For the fourth year in a row, Food and Wine magazine has published a book representing new and innovative drinks from around the country. Of approximately 150 drinks listed in Food & Wine Cocktails 2008, 21 are from the San Francisco Bay Area. If you were to try all of these drinks, you would travel from a bar at the San Jose International Airport to the Sir Francis Drake hotel in Union Square.
The Bay Area cocktail list is below. Some of these drinks are seasonal or are specials so are not always available. If you're intent on trying the exact cocktail, call ahead to check its availability.
Babylon Sister from Jonny Raglin of Absinthe (SF). A dessert drink containing kirsch, maraschino liqueur and crème de cacao in a glass rimmed with cocoa powder.
Strawberry and Ginger Cooler from Jeff Hollinger Absinthe (SF). A non-alcoholic drink with strawberries, ginger, orange juice, lime juice and ginger beer.
Northern Spy from Josey Packard The Alembic (SF). An apple-y drink with apple brandy, apple cider, apricot brandy and an apple slice.
Tommy Gun from Jacques Bezuidenhout of Bar Drake (SF). A tasty treat whose name harkens back to a Prohibition-era firearm. It contains ginger slices, apricot jam, Irish whiskey and Grand Marnier.
Puerto de Cuba from Dominic Venegas of Bourbon & Branch (SF). A rum drink with amber rum, Tawny port, and a vanilla flavored brandy liquer called Navan. Venegas left Bourbon and Branch but is still working in San Francisco.
Blackberry and Cabernet Caipirinha from Cantina (SF). This is a pitcher drink with blackberries, cachaca, Cabernet Sauvignon, orange and lime juice.
Alsatian Daiquiri from Duggan McDonnell at Cantina (SF). A drink from Duggan McDonnell featuring vanilla spiced rum, Gewurtztraminer, and peach bitters.
Thai Boxer from Scott Beattie at Cyrus in Healdsburg (Healdsburg). A beautiful drink made with all local produce. The long ingredient list for this drink includes basil, mint, cilantro, vanilla rum, coconut milk and ginger beer.
Off Kilter from Elixir (SF). The Off-Kilter was designed to show off Scotch and does so by combining it with Grand Marnier, nocino and heavy cream.
Filibuster Cocktail from Erik Adkins of Flora in Oakland (Oakland). A take-off on a whiskey sour, the filibuster cocktail adds egg white and maple syrup to the traditional recipe.
Fog Cutter from Forbidden Island (Alameda). A tiki drink with white rum, gin, brandy, orgeat and Amontillado sherry in its ingredient list.
Amberjack from Le Colonial (SF). A cocktail combining apple lambic -- a Belgian beer -- with vodka and scotch.
Jose McGregor from Jimmy Patrick at Lion & Compass in Sunnyvale (Sunnyvale). As with many flavor combinations, this drink started as a mistake. It contains Scotch and a citrus/vanilla flavored licqueur called Licor 43.
Vanilla-Cucumber Limey from Jay Crabb at Martini Monkey in San Jose (San Jose). Martini Monkey, located in the San Jose Airport, serves a drink involving cucumbers, mint, and vanilla vodka.
Bergamont Shandy from NOPA (SF). A drink with amaro, Grand Marnier and a lager-style beer.
Mi-So-Pretty from Elizabeth Falkner and Angie Heeney-Tunstall of Orson (SF). Newcomer Orson is represented in the book with a cocktail combining miso, grapefruit, toasted almond syrup, and tequila.
Green with Envy from the Poleng Lounge (SF). Poleng Lounge, an Asian fusion restaurant in NOPA, created a drink with apple, sake, and brewed green tea.
Green Lantern from Range (SF). Thomas Waugh created a cocktail with kiwi, gin, Viogner and lime juice.