Party in a Glass: Top Purple Cocktails You Need to Try in 2018

Purple, or rather PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet, is the 2018 PANTONE color of the year, and this week we’re taking a look at how it’s being celebrated in liquid and solid form at restaurants around the world. First up, the drinks.

There’s nothing demure about a purple cocktail. Filled to the brim with mysterious elixirs, they seem to shout out, “Let’s rock and roll!” Purple people eater, purple rain to purple haze and more, mixologists love to wrap their craft beverage programs around this versatile color wheel. In the initial installment of a two-part series, we present 17 purple cocktails to try while violet is in vogue.

Tanner’s, Huntington Beach, California
Not since the Statler Brothers lamented loneliness in their song ‘Flowers on the Wall’ has there been such cause to throw back a drink or two. Joshua Holmes uses his cocktail of the same name to showcase a combination of vodka, Crème de Violet, caramelized pineapple, orgeat, and lime. Make a reservation at Tanner’s.

top purple cocktails

Kettner Exchange, San Diego, California
In one of California’s must-eat-here cities, Kettner Exchange entices with its Apple Fell Far from the Tree cocktail, prepared with butterfly pea-infused blanco tequila, pimento dram, lime, and Fuji apple syrup. Make a reservation at Kettner Exchange.

top purple cocktails

Elements Restaurant, Aruba
Leave it to senior bartender Aldrich Pontilius to create an Aruban version of purple rain for the Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort on Eagle Beach. He blends rum, vodka, triple sec, gin, Blue Curaçao, grenadine, and Sprite, inspired by the Aruban sunset. Make a reservation at Elements.

top purple cocktails

VERGE Restaurant + Lounge at Toll House Hotel, Los Gatos, California
The Purple Lady lures imbibers to the VERGE for Hangar 1 mandarin vodka, Pama pomegranate liqueur, fresh lemon juice, cool jasmine water, and egg white. A topping of rose crystals gives the cocktail its irresistible “drink me” vibe. Make a reservation at Verge Restaurant + Lounge.

top purple cocktails

Rail Epicurean Market, Westfield, Indiana
The Urban Vine is growing on diners at Rail Epicurean Market.  Mixed with Cardinal Spirits Bramble black raspberry vodka from the Bloomington, Indiana, distillery, it also includes the Rail’s own blueberry-rhubarb jam, lemon juice, and soda topper. Make a reservation at Rail Epicurean Market.

top purple cocktails

Farmer’s Bottega, San Diego, California
The come-hither concoction at Farmer’s Bottega is named Blackberry Seduction. Aligned with the restaurant’s style of uber garden-fresh ingredients and refreshing elements, the Blackberry Seduction is made with muddled mint and fresh blackberries, rice-based vodka, and sparkling water. Make a reservation at Farmer’s Bottega.

top purple cocktails

Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen, Brea, California
Before a helping of Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen roasted Jidori chicken or afterward for dessert, the creamy Blueberry Serrano Saiquiri is in perfect accompaniment to the live Latin sounds of this Orange County staple. A burst of heat from serrano chili compliments the sweetness of this Myers’s Platinum rum, fresh blueberries, lime, hibiscus syrup, and lime cocktail. Make a reservation at Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen.

top purple cocktails

312 Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
Head bartender Jenn Knott knows the way to a Port lover’s heart at 312 Chicago. She combines Taylor Fladgate LBV 2009, Remy Martin VSOP, Averna, cinnamon-orange Demerara syrup, lemon juice, and whole egg into a drink called the Eclipse, served up in a chilled rocks glass. Make a reservation at 312 Chicago.

top purple cocktails

Bulla Gastrobar, Coral Gables, Florida
The Mariposa Negra has amassed an almost cult following of fans at South Florida’s Bulla Gastrobar.Mixed with Old Forester 100 Bourbon, housemade butterfly pea powder syrup, lemon juice and St. Germain liqueur, it’s the perfect counterbalance to the salty bliss of Bulla Gastrobar’s Iberico ham and tapas like patatas bravas or pimientos de Padrón. Make a reservation at Bulla Gastrobar.

top purple cocktails

Hotel Alessandra, Houston, Texas
The Bardot gets the sultriest cocktail award from Lucienne Restaurant’s Bar Bardot in the Hotel Alessandra. Delicate etched glasses are filled with Bombay gin, Luxardo liqueur, crème de violette, lemon juice, and Luxardo cherry. Make a reservation at Lucienne in the Hotel Alessandra.

top purple cocktails

Fig Tree Café, San Diego, California 
Some say it’s the coconut milk in the acai mojito from Fig Tree Café that makes it so unique. Mixed with Purity Vodka, Living-Tea Acai, lime juice, mint, coconut milk and fresh berries, it’s the kind of cocktail diners crave long after the last sip. Make a reservation at Fig Tree Café.

top purple cocktails

Sinema, Nashville, Tennessee
The marriage of white peaches, blueberries, and seven-year expression AFROHEAD Rum Briland 07 come together in Nashville Sinema in the cheekily named ‘Mint for Each Other’ cocktail. Make a reservation at Sinema.

top purple cocktails

JIMMY at The James, New York, New York
Leave it to JIMMY at The James co-owner and mixologist Johnny Swet to find a way to ingratiate the purple power of beets in his Beet Boulevardier. The lip-smacking cocktail has Maker’s Mark, Campari, Carpano Antica, and beet juice. Make a reservation at JIMMY at The James.

top purple cocktails

Rossoblu, Los Angeles, California
The Campari Lambrusco spritz is rooted in Rossoblu bar director Brynn Smith’s passion for sharing lesser- appreciated Italian spirits with her guests. The restaurant is inspired by chef Steve Samson’s childhood summers in Bologna, and Smith’s refreshing cocktail, made with Campari, Lini Lambrusco, and club soda transports you there. Make a reservation at Rossoblu.

top purple cocktails

The Boathouse, Richmond, Virginia 
Richmond mixologist Michael Avery mixes things up by combining Cruzan black cherry rum, blackberries, and simple syrup for his black cherry mojito. Garnished with mint leaves and lime wedges, it gets a splash of soda water to finish it off. Make a reservation at The Boathouse at Rockets Landing.

top purple cocktails

Pisco y Nazca, Doral, Florida
As Peruvian cuisine continues on its hot streak, the cocktails have become part of that trajectory. Case in point: the Purple Skies cocktail from Pisco y Nazca with Ketel One vodka, triple sec, Peruvian purple corn, and lemon juice. Make a reservation at Pisco y Nazca.

top purple cocktails

Red Salt,  Koloa, Hawaii
It’s always time for a cocktail in Hawaii. At Red Salt, Kamalei Pihana shakes things up in her blueberry-açaí martini, prepared with Van Gough Blueberry-Açaí vodka, lemonade, blueberries, and simple syrup. Make a reservation at Red Salt.

top purple cocktails

Have you been sipping purple cocktails? Tell us here where or over on FacebookG+InstagramPinterest, or Twitter. And, remember to snap + share your #dishpics with us on Instagram for a chance to win in our weekly giveaway.

Kelly Merritt is an author and freelance journalist specializing in culinary travel. Follow her on Twitter @kellywrites + Instagram @kellymerrittwrites + Facebook at KellyMerrittWrites.
Photo credit: Southern Fatty Photography (Sinema).