Suzanne Long of Mixanthrope used Anchor Distilling's Hophead vodka in this bittersweet and hoppy cocktail made with Cocchi Americano, Fever Tree tonic, and lots of lime. It was served with candied hops on the rim.
This cocktail from Barrel Aged in Martinez, CA was made with lime, kumquats, thyme, and lots of dried fruit: nectarines, dates, and persimmons. The fruit was mixed with Drambuie and Drambuie 15 and topped off with Prosecco.
McManus Family Spring Punch
Matt Fleeger from 15 Romolo was serving up a fruity punch made with "a good healthy amount" of Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey, freshly squeezed Asian pear juice, Massenez creme de peche, lemon, tarragon simple syrup, and muddled fresh mint.
While most of the drinks were offered in small tasting portions, this full-sized cocktail from E&O Asian Kitchen was served in an Old Fashioned glass. Made with El Jimador tequila anejo, balsamic vinegar, strawberry, and lemon, it was the first of several vinegary cocktails we tried at the event, and one of the best, highlighting the tangy side of the berries with the rich vinegar.
Time to stop for a snack: this artichoke dip from Delarosa was made with a subtle touch of parmesan and garlic to let the chokes shine through. It was served on a fried pasta dough chip.
Chilled English Pea Soup
This super-fresh soup from Maven was served with goat cream, blackberry olive oil, and shiso.
This beet cocktail from The New Easy in Oakland featured St. George Terroir Gin and lots of lemon, sweetened with a beet and white balsamic gastrique that was cooked with honey.
The San Francisco Chapter of the United States Bartenders' Guild offered a Dark & Stormy 'jello' shot made with blackstrap rum and agar, topped with pearls of ginger beer 'caviar'.
Crimson Stone for Emerald Hearts
Chad Arnholt of Trick Dog squeezed cherry juice all day for this cocktail, which featured Idaho-grown American Harvest Organic Vodka, cherries, rose geranium cardamom honey syrup, and lemon.
This awesome drink from Trent Simpson of Town Hall was an easy favorite of the bunch. He mixed Pur elderflower liqueur with two different piscos from ORO pisco on Treasure Island and fresh lime. Muddled fresh basil, verbena, and thyme were infused into absinthe and sprayed on the glass for the ideal fresh spring cocktail.
The team from Hotsy Totsy in Albany, CA made a strawberry-rose geranium and bay leaf soda, and mixed it with a rhubarb balsamic shrub and Remy V, and unaged brandy made from grapes.
Rachel Saw of Local Edition and Tradition mixed together Casa Noble silver tequila, herbal Yellow Chartreuse, sweet pea purée, honey, lemon, and sea salt for this delicately vegetal drink.
Johnny Codd of Hard Water and the soon-to-reopen Heaven's Dog made this cocktail with muddled raspberries, Gran Classico, lemon, agave, Tequila Herradura, and absinthe, topped with soda for a little fizz.
This offering from Brian MacGregor of Wing Tip featured Charbay's Green Tea Vodka, mixed with lemon peel syrup, cucumber, mint, and Fentimans ginger beer. The green tea vodka gave the drink a nice earthy backbone.
Crostini with Spring Peas and Burrata
Starbelly offered creamy burrata on toasted bread, served with sweet green peas and shaved grana.
Salted Caramel Truffles
These fudgy truffles from 25 Lusk were topped with dehydrated strawberry powder and 'exploding cocoa': essentially, chocolate Pop Rocks.
Honolulu Hangover Cupcakes
Rummy chocolate devil's food cakes from Bluestem, with a coconut rum filling and marshmallow meringue on top.