The 5 Most Popular Drinks on the New Pabu Menu - and My Favorite One
March 11, 2022
Pabu in San Francisco recently updated the cocktail menu with several new drinks. I met Mike Lay, Mina Group Director of Bars, who filled me in on what was new.
I asked the bartender working that shift what he thought the most popular ones were so far, and in his approximation they are:
1. Dance Battle: Espolòn Tequila, Midori, Lime, Cucumber, Lemongrass Yuzukosho & Fever Tree Yuzu Tonic.
It's all about the Midori in this one, though Lay says there's very little of it in the recipe. You get that initial burst of Midori flavor that makes you think it's going to be oversweet, but then it finishes fairly crisply. I enjoyed this one, kind of an outdoors summer drink.
2. Tokyo Drink '88: Cachaça, Pear eau de vie, Calpico, Lychee Lemon-Salted Sakura Cordial.
Another fun Japanese ingredient: Calpico. I'm always iffy on seeing Calpico in cocktails though, as it's sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. I think it's... a choice to have only Mexican Coke on the menu but HFCS in a drink. Too bad Calpico is delicious! I enjoyed the flavor of this cocktail well enough.
3. Knockout Mayhem: Montalobos Mezcal, Ford's Gin, Blood Orange Campari, Yuzu.
This one didn't rock my world. Nice cube though.
4. Super Sumo Smackdown: Wagyu fat-washed Toki, Lemon, Togarashi Cordial, Egg White
This one is held over from the previous menu. I'm vegetarian so I didn't try it.
5. M Bison: Cantaloupe-infused Montalobos Mezcal, Lemongrass, Lime Sherry, Yuzu Sherbet, Umami Salt, Togarashi Agave.
Another holdover from the previous menu. I had it the last time I was in - there is a skull shaped ice cube in the drink, so once people see one go out, other people order it, according to the bartender. The picture is from a previous visit.
Robot Worship: Shochu, Apple Brandy, Sherry, Lemon, Ginger, Barley
Shiso & Japanese Apple Soda.
But naturally I far preferred one not in the top sellers: Robot Worship. I admit I'm a sucker for shochu in cocktails - it makes the drink taste a touch malty. (Hmm, I bet a malted milkshake-inspired cocktail made with shochu would be intereresting....) But also there is apple brandy and sherry in the drink so I was onboard. Cute cup is a bonus.
Here are some other drinks:
ADVENTURE QUEST Grey Goose infused with vanilla bean, Mr Black Coffee Liqueur Japanese Insant Coffee, Okinawa Sugar.
FIRE FLOWER 18 Barr Hill Gin, Umeshu Sake, Yellow Chartreuse, Yuzu Bitters.
GALACTIC DEFENDER 9000 17 Toki, Umeshu, Suze, Lemon, Yuzu, Pickled Umeboshi, Honey.
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