sf cocktail week’s best of the west event brought together great bartenders from across the west coast (san diego to vancouver), for a casino themed evening at the yerba buena center for the arts. each bartender sought to create a signature cocktail that represents their cities drinking culture, while highlighting their assigned “challenge ingredient.”
along with cocktails there were also a variety of savory bites from nombe, living painting, free best of the west shirts being live-printed by the boys of san franpsycho, and several casino game tables in the center of the room. guests also had access to visit the current show at the yerba buena center.
we really enjoyed all of the cocktails; there were a handful i’d definitely go back for, and a few more with some really interesting elements that caught our attention.
favorites included, bryn lumsden’s (seattle) turtle island, a pisco cocktail with ginger, lemon, cream sherry, two kinds of bitters, garnished with champagne grapes. ricky gomez’s (portland) tiger balm #2: rum, passion fruit, fernet menta (would love to try this one with gin instead of rum!) and chris dooley’s (sacramento) magnolia lane: bourbon, smoked peach puree, simple syrup, dry sherry, barolo chinato, and ginger ale, topped with cinnamon.
heidi welniak and andrew pollard’s (vegas) mexicana had a nice heat and subtle chocolate flavor coming from the tequila itself. dustin haarstad’s (san diego) postcards from sicily was served from a punch bowl and had nice undertones of absinthe that didn’t overrun the flavors of the drink. and adrian biggs’ (LA) eroll flip whipped irish whiskey, coffee porter beer, egg and sugar into an incredible drink, fit for a christmas cocktail party!