Sometimes, you can look at the list of ingredients in a cocktail and imagine what the final product will taste like. Other times, a drink surprises you. Take the Single Village Fix at San Francisco's Beretta. The restaurant's bar manager, Ryan Fitzgerald, told us it would taste like "grilled pineapple," and he was right—but it was simultaneously more perplexing and more delicious than that.
The Single Village Fix is just one of a long list of cocktails that has been drawing people into Beretta since it opened in 2008. The bar program originally came together under Thad Vogler, now the co-owner of Bar Agricole.
Fitzgerald has been at Beretta since it opened, and took over as bar manager about a year and a half ago. He's clearly proud of the program he oversees, bragging that, at Beretta, "price to quality ratio is second to none." Indeed, with several of the drinks on the menu going for $9, you'll save a few bucks per glass over some of the other fancy cocktail places in town. But Beretta's in the national spotlight now: the bar was recently included among the semi-finalists for the James Beard Foundation's Outstanding Bar Program award.
When describing Beretta's cocktails, Fitzgerald stresses a desire to remain grounded in tradition—though it's clear that he's not stuffy about this. "They fit into classic cocktail categories, but they're twists," he explained.
We put this friendly bar manager on the spot and asked him to choose his favorites from among Beretta's cocktails. In addition to the Single Village Fix, he mixed up a powerfully boozy sno-cone-in-a-glass, as well as an off-menu creation he'd used to win a cocktail competition the night before our visit. Click through the slideshow to see Ryan Fitzgerald's favorite Beretta drinks.
Have you been to Beretta? Which cocktails there do you recommend?
About the author: David Kover is a San Francisco-based freelance writer and food enthusiast. He occasionally gets his tweet on as @pizzakover.