Menu Scout

What to Drink at San Francisco’s Award-Winning Trick Dog Bar

The establishment just won an award for the world’s best cocktail menu. Here are the five drinks you need to try if you visit.

Courtesy Trick Dog

While the cocktails at San Fracisco’s famed Trick Dog are world class, the establishment is unpretentious with a lively atmosphere. So much so that instead of a fancy intimidating leather-bound drinks menu, every six month the bar comes up with some kind of innovative and unique way to present its creations. In the past, there have been lists that looked like record albums, paint swatch samples and dog calendars. “We like menus to look like just about anything other than a cocktail menu,” states the latest edition. (It’s no wonder that Trick Dog just won the Tales of the Cocktail Spirited award for world’s best cocktail menu.)

This season is no different, drinkers are given what looks like a kid’s book called What Rhymes with Trick Dog?. The brightly colored volume could easily be mistaken for a classic Little Golden Book. Each cocktail has a page that includes a charming drawing (think 1970s PBS cartoon) and an accompanying silly poem. The best part? If you buy a copy ($35), the proceeds go to support McSweeney’s and SOMArts.

So the next time you’re in San Francisco you need to stop by Trick Dog. Here are five of the most interesting cocktails on its menu.

Broomstick Backlog

How does Trick Dog describe this drink? “Imagine if gin and tonics were even more delicious.” While that’s a lofty goal this cocktail certainly makes a respectable case by mixing Tanqueray Gin with Suze, apricot, white miso, lime and Kimino yuzu soda.

Jurassic Fog

If you like Whiskey Sours, you’ll probably like the Jurassic Fog. It’s a mix of George Dickel 8-Year-Old Whiskey, purple yam, cranberry, maple, lemon and walnut bitters.

Tantric Yule Log

Don’t wait for the holidays to try this complex mix of Mount Gay Eclipse Rum, Ancho Reyes Chili Liqueur, Averna, red grape, roasted green tea, mace and lime juice. After a mug-full you’ll be guaranteed to be jolly.

Last-Picked Demagogue

The Last-Picked Demagogue is like a taste of summer, with flavors and aromas reminiscent of a campfire, sunscreen and sweet peaches. It’s a combination of Unión Mezcal, Gustoso charanda, Cocchi Americano, Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur, coconut and grilled peach.

Picnic Snog

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I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a drink that calls for crackers before but the Picnic Snog includes Ritz Character-infused Don Q Anejo Rum. The special spirit is then mixed with Banks Rum, Amaro Montenegro, marash chili and lime.