Carbonated Cocktails in the San Francisco Chronicle
Cocktail Menu: The Corner Store, San Francisco

Correct Cocktail Carbonation

In this weekend's story in the San Francisco Chronicle, I wrote about bartenders carbonating cocktails- to order, in bottles, on tap, and in one case with nitrous oxide instead of carbon dioxide. 

Let's look at the ways bars in the story (and a few places I didn't have room to mention) are carbonating:


  • Starlight Room avoids fresh citrus, saying the carbonation gives it a touch of vinegar tingle, like juice going off.
  • Jasper's Corner Tap uses fresh citrus, but makes the bottled cocktails daily.


  • Chez Papa uses nitrous oxide to charge ingredients that will go into champagne drinks.
  • Spoonbar uses CO2, and throws the sparkling wine into the Perlini shaker along with the other ingredients.

Gin & Tonic

  • Brasserie S&P uses homemade tonic syrup, charges it with water in iSi canisters, and uses the canisters until they're empty. They say this better integrates the syrup with the fizzy water than just adding a syrup to water in the glass.
  • Tradition uses homemade tonic syrup but puts it in a bottled G&T.

Long Island Iced Tea

  • Rye (this cocktail is sometimes a nightly special) uses cola syrup plus all the booze and carbonates the drink to order.
  • Tradition barrel ages the liquor, adds cola syrup, and makes a bottled cocktail with it. 

On Tap

  • Spoonbar adds already-carbonated Mexican coke and spiced rum to a keg, and charges it with another CO2 tank.
  • I'm not positive, but I think other bars mentioned in the story that are making carbonated cocktails put non-carbonated ingredients mixed together in a keg and it pours out with carbonated water, much like a soda dispenser in a restaurant. 

It seems bars are all still figuring out the 'best practices' for carbonating cocktails, and that makes it all the more exciting for drinkers. 

p.s. You can also find carbonated cocktails in the Bay Area at Elixir, Garcon and The Hotsy Totsy

Read my story in the San Francisco Chronicle here.

Get Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF.