San Francisco, you drinker's paradise, you.
We've stumbled our way right through the pre-mixed bottled cocktail trend. And then by last summer, Perlini siphons and CO2 cylinders behind the bars at Harry Denton’s Starlight Room, Elixir, and Chaya carbonated our happy hours and we found out everything tastes better with bubbles. Well, Jasper’s Corner Tap pioneered both of those trends, and now, they’re on to the next with cocktails on tap.
Hard liquor (Fireball, Fernet, Jameson, Maker’s Mark) on tap -- at bars like Bullit, Tonic, Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem -- is one thing. Pre-batched, multi-ingredient cocktails available in one pour is another.
One of Jasper’s most requested cocktails, the negroni (Plymouth gin, Campari, sweet vermouth), is always on tap. Bar manager Kevin Diedrich rotates a second on-tap cocktail regularly - right now, it’s the Grand Promenade (Wild Turkey 81 Rye, Bonded Applejack brandy, benedictine, yellow chartreuse).
Not just any drink does well pre-batched. The negroni makes sense, because it is all spirits (no fresh fruit juice) and without the citrus there’s no worry of the components separating or going bad. The cocktail is stored in a stainless steel keg, just like beer, and bartenders batch out the cocktail in advance so that the ratio is the same and the taste is just as good as if they were making one negroni at a time.
Just a few blocks from Jasper’s, Grand Café has six taps, and we feel like the ratio of four designated for beer, two for liquor is just right. Green chartreuse (Fernet’s classier, prettier sister) on tap, as well as the “Grand Old Fashioned” cocktail - green chartreuse, bitters, and most importantly, Grande Champagne cognac.