After a rough week of midterms, the last thing on students’ minds is studying, unless of course an encyclopedia of cocktails is involved.
Such is the case at The Tractor Room, a hunting lodge-inspired Hillcrest haunt that specializes in “honest cocktails and meats.” From the detailed rustic décor to the extensive, even daunting, array of spirits, The Tractor Room lives up to its pristine reputation.
Owners Johnny Rivera and Andy Beardslee tried to recreate an old tractor union hall with a speakeasy feel while serving up innovative mixtures and still respecting traditional cocktails. Rivera himself created most mixes on the menu, all ranging from $7-$19. Try the Cucumber Collins, a sweet yet refreshing blend of cucumber-infused vodka and lime, or a Hire’s House made with root liqueur, cinnamon and brown sugar. Take comfort that any drink ordered will be prepared with care and finesse.
Head bartender Brett Morse, winner of Tasting Panel Magazine’s Best Bartender Award, said The Tractor Room infuses its own vodka. The Oliver’s Travels martini, a tasty vanilla number with a kick, is a prime example. The drinks are made with only the freshest and most in-season elements. Eyebrow-raising ingredients such as blueberry jam and jalapenos manage to find their way into the mix, which make for rewarding results. Aside from the mixology, Rivera said he tries to incorporate special extras such as the artistic, hand-carved, enormous ice cubes in the Organic Margarita. Journalism senior Cameron Smead said the margarita was the best she’s ever had at a restaurant.
Sit at the bar for a view of the impressive alcohol inventory or for a free bartending lesson and watch the friendly and attentive staff whip up creations that may or may not be on the menu. The Tractor Room’s “honest cocktails” are spot on, but be prepared to take a taxi home.
The Tractor Room
3687 Fifth Ave.
San Diego, 92103