Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Friday, March 16, 2012

Drink of the Week: Sparrows in the City

Posted By on Fri, Mar 16, 2012 at 1:30 PM

  • Lou Bustamante

Head bartender Brian Means' new cocktail menu at the Fifth Floor offers some interesting and elegant choices. The Commodore ($13, Clement Martinique Rhum, blackstrap gastrique, lime, ginger ale) comes with a separate spherized cocktail (saffron gin, Campari, lavender syrup, lemon) sprinkled with dehydrated Aperol crystals, while the Nail in the Coffin ($13, Yamazaki Whisky, dry Madeira, Liqor 43, Fernet) has luscious whisky and spice flavors.

It was the velvety Sparrows in the City ($13, ORO Torontel Pisco, applejack, lemon, egg white, grenadine, bitters) that quickly made a birdhouse in my soul, with the perfect balance of sweet-tartness and floral-fruitiness. Exotic without becoming overwhelming, Sparrows in the City was created by Means as a twist on a Pink Lady (gin, applejack, lemon, egg white, grenadine), and the switch of spirits translates amazingly well. The gin botanicals are simply replaced with pisco fruit aromatics, an effective move. And the name? It was inspired by the Quechua word that translates to "little bird": pisco.

The menu is an impressive debut for Means, who finally gets a chance to showcase his talent after years working at bars around the Bay Area. His skill, keen palate, and good nature make him someone to watch. We Means it.

Fifth Floor, 12 Fourth St. (at Stevenson), in the Hotel Palomar, 348-1555

Lou Bustamante tweets at @thevillagedrunk. Follow SFoodie at @sfoodie, and like us on Facebook.
  • Pin It

Tags: ,


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"