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Raising the Bar: The Refreshment of our Cocktail Program

February 5, 2013
Kirsty Gumina

Callan party at the City View Metreon

At McCalls, we strive to keep up with constantly changing trends while also thinking ahead of the curve with experimental and progressive programs. This couldn’t be more true when it comes to our bar initiatives.

Last fall, we sent 15 of our most skilled bartenders to one of the most prestigious and cutting edge mixology academies, The Beverage Academy at Bourbon & Branch in San Francisco. There, over the course of several weeks, our team refined their technical craft and explored the world of small batch spirits with some of the industry’s expert mixologists. Using tintures and herbs, they were trained to devise innovative cocktail creations and to realize the significance of fresh ingredients.

With this education and training, and an inevitable burst of reinvigorated confidence, our bartenders turned mixologists are charismatic, well spoken, and knowledgeable, keeping up to date with the ebb and flow of spirits and cocktail evolution. As such, the McCalls bar program promotes the utilization of fresh organic seasonal produce and herbs in conceiving unique cocktail concoctions that look to the future by infusing the old favorites of the past with the new inclinations of the present, but always including a twist, or spank, of our own.

Feel like whipping up your own cocktail at home? Try these two original recipes from our Beverage Manager, Roberto Franco.

Nonino Aperitivo

In a pint glass, mix with ice:

  • 1 oz. Hendricks Gin
  • 1 oz. Amoro Nonino
  • 1 oz. Cocchi Americano
  • ¾ oz. Fresh lemon juice
  • 1 healthy dash of celery bitters and a pinch of basil leaves muddled together
  • Spoonful of honey
  • Shake well and strain over a martini glass
  • Garnish with a spank of basil (slap the leaves on the back of your hand to release the aromas)

The Nutty Ginger

In a pint glass, mix with ice:

  • 1 oz. Aperol
  • 1 oz. Nocino Walnut Liqueur
  • 1 oz. Fresh lemon juice
  • Spoonful of ginger syrup
  • 2 healthy dashes of Peychauds bitters
  • Shake well and strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass
  • Garnish with fresh pickled ginger


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