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San Diego Reader guide to best craft cocktails

Shaken or stirred?

Craft cocktails have endured long enough for the hoopla to subside. They’re not a fad anymore; they’re part of the gustatory landscape, like craft beer or farm-to-table produce. The bar has become another open kitchen; the bartender, another chef looking to capture your attention and enrapture your taste buds. There are old standbys; there are rising stars; there are corporate chains looking to get onboard. There is room for disappointments; also for happy surprises. And there is the quiet excitement that comes from knowing they’ll be around long enough for someone to hit upon the next good thing. — Matthew Lickona

Cocktails with a personal stamp — Mary Beth Abate

Drinking as human artistry— Ian Anderson

Quality and balance — Barbarella Fokos

Lame jokes made funny ... just add alcohol! — Ian Pike

Con gusto — Chad Deal

Cocktails as ephemeral art — Patrick Henderson

Variations on a theme — Matthew Lickona

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