With the ever-increasing pressure on restaurateurs to make sure they have extra-original cocktail lists to accompany their food menus, we bring you a roundup of the best new restaurant bar programs around town.
The work of bar manager Ashley Miller at this new restaurant in the Daniel Patterson empire has already won a vocal fan in the form of Camper English at Alcademics, who did an early drink-through preview. The entire menu is complex, with original takes on some classic combinations using a bunch of house-made ingredients. I'm especially a fan of the lightly carbonated Aviation variation, the Hanglider, made with gin, house crème de violette, lemon juice, and a spritz of mezcal. 1420 Market Street
Local bar star Erik Adkins, who oversees the drink programs at Charles Phan's restaurants The Slanted Door and Hard Water, took charge of this British-inspired list at the new pub where Heaven's Dog used to be. In place of gin you'll find genever in drinks like the Heidelberg Cup (genever, lemon, and Riesling over crushed ice) and the Gin Cocktail (aged genever, curacao, gum syrup, orange bitters, lemon peel). And there are some touches of whimsy in the presentation of drinks like the Robert Burns' Hunting Flask (pictured above), which is made with currant- and ginger-infused aged whiskey served in a flask, with a nice big ice cube in a glass to pour it in. See the full menu here. 1148 Mission Street
The latest effort by the Bon Vivants (Scott Baird and Josh Harris), a.k.a. the guys behind Trick Dog, was this menu at the brand new, modern Thai spot from famed food blogger Pim Techamuanvivit, of Chez Pim fame. They've put together a cool list of tropical, Tiki- and Thai-inspired cocktails, including a Thai-spiced bourbon julep, and the Hua Hin Beach cocktail, with Pampero dark rum, stout beer, coconut cream, lime, and salt, served over crushed ice. Mason & Ellis
Popular Mission spot Lolo has just completed a move to bigger digs on Valencia Street, and with the move came a new bar program. Bar managers David Gallardo and Leon Vasquez have crafted some cool concoctions, primarily with tequila and mezcal, including the El Benito, with mezcal, lemon verbena, Avezé gentian liqueur, yellow Chartreuse, and bitters; and the Gold Digger, with mezcal, yellow Chartreuse, tonic syrup, and grapefruit bitters. 974 Valencia Street
The newest kid on the block (it actually opens tonight) is this spinoff of Bar Agricole in the heart of downtown. The name refers to the tradition of mid-meal, digestion-aiding shots of brandy or Calvados in the Normandy region of France, and thus the bar will be driven by a comprehensive brandy selection, including some small-production bottles of Cognac, Armagnac, and Calvados sourced directly from Europe. Barman Thad Vogler is a talent to be reckoned with, and one can expect some Bar Agricole-level perfection on the cocktail end of things. 140 New Montgomery