All the Cocktails at Lazy Bear in SF
April 06, 2015
Lazy Bear is a ticketed-only restaurant in San Francisco with a lounge not-really open to the public unless you're having dinner. I was invited in by mixologist/bar manager/bartender Nicolas Torres to come in to give the drinks a try while the restaurant's guests were in the midst of the second dinner seating.
Pro-tip: If you're a cocktail writer but terrible photographer, you should make nice with cocktail photographers who are not writers, like Allison Webber. The photos below are all taken by her. She helped drink them too, which was very nice of her.
Though the cocktail program is a work in progress, recently expanding from a mere 4 drinks to 10 on the menu, currently most diners seem to have only one or two drinks from the list rather than drink throughout dinner or come in for drinks alone. There is no central bar (there is barely a bar area at all), but a lounge where people meet before dinner. Cocktails are available throughout dinner, but it's not the focus at the moment. Thus, Torres has created a drink program largely of subtle drinks meant not to blow out your palate before dinner.
Cara Cara Martini: Aromatized Wines, Mezcal, Cara Cara Fruit Shrub
This drink was low in alcohol and vermouth-forward, with only a half ounce of mezcal. It was one of the stars of the night.
Madre’s Reviver: Tequila, Kina, Lemon, Guava, Strawberry, Plum Eau De Vie
Citrusy and juice, with the plum spirit coming in at the end as a lovely finish.
Not Far From The Tree: Calvados, Oloroso, Apple Syrup, Black Lime Bitters
Sharper than it sounds, gives the (probably false) impression of booziness. Black lime bitters are made from dehydrated limes that are grated into a spirit.
Young Blood: House Aged Bitters, Orgeat, Lemon, Egg Whites, Overproof Rum
This is a take on the Trinidad Sour and I'd say is a vast improvement on the original. The aging of bitters mellows them a bit, and overall the drink is soft and light while still having the full bitters flavor.
Stalk Market: Fino, Dry Gin, Chamomile, Blanc Vermouth, Rhubarb Pickle, Celery
This is a bit crazy time, with Innocente fino sherry taking the lead and meshing uniquely with the celery flavors. One of the most ambitious drinks on the menu.
Burnt Monk: Chartreuse, Amontillado, Lime, Oro Blanco Shrub, Ango, Chartreuse Boba
This drink is so big in flavor (and it has an ounce of green Chartreuse) that servers only bring it with a warning. I would order it as a final drink of the night- if I weren't driving, of course.
She’s So Old-Fashioned: Single Malt Whiskey, Cinnamon, Shiso Tincture
Winner. Shiso and smokey scotch. Who knew? I'll take 7.
Thistle Swizzle: Genever, Cardamaro, Lemon, Ginger Shrub, Hibiscus, Candied Cardoons
A surprisingly delicious refresher. I think I'd order this cocktail second (after the Cara Cara Martini) if I were going to drink several cocktails.
Grandma’s Ghost: Mezcal, Gentian, Porto, Citrus Bitters
Sort of like a Negroni with mezcal for gin, Suze for Campari, and port for sweet vermouth. Wonderfully light/non-syrupy in texture though the mezcal smoke was a bit much.
The Perfect Twenty Dollar Martini: Monkey 47 Gin, Dry Vermouth, House Vermouth
Spicy and crazy due to the gin, and a bargain at only nineteen dollars.
So for now it seems you can only get these drinks with dinner, but I think they'll be opening the lounge after the second seating in the future. Save this post for when they do.
You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.