Slideshow: First Look: Cocktails from the Bar Manager of Bourbon & Branch at The Vestry, San Francisco

Rainbow's End ($10)
Rainbow's End ($10)
Crawford says he "played off the religious angle of the The Chapel," when naming the drinks, noting that the building once served as a mortuary. "Rainbow's End," he notes, is "a British euphemism for going to the other side." The drink, based on gin or vodka, incorporates Pimm's—"People love Pimm's Cups," says Crawford—plus lemon juice and a ginger syrup infused with fresh raspberries. "This one's the crowd pleaser," says Crawford.
Crown of Thorns ($10)
Crown of Thorns ($10)
You can order a vodka version of this drink, but Crawford recommends it with gin. "I want the aromatics—it's a long and herbal drink." Crawford layers on the herbal flavors with Bar Keep lavender bitters, a honey syrup infused with rosemary, and Genepy des Alpes, an Alpine liqueur that Crawford likes for its "rosemary and basil flavor. It's similar to Chartreuse," he notes, "but a little more subtle, and at 90 proof, it's fresher tasting." Soda and lemon are added to complete the beverage, which Crawford calls his "patio refresher."
Segunda Vida ($12)
Segunda Vida ($12)
"This is my cocktail geek's cocktail, the adventurous drink," says Crawford. "Mezcal is my favorite spirit these days. I went down to Oaxaca recently, and it's a magical place." Crawford describes the Segunda Vida as "a spirit-driven mezcal drink" with "an unlikely combination of ingredients—but it just works," he says. "Mezcal is earthy. Becherovka—the predominant flavor is clove—we get body and sweetness from it, and the dusty earthiness of Salers gentian liqueur goes with mezcal and balances the sweetness of the Becherovka." The drink is served up, with a few pitted Castelvetrano olives, which Crawford says add a bit of brininess. The best part? "The cocktail soaks into the olive, so by the end you have this smoky, clove-y olive."
Altar Ego ($12)
Altar Ego ($12)
This variation on a whiskey sour is made with Old Overholt rye, lemon juice, Amaro Nonino, and a brown sugar syrup infused with cinnamon sticks, plus peach bitters and a bit of egg white "for texture." Crawford praises Amaro Nonino for being "super mixable. It's not as aggressive as some amari," he notes. "It has nice orangey flavors, subtle bitterness, and spice on the back end." He says that he chose the rye for its ability to punch through the egg white, "which subdues flavors. Rye stands out a little more than bourbon would," he says.
Lady Guadalupe ($11)
Lady Guadalupe ($11)
"I want the habanero to be subtle," says Crawford about this cocktail, made with a habanero-infused passionfruit syrup. "Habanero is kind of sweet and tropical," he says, "so it goes well with the fruit." The syrup is mixed with El Jimador tequila, fresh lime juice, grapefruit bitters, and Rinquinquin. "It's an aperitif wine, like Lillet, but with peach flavor," explains Crawford. "I like to use aperitif wines to lengthen the flavors of a cocktail, give them room to breathe," he says. "It takes a little of the sharpness of the spirit out and softens the acid of the lime." The habanero provides "a sweet heat on the backend," says Crawford.
Nail in the Coffin ($12)
Nail in the Coffin ($12)
"Chocolate and orange go well together," says Crawford, so they both appear in this bourbon drink, which is made with "assertive" Wild Turkey 101, plus Cynar ("it has that bittersweet candylike quality," says Crawford), organic Fruit Lab orange liqueur, and chocolate bitters, which Crawford says add "a concentrated chocolate flavor—dry chocolate, not sweet."