Pimm's Cup cocktail with edible flower and cucumber

Best Summer Cocktails to Sip at Healdsburg Restaurants and Bars

Healdsburg is a charmingly quaint wine country hamlet with uptown taste, and the craft cocktail scene has quickly risen to the ranks of its restaurants and wineries. So, next time you go wine tasting in nearby Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley or Dry Creek Valley, make sure to pace yourself and save room for a Healdsburg cocktail crawl with our list of the best summer cocktails of 2017 from mixologists at Healdsburg restaurants and bars. (We also included Geyserville Gun Club, a funky-hip watering hole a few miles north of downtown Healdsburg that is well worth the drive.) These mixed drinks are refreshing, light and smooth–all made with unique ingredients and some presented so beautifully you’ll spend as much time photographing your cocktail as you will sipping it. If you can’t make it to Healdsburg, get ideas for your own backyard mixology party with these summer cocktail names.

Eight of the Best Summer Cocktails in Healdsburg

Game of Thrones cocktail recipe by Duke's Healdsburg, garnished with Calabrian chiles
The ultimate cocktail for Game of Thrones fans, garnished with threads of Calabrian chiles.

Drink Has No Name (Duke’s Spirited Cocktails)

This clever Game of Thrones cocktail is featured on the annuals menu at Healdsburg plaza’s popular neighborhood bar, so it may disappear this fall…winter is coming, after all. Named after Arya Stark’s pseudonym from season 6, Drink Has No Name is made with Tapatio tequila, cantaloupe, Calabrian chili tincture, lemon and BroVo Spirits Pretty Floral Vermouth. It’s garnished with Calabrian chiles, shredded into little threads–just like Aryna’s arch nemesis, the Waif, after their final battle. Make it at home for your next Game of Thrones watch party, but it’s just as fun to drink it at Duke’s window seats overlooking Healdsburg plaza.

Duke’s Spirited Cocktails, 111 Plaza Street, Healdsburg, CA, drinkatdukes.com
Summer rum cocktail idea in a coupe glass, creative garnish from Spoonbar Healdsburg
Spoonbar’s Key West, creatively garnished with a dried lime wedge clip.

Key West (Spoonbar)

This island-inspired summer cocktail transports me back to my South Florida days. Served in a coupe glass, it’s a blend of Novo Fogo Organic Cachaça (the key ingredient in caipirinhas), Plantation Original Dark Rum, and tropical bitters with strawberry and key lime foam. A well-balanced summer sipper, the Key West is not too sweet like many tropical drinks. Order the mini cheeseburgers, and you’ll feel the urge to start singing a Jimmy Buffett song.

Spoonbar, 219 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg CA, spoonbar.com
Peach cocktail in a coupe glass with edible flower garnish at Geyserville Gun Club
An edible flower makes the perfect garnish at Geyserville Gun Club.

Luck Dragon (Geyserville Gun Club)

Don’t get attached to a craft cocktail at downtown Geyserville’s killer neighborhood bar; the menu changes so often, it’s hard to keep up with the creativity of Geyserville Gun Club’s mixologists. I’m already mourning the loss of Luck Dragon, a new cocktail recipe that debuted August 1 and could have easily been named Mother of Dragons or Lucky Khaleesi. Made with Dry Creek Peach & Produce organic peaches, infused Campo De Encanto Pisco, dragoncello (Italian for tarragon), honey, lime, egg white and Absinthe, the Luck Dragon is sure to become a Gun Club legend–just like the Pimm’s Cup, pictured at the top. Some of their most beloved cocktails of the past can be ordered off menu, such as the Paper Plane, featured in the Healdsburg Cocktail Triangle. I can only hope Luck Dragon makes that list.

Geyserville Gun Club Bar & Lounge, 21025 Geyserville Avenue, Geyserville, CA, geyservillegunclub.com
Yellow cocktail with lemon twist, Spirit Bar by Dry Creek Kitchen Healdsburg
Dry Creek Kitchen’s signature summer cocktail; photo courtesy of Charlie Palmer Group. 

The Man with the Yellow Hat (The Spirit Bar at Hotel Healdsburg by Dry Creek Kitchen)

Hidden inside the Hotel Healdsburg lobby, Spirit Bar serves this beautiful, golden-hued cocktail made with Sauza Reposado Tequila, Chartreuse Yellow, agave, lemon juice and egg white. The bar only has a handful of seats, so it’s a fun spot for avoiding the crowds at bigger and busier drinking spots in downtown Healdsburg. Drinks are created by the resident bartender at Hotel Healdsburg’s restaurant, Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen.

Hotel Healdsburg, 25 Matheson Street, Healdsburg, CA, drycreekkitchen.com/spirit-bar
Gin cocktail with grapefuit, elderflower at Barndiva in Healdsburg
Fresh grapefruit and edible flowers top this light, citrusy gin cocktail.

Let the Dogs In (Barndiva)

Sipping on a glass of wine or a craft cocktail in the charming backyard at Barndiva is a must for your things to do in Healdsburg list. During summer, order the goat cheese croquettes with wildflower honey and a Let the Dogs In–a bright, citrusy cocktail made with Bummer & Lazarus Dry Gin (crafted by a San Francisco distiller and named after two stray dogs), Aperol, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, fresh lemon, house grapefruit bitters and a splash of soda. Garnished with grapefruit peel and edible flowers, it’s so pretty that you’ll feel guilty emptying the glass. Trust us. It goes down fast. (Travel tip: The “dogs” can also be enjoyed in The Gallery garden next door to Barndiva.)

Barndiva, 231 Center Street, Healdsburg, CA, barndiva.com
Mezcal cocktail jalapeno, cucumber summer cocktail idea
The spicy, fresh taste of a Siren says “summer” at Duke’s.

Siren (Duke’s Spirited Cocktails)

This light, spicy cocktail is one of my favorite Healdsburg mixed drinks. A blend of VIDA (an organic Mezcal from Del Maguey), cucumber, lime, lemongrass, jalapeño, bergamot citrus and Rao Ram (home-grown Vietnamese coriander), the Siren is smooth with a smoky, peppery kick on the finish. Part of Duke’s perennial cocktail menu, so you can order it year-round. A nice alternative to a margarita.

Duke’s Spirited Cocktails, 111 Plaza Street, Healdsburg, CA, drinkatdukes.com
Whiskey cocktail, The Doc Holiday, in a coupe glass
The Doc Holiday whiskey cocktail at Valette.

Doc Holiday (Valette)

The most traditional of our favorite summer mixed drinks, Doc Holiday is a whiskey cocktail made with Rittenhouse Rye, Amaro, house-infused tobacco bitters, a Mexican herb blend called epazote and Valerian bitters. It has a smooth, classic taste. Although Valette restaurant is known for its award-winning wine list (presented on an iPad with the Tastevin app), its compact cocktail menu is creative and not to be overlooked. Mixologist Brandon Manning is unveiling a new collection of signature drinks later this month.

Valette, 344 Center Street, Healdsburg, CA, valettehealdsburg.com
Fresh peach margarita at Mateo's in Healdsburg
Fresh peach margaritas are often on special at Mateo’s during summer.

Dry Creek Peach Margarita (Mateo’s)

Everyone loves a good margarita, and Mateo’s Cucina Latina is the place for the best fresh margaritas in Healdsburg. Flavors change weekly, depending on what’s harvested from local farms. A summer favorite is the Dry Creek Peach Margarita, made with different varieties of peaches organically grown at Dry Creek Peach & Produce, a few miles from downtown Healdsburg. This summer, the smooth sipper is being served straight up, but I recommend it on the rocks with salt. Other margarita flavors featured in past summers include strawberry, padron peppers and basil.

Mateo’s Cocina Latina, 214 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg, CA, mateoscocinalatina.com

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Born and raised in rural Kansas, Lisa Mattson fell in love with wine during college in South Florida and worked for a wine magazine before moving to Northern California. Her days are spent being a writer, photographer and videographer for Jordan Winery and nights cooking Thai food or microgreen salads. When she’s not eating and sipping her way through Sonoma County, she travels the world with her husband in search of the best restaurants, snorkeling spots and tiki bars.

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