It's that time of year when everyone's favorite just-a-little-too-small Mission bar, Trick Dog, releases its biannual cocktail menu. Meh, you say. Most bars have seasonal cocktail menus. Well, the folks behind the bar are the Bon Vivants, a boozy creative firm that, yes, make drinks. But, there's more.
A design thread runs through the Bon Vivants' enterprise that prompts singularity in their menus, not just in the concoctions, but in the presentation of the pages themselves. Each menu is unified by a theme and cleverly produced—remember the 12-drink horoscope-themed menu (Aries rule!) styled like an interactive horoscope wheel? These little tricks make for literally playful menus that put patrons at ease and set the vibe for the evening.
The Bon Vivants'—aka Scott Baird and Josh Harris—latest release ups the cute and clever and raises the bar on giving back while you drink. This time around, they've paired with beloved local publishing house McSweeney's and SF artist Ferris Plock to produce a children's book called Rhymes With Trick Dog. And that's just what the menu does, offering 12 drinks whose names rhyme with dog: Jurassic Fog, Lunatic Bog, and Hick Dialogue. On each page, the Bon Vivants offer the cocktail ingredients, Plock proffers up adorably inappropriate images, and the editors at McSweeney's serve up an accompanying poem or short tale.
To whit: The poem for the Tantric Yule Log (Mt. Gay Eclipse rum, Ancho Reyes, Averna, red grape, roasted green tea, mace, lime.) reads:
It's all good, it's all right:
poke all day, burn all night.
It's perfect for reading to that drunken toddler in your life. And you can. Copies of the books/menus are on sale for $35 at the bar. All the proceeds go to McSweeney's charity wing and SOMArts.
You can view archives here of past menus (faves are Horoscope, Pantone, Election, and Top Secret)
But first, watch Trick Dog creative director Morgan Schick read from the menu:
// Trick Dog, 3010 20th St. (Mission), trickdogbar.com