Hillcrest Taste N Tinis 2014 - recap

It's Taste 'N' Tinis recap time! I love this event because it has the kind of booze I enjoy most AND the price is right. Seriously, $20 is way too good to pass up! Even if you buy last minute, it's only $25 on the day of! I lucked out and used points to redeem free tickets from a local tv station website. It was meant to be!

The event was held Thursday December 11 between 5 and 10 pm, an extra hour longer than previous years. More time to sober up or booze up? That's your choice! We also got these cute little martini glasses for sampling!

There was a slight delay at pickup for the alcohol wristbands so in the meantime I met and captured a pic of Matt and Ben dressed for the holidays.

Our first yummy sample was at Heat Bar & Kitchen. The made from scratch pizza had locally sourced ingredients including goat cheese with pesto toppings on thin crust.

Our next stop at Hillcrest Brewing Co sampled their imperial red beer (seasonal) and pepperoni or cheese pizza.

Martini time! Our first was a Mistletoe Martini at Mankind, which was like a Victoria's Secret for men (full of colorful underwear)! Multiple businesses participated and offered discounts on products/services. A volunteer bartender (usually from local establishments) prepared the drinks for the event.

Uptown Tavern served bread pudding, which had a light almond taste to me. It's not too sweet and is kind of dense like mung bean cakes.

Gossip Grill was marked as a food location on the map but they actually had booze instead. This is a take on Hypnotic mixed with champagne.

We hit multiple alcohol samples in a row. Next was at Obelisk Mercantile where they served a pomegranate mule. I could definitely taste the ginger beer here!

After that was a Poinsettia Tini at Torreon Importers. It was smooth and very light, almost like a light cola flavor. We grabbed a mini bottle of FIJI water from here too! Wow, fancy water!

The strongest sample was The Grinch (tequila martini) at Establish. The infused simple syrup wasn't enough to do much against the tequila taste!

We finished the east side of the map and walked across the highway to hit the next store, Americana Clothing for more samples. Their jack frost smash was like blueberry lychee in flavor. Tasty but boy were we in need of some food!

D Bar provided a yummy ice cream that incorporated Maker 's Mark (whiskey). Guess we can't get away from alcohol!

Next door was Snooze AM Eatery which served cocoa mascapone with raspberry cream with Andes mints. Of course it was delicious as expected!

The Wine Lover had wine sangria with a great flavor and clean taste with a dry finish.

East coast Pizza is new to the area and served a spicy chicken and pesto meatball with garlic bread. I think it's worth coming back to try more!

Adam & Eve had a naughty & nice - tini, complete with a mini peppermint candy cane!

The Buffalo Public House served something called coxinha, which is a popular food in Brazil consisting of chicken meat covered in dough, molded into a chicken leg shape and fried. We also tried brie soup at Crest Cafe later in the evening.

Luna Grill is always tasty and we really like their steak and chicken kabab though the chicken was a little dry on this trip.

I found line dancing again at Urban Mo's but we went with their Svedka cherry drink. I thought it was cranberry, probably because of the color!

Fiesta Cantina served their Santa Monica roll again but this version was "unrolled" which I think I prefer!

We also got to sample their margaritas!

At the far west end of the map, Cody's Home & Gift had a candy cane martini, which I thought was like alcoholic ice cream that had melted. Next door at Detour Salon, there was a spiced pumpkin tini. I thought it was familiar in taste but at least knew it wasn't chocolate! We also hit The Village Hat Shop which served a peppermint tini (2 part vodka, 1 part peppermint schnapps plus splash of grenadine and add crushed peppermint). That recipe might help with my peppermint schnapps bottle at home.

At Green Fresh Floras, they had a paloma martini, another tequila based drink. We also got shots of Espolon, the tequila in that martini, which had very good flavor and was dry at the end, not rough.

I was hoping for desserts at Babycakes but they served their grasshopper martini (vanilla vodka, reme de cacao, creme de menthe, milk). I like it because it tastes like mint milk and isn't too alcoholic!

We passed by the Hillcrest Sexy Santa booth! Take a photo with them for a donation of your choice I believe. Hello boys! #HillcrestSexySanta

The store Flashbacks had a chocolate martini that tasted like a diet toosie roll. They had ran out of irish mint and subbed so maybe that changed the taste.

I don't remember which drink is which but one is Rudolphs Tipsy Spritzer and the other is Irish Christmas Tree (I'm guessing latter because there were mini xmas trees) served at Lost and Found; and Buffalo Exchange.

We also stopped by Local Habit which had ran out of pizza (awww) by the time we got there. There was still kombucha left which I am not really a fan of. Next door we thought Salt and Cleaver would have food but they were serving cocktails too, but had run out. Uhhh, how do you "run out" of alcohol?

We made it to the last place on the map, Gioia's Room for their scarlett o hara tini ... martini with cherry in it. I was so buzzed at this time.

According to the map, there were 14 participating stores with specialty martinis and 16 restaurants BUT several of those restaurants had booze instead of food... bringing it down to 10 small tastes (Local Habit would have made it 11). First time ever that we completed an event still hungry! But if it's booze you want, then booze is exactly what you'll get at Taste N Tinis! We still had a blast!

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Comments

J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats's picture
Submitted by J.S. @ Sun Dieg... (not verified) on Thu, 01/15/2015 - 9:10am

A)This sounds like such a good deal!! Although I'd want more food too ;)

B) Blergh to the 'diet tootsie roll' drink, cannot imagine how weird that would taste

C) Ummm that place serves coxinhas??? I must try it. Yet to find a stellar coxinha outside of Brazil...

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Thu, 01/15/2015 - 10:14am

Yea it's a great price for drinks and 'snacks'. I didn't really know what item C) was but i looked at their menu and coxinhas sounded like a perfect description. Wish I remembered what it tasted like but time and booze has got me there! Hope you get a chance to let us know what you think!

Faye's picture
Submitted by Faye (not verified) on Thu, 01/15/2015 - 3:34pm

Am I crazy or did that look like a romantic type of date event! I would have so loved this - it looked so cozy, festive, boozy, etc! Did you get a new baby martini glass at every place or did they make you re use the same one? Those are such cute glasses.

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Thu, 01/15/2015 - 4:40pm

Haha, it's totally a boozy date event based on this recap! The previous year, I think there was more food. The "romantic" effect is due to softer lighting and the blurring effect of the camera lens. Plus, I requested "styling" of these pictures which definitely makes the recap images look better! We each got one glass and used it throughout the event!

Abby of Baby Birds Farm's picture
Submitted by Abby of Baby Bi... (not verified) on Tue, 06/16/2015 - 9:38pm

How fun! I lost count... but seemed like a lot of drinks!

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Mon, 06/22/2015 - 10:47pm

i lost count too hehehe! good times! =D

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