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Drink 2014: Cocktail Listings 


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Smuggler's Cove: You don't need a treasure map to get to Smuggler's Cove, but you might feel like you're in The Goonies or Pirates of the Caribbean once you arrive: This Hayes Valley rum emporium is decorated with enough insta-kitsch pirate style to make you wonder if Captain Jack Sparrow were the interior designer. The bar boasts a selection of over 200 rums, so it would take many return voyages to try them all; with specialty drink prices starting around $10, however, you'll need to bring a few extra gold doubloons as well. And even with its upper mezzanine level and a basement cave, Smuggler's Cove fills up fast, so be prepared to cut through crowds — a cutlass might come in handy on those cramped, steamy weekend nights, but allow a frosty, sweet tropical drink to calm your overheated buccaneer spirit instead. 650 Gough, 869-1900,

Third Rail: Cocktails and jerky are on the menu at this railroad-themed Dogpatch bar from the team behind Range. The cocktails are mixed with a sure hand; the jerky comes in beef, pork, and veggie varieties. 628 20th St.,

Top of the Mark: This famed martini bar offers high-class wallpaper music on the weekends, including lounge piano, easy listening, classical, and some jazz combos. The best stuff comes late on Friday and Saturday nights, when the drinks pour with a heavy hand and the jazz bands blow with a little more gusto. One Nob Hill, 999 California, 616-6916,

Tosca Cafe: Dusky lighting, crimson leather seats, and a 45 RPM jukebox straight outta Frank Sinatra's dreams make Tosca a classic North Beach experience in every way — even in spite of a 2013 revamp from New Yorkers Ken Friedman and April Bloomfield. This bar treats traditional cocktails with deep respect, so if you want to experience fine drinking in a vintage environment, this is still the place. 242 Columbus, 391-1244,

Trick Dog: It may sound like the parody of a mixology bar on paper — cocktails have been themed around things like astrological charts and the Pantone color guide and have long ingredient lists with inscrutable tinctures and add-ins — but this colorful Mission cocktail lounge pulls off the conceit with intriguing drinks and innovative food. It's from Josh Harris and Scott Baird, otherwise known as The Bon Vivants, and they and their skilled staff manage to maintain their veneer of cool while staying friendly and on-task. 3010 20th St., 471-2999,

Trocadero Club: Dennis Leary and Eric Passetti's cocktail bar at the corner of Geary and Leavenworth pays homage to the city that has pretty much always had a bar named Trocadero, dating back to an old roadhouse in the Barbary Coast days. 701 Geary,

Vesuvio Cafe: You won't find too many poets holding forth at this legendary Beat Generation hangout — it's mostly just tourists nowadays — but Vesuvio still has artsy charm, history, and charisma in spades. The walls are packed with old paintings and pictures, there are plenty of angular nooks in which to sit, and there's nary a whiff of modern slickness anywhere. Head upstairs to the balcony if you prefer conversation or want to read that paperback you just bought at City Lights bookstore next door. The ghosts of Kerouac, Ginsberg, Micheline, and the rest of the Beats will smile down from on high while you sip and socialize. Even if no one delivers poetic orations here anymore, the Beats' indomitable artistic spirit still lives within Vesuvio's walls. 255 Columbus, 362-3370,

Virgil's Sea Room: The former Nap's 3 is now Virgil's, with cocktails named after local heroes like Warren Hellman, Sugar Pie Desanto, and Frank Chu. Between its retro gold-and-black wallpaper, back patio that often features pop-ups, and well-stocked jukebox, this has become the hangout for a certain group of creative twenty- and thirtysomethings. 3152 Mission, 829-2233.

Wild Side West: A cozy and charming lesbian saloon with ancient wood floors, warm fireplace, pool table, and a perfectly verdant backyard for those sunny summer afternoons. 424 Cortland, 647-3099.

Wilson & Wilson: Bourbon & Branch's new side project, a tiny speakeasy within a large speakeasy, is decorated in a 1930s gumshoe theme and requires online reservations and a password. Its bartenders have become cooks in their own right, brewing and infusing and stewing and concocting, taking ownership of the drink in ways we never imagined in the vodka-cran age. While cocktails can be ordered à la carte, the preferred mode is to consume them as a tasting menu — aperitif, "main," digestif — or a $40 punch for four, served in a silver teapot. You don't go for a drink. You go for a liquid dinner. 505 Jones,

Yoshi's Jazz Club & Japanese Restaurant: This ain't the old Fillmore jazz scene — where once small, smoky joints like Bop City reigned among the mid-century locals-in-the-know. This Yoshi's venue is upscale to the max. The longtime Oakland jazz venue that brings national talent to the East Bay now brings more of the same to a central-city location. The bar is an airy, spacious affair to get a cocktail and peruse the calendar, usually packed with top-flight players. Their food menu centers on Japanese items. 1330 Fillmore, 655-5600,


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