I'm leaving tomorrow morning for San Francisco—one of my most favorite cities to visit. I'll be having a cocktail at around say 10pm PST at Bourbon & Branch with my SF-native friends Katie and Mark who will be in town from NYC. When it comes to booze, I trust their recommendations blindly. A few months ago I asked Katie what she was doing and she texted back: "Sipping a Pink Lady through a brass straw somewhere in the East Village." Bourbon & Branch falls squarely into the recent (past few years or so) speakeasy trend. Signs that you're going to one of these bars would be: they require reservations—sometimes even passwords, standing at the bar is strictly prohibited, photography is strictly prohibited and ordering a Cosmo is strictly prohibited. You can also count on bartenders (nay, mixologists) who labor over each drink order until absolute perfection is achieved. Similarly there's The Violet Hour in Chicago, Pegu Club in New York, etc., etc., etc. Some people get annoyed with the rules and the pretense of these kind of establishments, but I actually really like it.
More blogging coming soon from SF, stay tuned.