When Lolinda opened in San Francisco's Mission neighborhood in August, we had high expectations for their cocktails. After all, this was the team behind Beretta (and Starbelly and Delarosa), home of some the city's finest libations. And the restaurant's theme—call it Californified Argentinian steakhouse—was rich with possibilities as far as drinks were concerned.
Bar manager Chris Lane took over the cocktail program just a couple of weeks ago; he was brought on by Lane Ford, who originally formulated the menu. The two worked together at Flora in Oakland; Chris Lane's background also includes time behind the bars at Heaven's Dog, Wo Hing General Store, and Tradition.
"The menu started with steakhouse-style drinks as the model," bar manager Chris Lane told us. "Well-made martinis, well-made Old Fashioneds— the idea is to showcase the spirit." Lane aims to put his stamp of Lolinda's menu this winter, focusing on cool-weather drinks that will complement the restaurant's richly flavored Argentinian cuisine.
Since it's the season for entertaining, we asked Lane to teach us a few holiday cocktail recipes for whipping up at home. He shared some favorites from the current menu, including the Armagnac-based Carpenter's Hand; the Bergen Street, a twist on a classic citrusy gin cocktail; and The Devil's Backbone, a balanced blend of rye and Scotch. He also showed us how to make Napoleon's Vice, a winter-ready tiki drink, and a dangerously tasty rum-spiked mulled wine.
About the author: Lauren Sloss is a bicoastal food-lover who is based in San Francisco. Some of her favorite things include The Black Keys, goat gouda, and guacamole. You can follow her on Twitter @laurensloss.