This month is all about going out and staying warm. And with so many holiday events to make an appearance at, you're gonna need all the heartwarming cocktails you can get your hands on. So make note and starting imbibing!
Bayside boat parade beverages- Newport Beach
Say that five times fast. For those headed to the remaining evenings of boat parades, we recommended swinging by Bayside beforehand (or after, depending on when you finish) for Irishman's Coffee made with Bushmills Irish Whiskey or Spiked Hot Cocoa with Patron XO. Get warm from inside out, and you'll be just fine. Bayside Restaurant, 900 Bayside Dr, (949) 721-1222; www.baysiderestaurant.com.
Lighthouse Cafe parade seating – Newport Beach
If you're seeking a place to watch the boats glide by, head over to The Lighthouse. They've got a three-course tasting menu that includes multiple options for each round as well as dessert! We're banking on those stout-braised short ribs with wild mushroom and pea polenta. Call ahead for reservations and plan accordingly— boats pass the lighthouse after 8:30 p.m. The Lighthouse Bayview Cafe, 1600 W Balboa Blvd, (949) 933-1001; www.lighthousenb.com.
Hotel Irvine's fire pit social
From December 19 through December 26, gather around the fire between 3-5 p.m for s'mores, hot cocoa and cider. Linger and order dinner, if you so choose. Remember, parking is validated if you dine there. Go ahead— you deserve it. Hotel Irvine, 17900 Jamboree Rd, (949) 230-4452; www.hotelirvine.com.
Mix Mix Kitchen Bar happy hour – Santa Ana
The crew at Mix Mix wants you to come over and get happy every Tuesday through Friday from 5-7 p.m. From drinks at the bar to small bites, you'll find discounts that'll get you ordering another round. We are partial to chef's potato and chorizo croquettes. Or go for the photo above and request cheese steak fries! Mix Mix Kitchen Bar, 300 N Main St, (714) 836-5158; www.mixmixkitchenbar.com.
Hot Apple Sidecar at Hopdoddy – Tustin/Newport
Each month, Hopdoddy locations bust out a specials board featuring a burger, cocktail and shake. For December, we hit the bar and requested their Hot Apple Sidecar. Made with Grand Marnier, house-made mulled apple cider, apple slice and shattered cinnamon stick, it's cozy goodness in a glass mug. Now get back to shopping! Hopdoddy Tustin – 3030 El Camino Real, (714) 505-2337; www.hopdoddy.com.;
Hopdoddy Newport Beach – 401 Newport Ctr Dr, (949) 640-2337.
Chapter One NYE – Santa Ana
A 'no cover' New Year's Eve shindig means more money in my pocket for beer. Or it can go towards Chef Jason's $55, four-course dinner. Order $20 of brut champagne; we'll be emptying the $30 rose ones. There's a 60s theme, so dress appropriately to roll into the new year in style. Dinner begins at 5 p.m., and reservations are requested. Chapter One: the modern local, 227 N Broadway, (714) 352-2225; www.chapteronetml.com.