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Friday, January 27, 2012

San Francisco's Top 10 Cocktail Bars

Posted By on Fri, Jan 27, 2012 at 11:15 AM

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Julio Bermejo behind the bar at Tommy's. - LOU BUSTAMANTE
  • Lou Bustamante
  • Julio Bermejo behind the bar at Tommy's.

8. Tommy's Mexican Restaurant, 5929 Geary (at 24th Ave.).

Get a coveted seat at the tiny bar and be rewarded with some tequila education and a perfect Tommy's Margarita (fresh lime juice, agave syrup, and your choice of tequila) by Tequila Ambassador to the United States Julio Bermejo. With the largest collection of 100 percent blue agave tequila around (in brands, vintages, and rare bottlings), it's worth joining Tommy's Blue Agave Club, which offers access to the most exceptional bottles in the library, but also teaches you about production, history, and enjoyment of tequila.

7. The Hideout at Dalva, 3121 16th St. (at Albion).

One of the best-kept secrets around is the tiny bar in the back of Dalva. Patrons can get inexpensive beers and well-made standards in the front, or craft cocktails made with exceptional spirits in the cozy back room. Staffed by a few of San Francisco's heavy-hitters, the Hideout ensures that there's always something interesting on the menu.

Comstock Saloon.
  • Comstock Saloon.

6. Comstock Saloon, 155 Columbus (at Kearny).

While we're mostly glad the arm-garter-and-suspender phase in the cocktail world is fading, the bar at Comstock is the exception. The historic early 1900s space, classic cocktails (including the Pisco Punch, invented a few blocks away), and saloon fare would make even designer T-shirt and jeans seem out of place. Saloonkeepers Jonny Raglin and Jeff Hollinger seamlessly evoke the Barbary Coast with drinks like the Martinez (old tom gin, sweet vermouth, Maraschino liqueur, bitters) and Hop Toad Cocktail (Jamaican rum, apricot brandy, lime, bitters).

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