Food & Drink

8 Female Bartenders in San Diego You Should Know

Published On 10/14/2015 Published On 10/14/2015
Courtesy of Nikki Siglin

Nikki Siglin

Where to find her: Coin-Op (address and info)

Specialty: “I'm a beer girl at heart. I love to pour a nice refreshing Stiegl-Radler with a copita of mezcal by its side. As for cocktails, I like to keep it simple so an Eastside Rickey is always refreshing and a crowd pleaser.” 
What she’s doing when she’s not working: “I love to travel. That's pretty much all I want to do, I must have some gypsy in my blood. I've become obsessed with Baja so I try and go a couple times a month.” 
Her favorite thing about San Diego: “Obviously the weather is amazing, but the friends and family I have because of this amazing town is why I'm in love with San Diego.”

Lori Sokolowski/Thrillist

Sarah Ellis

Where to find her: Sycamore Den (address and info)

Specialty: “I really enjoy different things seasonally. This summer I loved my Silverback Fizz (SelvaRey white rum infused with strawberries, fresh lemon, Giffard Vanille de Madagascar, egg white, cream, and soda water) and as we transition into fall, I've been working on a new Manhattan variation with Ugly California Rise and Shine (a locally produced moonshine infused with coffee from Dark Horse Coffee Roasters), Ancho Reyes, Caffe Lolita, Carpano Antica and mole bitters.”
What she’s doing when she’s not working: “I love hanging out in Normal Heights and around Adams Avenue. A perfect day includes getting a burger at Jaynes Gastropub, grabbing a margarita at Cantina Mayahuel, and going vintage shopping at La Loupe Vintage. I also play guitar in the newly reformed band Lady Parts.”
Her favorite thing about San Diego: “The optimism. Whenever I have friends visit from out of town they always comment about how genuinely nice people are. I think we are so fortunate to live in such a beautiful city and it truly reflects in the quality of interactions that I have both inside and outside of the bar.”

Courtesy of Meghan Balser

Meghan Balser

Where to find her: Seven Grand (address and info)

Specialty: “I like to make Manhattans and variations of the classic cocktail; vermouth and whiskey are the perfect complements.”
What she’s doing when she’s not working: “When I am not working, I am experiencing the burgeoning culinary and cocktail scene in San Diego, and imbibing at industry friends’ bars, spending time at the beach, and traveling to new cities.” 
Her favorite thing about San Diego: “Being from the East Coast, my favorite thing about San Diego is the sunshine, weather, and laid-back vibe of SoCal.”

Courtesy of Jade Boyd

Jade Boyd

Where to find her: Juniper & Ivy (address and info)

Specialty: “Anything with whiskey, amaro, and pastis -- stirred and direct.”
What she’s doing when she’s not working: “I split my time off between soaking up San Diego's beautiful weather, hiking, paddle boarding, or just relaxing on the beach and eating and drinking my way through San Diego's eclectic neighborhoods.”
Her favorite thing about San Diego: “I love two things about this city: the camaraderie in the bartending scene here is great and welcomed me with open arms... and the palm trees!”

Sara Norris/Thrillist
Courtesy of Vanessa Tosi
Courtesy of Adele Stratton

Adele Stratton

Where to find her: Noble Experiment (address and info)

Specialty: “I’d say my specialty is making every guest that walks into my bar feel welcome and comfortable. I also really enjoy the experience of getting to know my patrons and making them unique cocktails based on their preferences.” 
What she’s doing when she’s not working: “I’m usually spending time with my beautiful 8-year-old daughter and hanging out with my Noble Experiment family.”
Her favorite thing about San Diego: “I love the San Diego bar scene. San Diego is becoming such a huge market for cocktails. We have some really incredible bartenders here and I love sitting in front of them.”

Courtesy of Michele Willard

Michele Willard

Where to find her: Bracero Cocina de Raiz (address and info)

Specialty: “I love working with most spirits, but at this time, I am obsessed with mezcal, sotol, and tequila cocktails (shaken and stirred).”
What she’s doing when she’s not working: “I am in love with Yoga Sculpt, so if I’m not behind a bar I am usually practicing Yoga Sculpt or at the beach surfing with my 7-year-old pit bull, Coco.”
Her favorite thing about San Diego: “I grew up in SD so I am very spoiled and in love with the weather. I also love the fact that I have been able to be a part of and watch the craft cocktail scene emerge in San Diego in the last five years. It is really amazing to see how thirsty we have been for it and how we have embraced it.”

Sign up here for our daily San Diego email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun in town.

San Diego writer and photographer Sara Norris enjoys consuming cocktails as much as these ladies enjoy making them. Follow her on Instagram @saraknorris.