Starting this week, the impressive collection of artisanal spirits displayed behind the bar will be transitioning from gin to rum as Sorentino rolls out his summer cocktail program — from classics like the Cuba Libre to the historic Grog as well as more modern Tiki drinks like the Mai Thai.
But the dashing Sorentino is far from satisfied with the standard shake and strain preparation, which he has mastered. (Seriously, you should see this man shake a drink.) Adding to his impressive behind-the-bar repertoire, he is now carbonating his own cocktails — to order. (Because there are few things more disappointing than a cocktail that is supposed to fizz and just fizzles instead.) Using a system called Perlini (hailing from Seattle, there are only two such in Bay Area bars), a simple Dark and Stormy made with housemade ginger beer, Bicardi 8, lime juice and a dash of ginger turmeric bitters becomes infinitely lighter, fizzier and more elevated thanks to a few hearty shakes in the Perlini. It may sound gimmicky, but the drink is delicious.
Taking it even further, Sorentino is preparing to hand-bottle a few of his own carbonated libations. Meaning, when you order a Cuba Libre, you will receive a glass of ice, a wedge of lime and a small glass bottle containing rum and cola that was bottled by Sorentino. (Did I mention he also made the cola?).
Sorentino originally created the bottled cocktails for Pizzando, H2 Hotel’s casual pizzeria which will open in August in the former Café Newstand in Hotel Healdsburg (yes, it will have a wood-burning Mugnaini oven and yes, Liza Shaw is the Pizza Crust Consultant) but for now he is serving them at Spoonbar as well.
Sorentino will be releasing new rum drinks one or two at a time throughout July.