In opening a new bar in the space of the former Expansion (and, briefly, The Metro, 2124 Market Street), owner Shawn Vergara wanted to create an unpretentious neighborhood hangout that nonetheless served good cocktails. Blackbird transformed the previously dark space into a bright and hip lounge, and it fills a need in the Church/Castro area for a mellow, mixed bar where you wouldn't be ashamed to bring your mom.
The Grape Drink is one of the most unique and complex cocktails on Blackbird's menu, and Shawn describes it thusly:
A couple of friends and I were going through several cocktail books and came across something called the Jalisco in Difford's Cocktails #7, which we decided to try. It's a drink with muddled grapes and tequila, and we were missing a couple of ingredients so we ended up creating our own riff on it topped with sparkling wine. We tried it with several different tequilas and settled on Lunazul Blanco, which is a mild, citrus-y, silver tequila from Jalisco, Mexico that doesn't overpower the other flavors in the drink.
The Grape Drink
12 red seedless grapes
.25 oz agave syrup
2 dashes Fee Bros. peach bitters
1 oz. Lunazul Blanco tequila
2 oz. Varichon Clerc sparkling wine
Muddle grapes, syrup and bitters in a mixing glass. Add ice and tequila, and partially shave/crush the ice while stirring vigorously with a bar spoon. Double strain into a wine glass and top with sparkling wine. Garnish with one half grape in glass.