The Year in Food: Cocktails Get More Respect

Twelve months, ten storylines: It's SFoodie's annual look back at the year in food.

To call 2010 a revolutionary year in cocktails would be an overstatement. But it was certainly a year in which cocktail-making became an even more serious pursuit.

Fewer and fewer people walk into a bar expecting to order their favorite drink ― more of us go to a bar to see what the bartender can do for us. A few years back, San Francisco became known for garden-fresh cocktails that incorporated fresh juices, local herbs. But bartenders are putting the muddler in the drawer and focusing instead on concocting their own mixers like tonic water, bitters, falernum, and this year's trendiest ingredient, gum syrups.

Buoyed by the success of restaurants with cocktail bars such as Nopa and Heaven's Dog, this year saw a slew of ambitious new restaurants who believed ambitious cocktails were as important (and PR-worthy) as the quality of the food. The most prominent: The Barbary Coast-era Comstock Saloon; Bar Agricole, which featured Thad Vogler's garden-to-glass approach to cocktails; Prospect, the Boulevard team's second restaurant, which hired the amazing Brooke Arthur to oversee the bar; and the gorgeous Twenty Five Lusk, which is, in terms of square footage, slightly more lounge than restaurant.

Tags: , , , ,

Related Stories