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Cool Down: Five Spots To Catch a Coachella Cocktail

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year for music fans. Coachella time. You’ll most likely be spending the weekend rocking out under the scorching Indio sun then hitting some of the rad weekend parties (ahem, the Bolthouse fiasco on Saturday night), but if you're looking to just straight up grab a cocktail, here are a few suggestions for what to drink where. As always, additional suggestions welcome in the comments, thx.

1) Birba
What to order: French Lemonade
Why: After knocking it out of the park with her weekly rotating menu of fresh, creative fare at Palm Springs breakfast-and-lunch mecca Cheeky’s, owner Tara Lazar has teamed up with her Italian-born husband to open this sleek spot for thin-crust pizzas, elaborate salads, and crafty cocktails. The outdoor loungey seating, fire pit, and weekend DJ make it an enticing place to hang out long after you’ve finished your pie. Start with the refreshing French Lemonade, a mix of Ketel One, St. Germain, Lillet and house-made sweet and sour. 622 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs

[Photo: Patio at Birba/ Eating LA]

2) Leon’s Bar & Grill
What to order: Gin Martini
Why: Hidden in a residential golf course community, this Wexler-designed clubhouse for the Indian Canyons Golf Club is about as truly old-school Palm Springs as you can get anymore (now that Melvyn’s is slowly being infiltrated by bachelorette parties) with nary a tourist in sight and a food menu straight out of a ‘70s banquet hall. The views are gorgeous, the martinis are huge, and the piano player takes requests. Enough said. 1100 Murray Canyon Drive, Palm Springs

3) Shanghai Reds
What to order: Oyster Vodka Shooter
Why: You’ll think you’ve died and gone to dive bar heaven at this indoor/outdoor abode nestled in a courtyard behind a family seafood restaurant. There’s a blues band on the weekends, food served late (or at least, later than most eateries in the Springs), and shot glasses of shellfish doused with well vodka. What could make this place more perfect? A super delicious fish taco that costs $2.50 during happy hour (after 8PM during the week and all day on the weekends). 235 S. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs

4) Old Town Cellar
What to order: A Big Glass of Red
Why: Just beer and wine here, but this spot is convenient for those actually staying in and around Coachella. And while you’ve most likely been to more sophisticated wine bars, the by-the-glass selection is decent, and there’s a shop attached if you want to take something back to your room. Friday and Saturday nights feature standout folksy performances by L.A. vocalist and guitarist Joan Jones (who occasionally gives her voice a rest and busts out her trusty trumpet). But, chances are, you probably have other live music plans those evenings. 78015 Main Street, La Quinta

5) The Amigo Room
What to order: The Figa
Why: I almost didn’t include this Regal Beagle-ish bar at the hipster Ace Hotel, simply because you probably already know about it, given that the hotel’s opening garnered slightly more media coverage than the fall of the Berlin Wall. But since many Coachella goers will be catching their few precious hours of sleep here, stop in for a refreshing Figa, a mix of tea, fresh OJ, and fig vodka (infused in house), poured over muddled figs, orange, and crushed ice. Do note that Ace policy requires at least one member of each party be wearing a Fedora at all times. 701 East Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs
— Lizbeth Scordo


622 N. Palm Canyon Dr. Palm Springs, CA 92262