Black Sands Brewery is a new brewpub/cocktail lounge/restaurant on Haight at Pierce in the Lower Haight district of San Francisco. They're open for lunch and dinner, transitioning to being open all day long soon.
The space is nice and bright with lots of windows, a tiny open brewery in the back making the beers for the taps, has a mini-homebrew store open on the weekends from a little garage on the side, and blah blah blah how are the cocktails?
For this project they've brought on Nicolas Torres, who is also in charge of the cocktail program at Lazy Bear (read about the drinks here) and also pulls shifts at The Hideout at Dalva. He's there on a contract basis for a few months at least to get everything up and running. Torres invited me in to try the drinks, so I said yes, because duh.
NANA KNOWS BEST
Peated Malt Infused Bourbon, Chinato, Banana, Coffee Bitters
For this drink Torres took some of the peated malt from the brew shop and infused it into bourbon. Given the cereal quality of that, he decided bananas would make it taste even more like breakfast cereal and then why not throw on coffee?
Fino sherry, Dolin Blanc vermouth, Campari, Old Tom Gin, Salt
There is just a half ounce each of Campari and Old Tom Gin in the drink yet it tasted surprisingly bitter to me. It's lead by sherry/vermouth yet I would not guess it was "light" at all.
Chairman’s Spiced Rum, Swedish Punsch, Lime, Pineapple, Cinnamon
This drink sounds tiki but is served up, nice and frothy. It is delicious, bright, refreshing and tart. A big winner.
Dolin Dry and Dolin Blanc vermouths, La Gitana Manzanilla, Lovage syrup, "secret acid solution."
A take on the Bamboo, this drink has a bigger emphasis on the vermouth and less on the often-yeasty quality of the white sherries. Lovers of low-ABV drinks (like me) will go nuts for this one.
QUININE ‘N PINE
Genepy, Amontillado, Lime, Cherry and Pine Shrub, Q Tonic Water, lots of Angostura Bitters
Shrub and tonic water: So good together. I'm a sucker for shrub drinks (shrub is a syrup made with vinegar) in general, but this one in particular.
Mezcal Vida, Amaro Lucano, Cocchi Vermouth DiTorino, Lemon, Blackberry Syrup, Soda Water
Surprisingly refreshing for a mezcal drink and not nearly as intense/dense as it may sound.
Gin, Brown Label Vermouth, Apricot
A take on the 50-50 Martini, but made with Ford's Gin, Sutton Cellars' Brown Label Vermouth, with just a tiny bit of Rothman & Winter Creme de Apricot that you taste in the finish. Dry, lovely.
FOR EVERY SIN
Singani, Americano Bianco, Lemon, Pluot, Rosemary, Rose
The light spritz of rosewater really comes through on the nose of this floral drink, accented by floral flavors of Singani and rosemary. It's the pinkest of pink drinks.
That's all folks! I don't know enough about beer to say anything about it, and haven't tried the food yet (and you shouldn't take restaurant advice from a vegetarian anyway), but cocktails: yes.