Who to drink - Page 3

SUMMER DRINKS: Five bartenders look to the past to create some of the Bay's best cocktails -- and tell you what to sip for summer.

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Aurora Siegel I grew up in Hawaii where hospitality is key and a cold refreshing drink while caressed by a light breeze makes all feel right with the world. That background influenced my style on many levels, hospitality being the most important. I believe if you don't truly like serving people you shouldn't because it always shows. I happen to love it. The drinks I tend to create are often light and refreshing: four dimensional, not eight; balanced but not too complicated; drinks you can make in under a minute — with a smile, of course. So you can sit back and say all is right with the world, even without the tropical breeze!

SFBG What's your area of expertise or obsession?

AS My obsession is balance. Balance of sight, smell and of course taste. I'm often making ingredients to help me meld balance with speed such as my own home-brewed ginger beer, tonic base, and falernum.

SFBG What do you drink most during off hours? 

AS Pisco sours: I just love 'em! Or a good sazerac, negroni, or Old Fashioned. I like trying new drinks but a well-made classic will almost always win out in the end.

SFBG What cocktail is exciting you lately?

AS Robert Hess' Trident [with sherry, Cynar, aquavit, peach bitters]! I think it's one of those drinks that will go down in history.

SFBG Current favorite off-hours hangouts for food or drink?

AS Three of my favorite spots are Comstock for the whole package: good late night bites, great drinks, and real bartenders! Madrone on Divisadero: nice staff, good drinks, and unique music. Or Tony Nik's in North Beach, where the staff are true pros and drinks are good, too.

SFBG Your bartending playlist?

AS Anything from the '80s just gets my hips shaking, but I must say we have one of the most diverse and fun playlist at the Totsy. I'm almost always feeling the groove there!

 

JONNY RAGLIN

Comstock Saloon

A bartender for the past 16 years, Jonny Raglin is an English lit major with a sense of style that includes several evolutions of mustache. He started tending in SF over a decade ago at Stars, then B44, then the early days at Absinthe with Jeff Hollinger, with whom he eventually opened Comstock Saloon in 2010, a haven for classic cocktails in a historic Barbary Coast space with live jazz (and the occasional Gold Rush tune) and honky tonk and classic country vinyl Sundays.

SFBG Where did you grow up, and how did that influence your bartending style and taste?

Jonny Raglin I'm from Oklahoma. It certainly does influence my style of bartending. I'm cavalier, self-taught, hard-working, hard-headed, whiskey-slinging, whiskey-drinking, a lover not a fighter — except when fighting — and the fastest hand in the West!

SFBG What's your area of expertise or obsession?

JR My obsession is the 9/10ths of bartending that has nothing to do with "mixology." That is what I try every day to improve upon. Not to say I've given up on the drink itself, but I am certainly concerned with what Leary called "set and setting," i.e. a perfect cocktail can only be had in perfect company.

SFBG What do you drink most during off hours?

JR Margaritas with my wife. I typically order dry martinis at any given bar since its REALLY hard to fuck up cold gin.

SFBG What cocktail is exciting you lately?

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