If you break down contemporary cocktail culture as aficionados like Camper English are wont to do, you may be inclined to generalize that East Coast style (inspired lately by NYC joints like Milk & Honey, Little Branch, Death & Co., and Brooklyn's Clover Club) tends more toward spirit-driven drinks based on classic recipes, while West Coast style tends to be more about fresh, seasonal ingredients. The Alembic, up on Haight, might fall more in the former category along with Bourbon & Branch, but they have just as many innovative creations on their menu as they do classics. Bar manager Daniel Hiatt explains his creation, The Promissary Note, thusly:
One of our current and rather popular numbers at the bar is the Promissory Note, which was conceived at a very late hour for a Domaine de Canton ginger cognac liqueur competition. All of our original cocktails at the Alembic are fairly classically styled, most are indeed based on some old school concoction. I broke with that mold for this one and really set out to layer some flavors in a gentle manner, which worked out surprisingly well. Starting with a little Canton and dry vermouth, which I love as a combination, I started fleshing it out with a dash of this, a spoon of that. Sort of a new approach for me, but one I intend on exploring more.
The Promissory Note
1 oz. Domaine de Canton
3/4 oz. Noilly Prat dry vermouth
3/4 oz. reposado tequila
1 barspoon honey
3-4 dashes Absinthe
Stir ingredients with cracked ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with fresh grated cinnamon and a thin slice of radish.