Old Fashioned Date at Kiki's.

Three Date-Infused Cocktail Recipes to Try at Home

A trio of Coachella Valley bartenders present recipes incorporating locally grown dates.

Emily Chavous Foster Restaurants

Old Fashioned Date at Kiki's.

Old Fashioned Date with Monica Bellucci at Kiki's.

When it comes to local ingredients, few represent the Coachella Valley as well as the humble date — it grows on our palm trees, after all. The versatile fruit can take on many forms, and it packs a nutritional punch with six essential B vitamins and seven important minerals, including potassium and magnesium.

We like to drink our vitamins. So, we turned to the bartenders at three area restaurants to learn how dates can jazz up the cocktails we concoct at home. Here are their recipes.

Old Fashioned Date With Monica Bellucci

Joshua Lucas, beverage director at Kiki’s in La Quinta, re-imagined the classic Old Fashioned to pay homage to the Coachella Valley with a locally sourced date whiskey that adds a juicy and vibrant twist. Aztec chocolate bitters contribute a gritty spice with a mole undertone. A kiss (made with coconut oil and cake dye) garnishes the glass.

  • 1 ounce Dattier JRM date whiskey
  • 1 ounce Jack Daniel’s bonded rye
  • ½ ounce Lazzaroni Fernet
  • 1 bar spoon Demerara syrup
  • 1 dash Aztec chocolate bitters
  • Mist Orange oil

Add spirits and syrup to an Old Fashioned glass with one large ice cube. Stir until properly chilled, spritz with orange oil, and garnish with a lip print.

Armando’s Bar

Palm Canyon Date Night. 

Palm Canyon Date Night

The sweetness of strawberries and barhi dates tango with the tang of scratch-made lemon sour mix in this cocktail, available as a special this month at Tommy Bahama Restaurant in Palm Desert and Tommy Bahama Marlin Bar in Palm Springs. “We sourced the dates from our friends at Marco’s Produce in Coachella,” says Marlin Bar manager Josh Overkamp. “They have a stand set up weekly at VillageFest. Tommy Bahama bourbon ties everything together, making a simple yet flavorful martini.”

  • 2 ounces Tommy Bahama bourbon
  • 1 ounce Sour mix
  • 1 bar spoon Barhi date marmalade
  • ½ ounce Lemon juice
  • ½ ounce Strawberry

Add the bourbon and marmalade to a shaker and stir to combine. Add fresh strawberry, sour mix, lemon juice, and ice. Shake and strain into a frozen martini glass, garnishing with a touch of green.

Swipe Right at The Pink Cabana

Swipe Right at The Pink Cabana. 

Pink Cabana bartender preparing the cocktail.

Pink Cabana bartender preparing the cocktail.

Swipe Right

Developed by the team at The Pink Cabana at Sands Hotel & Spa in Indian Wells, the off-menu Swipe Right cocktail adds an ounce of housemade date syrup to a classic recipe for an earthy kick. Based on the Clover Club, a gin concoction that predates Prohibition, this libation foams with the addition of egg white. Shaking the ingredients vigorously once before adding ice and then shaking again with ice ensures a long-lasting foam.

  • 2 ounces Gin
  • 1 ounce Lemon juice
  • 1 ounce Date syrup
  • 6 Raspberries,
    plus extra for garnish
  • 1 Egg white
  • 1 Date, sliced for garnish

Muddle raspberries in a shaker. Add the egg white, gin, lemon, and date syrup and shake vigorously without ice.  Add ice and shake again for 15 seconds. Double-strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a date and raspberry skewer and a drizzle of date syrup.

learn more

For additional recipes and information about California dates, visit datesaregreat.com.