San Francisco’s second-to-last Republican mayor was Elmer Robinson, who was born in the Richmond and died in Paradise (the town in Butte County, that is). Nicknamed “Rob-Rob,” he served two terms, from 1947 to 1955, and seems to have been one of those back-room pols who put the cigar down long enough only to stock Spreckels Lake with fish and gaze approvingly at newfangled diesel buses.
What a guy.
Fortunately, Robinson doesn’t show up on Finn Town’s new clutch of mayoral cocktails, a list that includes some colorful characters of a more recent vintage — and the seven drinks on the “Once and Future Mayor” roster contain plenty of spirit and only a bit of shade. The three contenders — Supervisors London Breed and Jane Kim, and former Senator Mark Leno — are occasionally ribbed for running insufficiently distinct campaigns, but their respective drinks could not be more different.
The “London Calling” is the lightest and prettiest, a foamy, springtime gin concoction with lots of orgeat and an ornamental float of mini-golf-pond-blue gin atop the egg white. Lacking scotch, the Kimster (Cynar, grapefruit, and bitters) sounds like an inferior Protestant’s Revenge, but in spite of the hard edges in that ingredient list, the artichoke liqueur works its alchemy to knit everything together, making this the ablest aperitif. Have a Marky Mark at your funky brunch if you want a smoky margarita, because this tequila-and-mezcal ode to the neighborhood’s former legislator — three supervisors ago, anyway — is low on sweetness and high in lime.
On the menu as in life, the dark horse is Angela Alioto. She got the police union’s endorsement, her campaign site totes her achievement in making restaurants smoke-free, and her earnest-sounding “Straight from the Heart” (aged rum, Pimm’s, ginger, citrus) is the best of the lot. It’s basically an iced tea with extra bite coming at you in two directions, the ginger top note and the rum poking up from below.
“Da Mayor” is like an affogato that melted all the way, an after-dinner drink in a coupé that blends vodka, Kahlua, vanilla, espresso and St. George’s Nola coffee liqueur to great effect. But it might not be elegant enough for the wily ex-mayor, known to knock a restaurant for not having tablecloths — unless a registered lobbyist were to buy him one. The empty suit with slicked-back hair whom 48 Hills routinely disparages as the “Lite Guv” gets the lone mocktail, a possible slight we wish to treat with kid gloves lest anyone think Finn Town is deriding designated drivers or our friends in recovery. But “The Gavinator” (a citrus blend with grenadine and soda water) is probably fine, and it’ll probably run the state for the next eight years powered by sheer inertia.
The food side of the Once and Future Mayor equation dispenses with puns and homages. There’s no “Art Agnolotti” or “Oysters on the Half Shelley.” Rather, it’s sliders, a homemade onion dip, and a spiffy crudité platter with green goddess dressing. Hopefully, Finn Town gets some of these politicos in there for a taste test. Neither Kim nor Leno could name their favorite burrito joint, so they’ve arguably got ground to make up among key voting blocs who ingest beverages and foods.
Finn Town, 2251 Market St., 415-626-3466 or finntownsf.com