A Big Scoop
Ian Scalzo adds crushed ice to a Mind Eraser.
Shrunken Skull ($11)
This tiki drink is served with a side shot of Ron Zacapa 23 that was finished in a barrel washed with Ardbeg 10 year. The Scotch adds a lightly smoky flavor to the luscious rum. "I like the shot poured into the drink," says Scalzo, "but people can sip it on its own to get a sense of what we're doing with the barrel-aged stuff." The tropical cocktail features Lemon Hart 151, fresh lime, and a housemade grenadine spiced with cinnamon, clove, and allspice.
Afternoon Tea Sour ($9)
"At afternoon tea in England," said Scalzo, "you often have little watercress and cucumber sandwiches, and that inspired this drink." This cocktail, which appears in the English Pub section of the menu, starts with gin that's infused with Yorkshire Gold tea (it only takes about an hour), mixed with lemon juice and cucumber, egg white, Angostura, and a Chinese five-spice syrup. The earthy tea comes through with chai-like spice, plus a delicate vegetal layer from the cucumber.
French 75 ($9)
"Barrel aging adds a cool vanilla note and some richness to gin, and we really like that," said Scalzo. The barrel aged gin appears in this spin on a French 75 for their Grand Hotel menu. The drink is tart and bright from fresh lemon juice and sparkling wine, with a mellow herbal backbone from the gin.
Buena Vista Fizz ($10)
This cocktail is a loose play on Irish coffee, made with coffee syrup, Jameson, and rye that's been infused for 24 hours with chicory, plus a little lemon and orange juice to lighten. It's creamy and rich but not heavy, ideal for a chilly San Francisco evening.
This cocktail offers a huge blast of minty scent as you bring it to your lips. Gin, lemon, lime, and simple are shaken with mint, then topped off with soda. "This was a precursor to the mojito," said Scalzo as he poured us a mason jar full.
Mind Eraser For Two ($22)
Served in a massive goblet with crushed ice and two straws, this dive bar-inspired drink is rich and nutty from a mix of nocino, Punt e Mes, vodka, and housemade coffee liqueur, topped off with soda water. "The dive bar menu was my favorite to work on," says Scalzo, "this stuff was usually made with terrible booze, but it's fun to look for similar flavors as a starting point." How do you tackle a drink like this? "You're supposed to suck it all down in one go," says Scalzo.
Scalzo has enjoyed playing around with Scotch cocktails for the Scottish pub section of the menu. This flip features Black Bottle, a peaty Islay Scotch, plus sherry, Cynar, and a whole egg, shaken thoroughly and topped with freshly grated cinnamon. It's rich stuff, but the Cynar makes this drink drier than you'd expect.
Mr. Lew's Sazerac ($9)
The bar space at 441 Jones Street was briefly called Mister Lew's Win Win Bar, and this citrus scented Sazerac on The Big Easy section of the menu is Justin Lew's recipe, using Pierre Ferrand Ambre Cognac, Rittenhouse 100 Rye, Kubler Absinthe, and both Angostura and Peychaud's bitters.
Custom barstools at the main bar downstairs.