In the number five spot is The Alembic. The employees are tattooed and the drinks are strong. The favorite was the Vasco da Gama, a drink served on the rocks with Buffalo Trace bourbon, masala-spiced apple syrup and Islay scotch. Not a whiskey/bourbon/scotch sort of person than gin it is. The Gilded Lily is a sparkling Chartreuse-and-gin cocktail because it is topped with edible gold dust.
Number nine is the Comstock Saloon. The new kid on the block this saloon has an old feel with the antique glassware and the delft tiles. This atmosphere is why the people started going to bars in the first place. The drinks favorites here are made without fuss and don’t get anymore vintage. Try the Pisco Punch (Pisco, pineapple gum, and lime), the John Collins (Genever, lemon, sugar and seltzer) and the Martinez (old tom gin, sweet vermouth, maraschino liqueur and bitters).
The Rickhouse is listed at number fourteen and this bar’s menu is twenty-eight pages long. Before you panic try the much loved Laphroaig Project. This bizarre yet satisfying drink mixes tropical flavors, herbaceousness, and peat.
The next Saloon really dates back to the olden days. Number seventeen on the list is Elixir. The second oldest saloon in San Francisco (est. 1858), Elixir mixes their cocktails with fresh fruit and herbs. Elixir is also picky about their barrel of hand-selected Buffalo Trace bourbon, which makes a killer Manhattan.
A mention on The Best Spirit-Specific Cocktail list is Smuggler’s Cove. The theme may be ridiculous but this bar is home to the best rum selection in the country. The Best Restaurant Cocktail Bar is Heaven’s Dog. It is a Chinese restaurant with pre-Prohibition cocktails like the Biarritz Monk Buck (Pellehaut Armagnac, yellow Chartreuse, organic ginger, lemon and soda).
San Francisco tops the list. I recommend you celebrate with a cocktail.