la quinta cliffhouse

Ice, Ice Baby

Who says frozen drinks are only for summertime? In the desert, these chilly concoctions go beyond dull daiquiris and mundane margaritas.

Lizbeth Scordo Current Guide, Restaurants

la quinta cliffhouse
Nice Melons

The bar crew at La Quinta Cliffhouse Grill and Bar, an eatery nestled into a rocky hillside in the heart of La Quinta, originally created this combo of lemon, watermelon purée, lemonade, and simple syrup to serve as a worthy mocktail option for those not imbibing. But after plenty of patrons began requesting the Watermelon Crush with vodka, there’s now a full-octane version on offer, too.

Nostalgia Fuel

The Mango Creamsicle, a specialty cocktail served poolside at the Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa’s Splash Grill in Rancho Mirage, combines creamy vanilla-infused vodka with fresh mango and strawberry for an adult beverage that’s reminiscent of that sweet and citrusy treat from childhood.

ask a local

Merissa Pelletier
Lead Bartender, La Quinta Cliffhouse

Pelletier relocated to the valley from Sacramento in 2009, and while she’s left the hospitality industry a few times over the years, the La Quinta Cove resident says she always ends up back behind the bar.

Why are frozen drinks are making a comeback?

“People are looking for fun, new drinks. Guests order a lot of piña coladas, margaritas, and daiquiris, of course, but I’ve had more people ask me to make them something [different] that’s slushie — a frozen sangria, wine punch, or something like that. Being at a smaller capacity since COVID, I’ve had more time to think outside the box. It’s been nice to be able to slow down a little bit and try fun, new things.”



Merissa Pelletier

Cool Down

After splashing around in the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells’ new water slides and lazy river, cool off with a Lava Flow at the Oasis Pool Bar. Don’t be fooled by the name. There’s nothing hot about this twist on a classic piña colada that adds strawberry purée to the mix to resemble molten lava flowing through the icy creation.



The Lava Flow.

Above It All

How does High Bar, the rooftop bar at the Kimpton Rowan hotel, provide tropical vibes from seven stories over downtown Palm Springs? With the Forbidden Freeze: a frozen mix of Plantation rum, Grand Marnier, banana liqueur, coconut milk, passion fruit-honey syrup, and lemon juice. The drink is garnished with a citrusy slice of orange — and incredible views.