Atascadero News Magazine’s Mocktails & Cocktail Tasting at Cielo Italian Restaurant & Rooftop Bar

By the Atascadero News Magazine Editorial Board 

Photos by Hayley Mattson 

As the holiday season draws near, it’s the perfect time to immerse yourself in the world of mixology and uncover exciting new flavors that will elevate your festive celebrations. In anticipation of this year’s annual holiday taste contest, our team embarked on a journey to the exquisite Cielo Italian Restaurant & Rooftop Bar, a new local favorite downtown Atascadero. 

Our journey into the world of holiday mixology became even more delightful thanks to the gracious hospitality of North County Restaurant Group’s General Manager, Michael Romero, and mixologist extraordinaire, Juan Carlos. Together, our team embarked on a journey through a tantalizing array of signature cocktails and exclusive holiday creations, crafting the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable afternoon brimming with inventive concoctions and exquisite flavors. Cielo’s accomplished mixologist wowed us in four distinct categories: Presentation, Aroma, Taste, and Originality, along with an extra-special Seasonal Pick. Each category featured a standout cocktail that left an indelible impression on our taste buds.


During this holiday season, be sure to make a visit to Cielo Italian Restaurant & Rooftop Bar

and savor the favorites selected by our team! Our winning choices are highlighted below. Here’s to a season brimming with extraordinary cocktails and unforgettable moments! Cheers!

Category Winners 

Presentation — Cleme Brulee Old Fashioned

Aroma — Espresso Martini

Taste — Spicy Avorita

Originality — Leonardo PiStachio

Honorable Mention / Seasonal Pick

Roses in the Fall


Tequila blanco, yellow chartreuse, jagger coldbrew, maple syrup, whole egg, raspberry powder

Blu Blu Lemon


Non-alcoholic tequila, lemon juice, blueberry simple syrup, soda water

Staff Pick Mocktail

Island Vibes


Non-alcoholic rum, lemon juice, orange juice, pineapple juice, strawberry simple, orgeat

Ring my Bell


Beefeater gin, lemon juice, honey bell pepper syrup, fresh basil

La Riviera


Barr hill gin, lemon juice, aperol, pineapple juice, orgeat

Taste Winner

Spicy Avorita


Tequila Blanco, line juice, agave, avocado, fresh cilantro, firewater bitters

What’s the Tea


Kumquat infused vodka, matcha, oat milk, house kumquat chantilly

Presentation Winner

Cleme Brulee Old Fashioned


Whistlepig 6 year, oak and maple syrup, angostura bitters, orange bitters

Staff Pick Cocktail

Originality Cocktail

Leonardo PiStachio


Vodka, lemon juice, pistachio syrup, chocolate bitters, egg white

Aroma Winner

Espresso Martini


Vodka, cold brew, borghetti, bourbon cream


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