9 Things to Drink in SLO - San Luis Obispo, CA

“I don't have a drinking problem 'Cept when I can't get a drink.” 
― Tom Waits

Finding a memorable cocktail on a menu in an unfamiliar city is seriously like hitting the jackpot! If you didn't know already, my favorite way to explore a city is through its food and drink! San Luis Obispo has so much more to offer than I remember when I lived here. Menus serve-up cocktails galore, local wine selections, and homemade mixers (Did you read about the Root Elixirs popup?) . Restaurants are also stepping up their game big time by using quality, local, and seasonal ingredients.

Growing up on the central coast, food was very all-American. Anyplace in the Five Cities was a stonesthrow away from a family-run burger joint, Santa Maria Style BBQ spot, or an authentic (or wanna-be) Mexican Restaurant. Now, sprinkled throughout the 805, you are finding more and more unique concepts with exotic offerings and rotating seasonal menu items, which are pushing the boundaries of standard fare of the coast.

To prepare for this trip I asked around some must-try spots. Here is the best of what I tried and I know there is so much more to explore next time!

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Weekly Whiskey - Sazerac Rye - Straight Rye Whiskey

You may know Sazerac as a classic cocktail, but did you know Sazerac is also the name of a Rye Whiskey? Hailing from the legendary Buffalo Trace Distillery, this "New Orleans Original" stands among other strong contenders in the whiskey world, including Van Winkle, Elmer T. Lee, and E.H. Taylor.

At 90 proof, this 6 year rye has a mash bill of 51% rye (the minimum qualifying to be labeled Rye in the USA) supported by 39% corn, and 10% barley.

Some notable awards include 2016 Gold Medal from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

All Silver, Gold, Double Gold, and Premium Award winners will be listed in The Tasting Panel Magazine’s May 2016 issue, reaching over 65,000 beverage-trade decision makers.

Root Elixirs at The Station - San Luis Obispo, CA

Oh how I adore coming back to the Central Coast of California! This is my spot. No matter how long I go away for, this is the place that tugs at my heartstrings as home. There's nothing like walking into a tiny wine bar and seeing familiar faces after being away for nearly a decade. (Remember Christy Cozby from 3 Easy Steps to Decanting Wine?) It makes my heart happy to see people here exploring food, wine, and spirits. The "Drink & Learn" Philosophy is alive and well here!

One such place that values an intoxicating education is The Station, which hosted a pop-up tonight for Root Elixirs, an emerging Soda Company founded by Dominique Gonzalez. She is taking "The Taste of SLO" to a whole 'notha level. Here is a round-up of the drinks she served up tonight. They were as enticing to the eye as the tongue, and summer was expressed in liquid form.