Once again I was tasked with picking the 50 most iconic cocktails in San Francisco for 7x7 Magazine. The list used to be called The Big Drink: 50 Things to Drink in San Francisco Before You Die, but I, for one, am happy that we took death out of the equation.
When coming up with the list I need to include every possible neighborhood, which can be a challenge (GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER, NOE VALLEY). Then I generally look for very special cocktails that have become such classics at their bars that they essentially can never come off the menu.
It's not a list of the best cocktails nor the best bars in SF, but a focus on the getting around town to try exciting, iconic drinks. This year's list reflects the "tiki is the new speakeasy" trend with Last Rites, Tonga Room, Pagan Idol, Smuggler's Cove, and Zombie Village all on the list. That's a bit excessive!
The drinks/bars I'm most proud of (weird to say since I didn't do anything but pick them) getting include the Paloma Slushy at The Lark Bar, the Panyo Panyo at Kaiyo, and The Spritzzz at The Detour.
Anyway have a look at the list. You'll notice that there are a 51-53 appended to the list by the brand that sponsored it. Those seem like fine drinks but they're not my picks.