Peak-season produce meets fine spirits
This is one of the great neighborhood restaurants, but it's also a worthy bar destination. You can expect fresh and inventive here every time with classic cocktail sensibilities. The Evergreen welcomes spring with gusto in the form of citrus and herbs. Plymouth Gin and St. Germain accompany fresh kumquat juice, sage, and lemon. Smooth and bright, not one flavor overpowers the other, but all meld nicely. If tequila is more your speed, try the Malia with Pueblo Viejo blanco tequila, lime, egg white, cinnamon bitters, and a winning duo of quince and apple.
842 Valencia, SF. (415) 282-8283, www.rangesf.com
TRACK 42 AT 15 ROMOLO
Thankfully, this cocktail has been on the menu a while, a glass of layered delights from one of our city's best all-around bars, 15 Romolo. Track 42 ($12) is an exhilarating fresh garden of a drink made with 42 Below Manuka Honey Vodka, basil, unfiltered apple juice, lemon, and egg white. You won't go wrong with most anything on (or off) the menu, but this treat involves more complexity and nuanced flavor than the "vodka cocktail" label would suggest, and is a favorite among many, many delectable drinks. Other highlights: I love the Prohibition-era elegance, laid back staff, and legendary Chartreuse Gong Shows American Idol-like karaoke shows with judges, a giant gong if you suck, and, yes, shots of chartreuse for everyone. 15 Romolo is the bar I wish was in my neighborhood.
15 Romolo Place, SF. (415) 398-1359, www.15romolo.com