredient in these well-balanced, elegant cocktails.

While sipping your cocktail, you may also want to choose from a variety of small plates or lite bites such as a hand-chopped prime cut beef slider with Havarti, an oh so tender Provencal style calamari, Macadamia nut spinach, roasted Brussels sprouts, crab cakes with Serrano aioli, and more.

You will leave feeling relaxed and refreshed and in The Holiday Spirit.

Scott’s Restaurant & Bar is located in Costa Mesa near South Coast Plaza and Segerstrom Hall at 3300 Bristol Street.

Dana Wilde grew up playing “sous chef” for her father as he churned out one amazing meal after the next for family and friends. She inherited her father’s life long passion for cooking and has spent the past two decades studying, reading, practicing, experimenting, and creating in the kitchen. Together, she and her sister, Shan are Simply Wilde, a small boutique catering business focusing on in-home entertaining.

Scott's Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

We attended a media tasting as a guest of Scott’s

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