The Napa Rose @ Napa Rose Lounge

Price: $12.75

When: March 6, 2016, 5:10 PM

Reservations: n/a

Verdict? Recommended

The Napa Rose Lounge is a cocktails-and-appetizers joint co-located with the Napa Rose restaurant in the Grand Californian Hotel. Like The Lounge At Steakhouse 55, Napa Rose Lounge serves as a holding tank (read: watering hole) when people wait for tables at Napa Rose.

The Lounge offers a good selection of unique cocktails, as well as a handful of small plates and appetizers. Elaine and I felt it was high time to see what was on the menu.

First selection: a cocktail. Namely, the eponymous “The Napa Rose.”

The drink is gin, Campari, Drambouie, lemon juice, and bitters. The menu promises: This cocktail is a refreshing and complex concoction that will awaken the most refined of palates heading into any culinary adventure.

(Yes. Really. It really does say that.)

The Napa Rose is served cold, pink, and up with a slice of orange rind on the glass. It’s a fantastic palate cleanser, super fresh and citrusy without being too sweet. It’s almost like grapefruit juice, minus the tangy edge.

This is much, much, much better than The Scofflaw over at The Lounge At Steakhouse 55. That cocktail lost its way midway through, becoming less impressive with each sip. By contrast, The Napa Rose is good, clean, and consistent all the way through. It starts and ends strong.

The Napa Rose is a terrific “first cocktail of the day” … but don’t let that stop you from having a second one.