Reading about cocktails is thirsty work. So this Cocktail Week, we connected with the brains behind some of the city's best bar programs, to get the skinny on the secret drinks that they usually only dole out to those in the know—some of which have been created exclusively for Eater SF readers. You won't find these printed on the drink list at their home bars, but from now through Friday, this secret menu of cocktails is yours for the taking. Collect them all!
The cocktail: Old Fashioned 17
What's in it: Wild Turkey Rye, Gran Classico, Jelinek Fernet, orange bitters
Why you should order it: Christopher Longoria's Old Fashioned 17 is a modern twist on the timeless classic. With color and an added dose of swagger from the Jelinek Fernet, it's the perfect accompaniment to cooler fall weather.
The cocktail: High Stakes
What's in it: El Silencio mezcal, lemon juice, Cynar, honey syrup, cypress bitters
Why you should order it: Smoky yet sweet, engaging yet complex. It's delicious.
The cocktail: Banana-flavored Daiquiri
What's in it: Banana-infused Wray and Nephew rum, lime, pineapple juice, and cane sugar.
Why you should order it: It's a delicious and fresh twist on an old tiki favorite.
The cocktail: Singapore Sling
What's in it: Overproof gin, Benedictine, Cherry Heering, pineapple, lime, cane syrup
Why you should order it: "Everybody knows this drink, and let's be honest, it has a bad rap as being too sweet or over-garnished. There's a bunch of different specs for this one, but I chose, in my opinion, the simplest form." -John Ottman, bar manager
The cocktail: Whiskey a Go-Go
What's in it: Eagle Rare 10-year bourbon, Amaro Meletti, lemon, cinnamon, Fernet-Branca
Why you should order it: The lemon and cinnamon offer the perfect balance to the bourbon, Meletti, and Fernet.
The cocktail: Red Velvet
What's in it: Cynar, La Pinta pomegranate tequila, mezcal, cinnamon syrup, Angostura bitters, chamomile bitters
Why you should order it: "It's the perfect blend of smoke and spice, with a subtle hint of sweetness and an additional layer of complexity from Cynar. Red Velvet is a celebration of fall and winter in a cocktail glass." -David Gallardo, bar manager
The cocktail: Wings of a Dove
What's in it: Ancho Reyes Ancho Chile liqueur, Los Altos silver tequila, and grapefruit juice. Over ice with a black and pink salt and Aleppo pepper rim.
Why you should order it: It's a spicy take on a paloma, honoring the thirst-quenching original while adding some serious heat with the chile liqueur.
Novela. [Photo: Patricia Chang]
The cocktail: Atticus Finch
What's in it: Evan Williams 100-proof bourbon, Earl Grey honey, and balsamic bitters
Why you should order it: "Originally debuted on Novela's opening menu, this twist on an Old Fashioned was extremely popular before we changed up the drink options. The drink is simple, yet seductively unique, and richly layered with unexpected yet familiar flavors. Novela is probably the only place in the world putting these exact ingredients into a simple three-ingredient cocktail—up and simple, but surprisingly complex!" -Alex Smith, bar manager
The cocktail: Classic Lolita
What's in it: Hakushu 12-Year Whisky, Okinawa Brown Sugar, Soda, Old Fashioned Bitters
Why you should order it: Like the name implies, the Classic Lolita is a playful update on a beloved standard.
Presidio Social Club
The cocktail: The Gunpowder
What's in it: Gin, lime juice, cane syrup, cayenne pepper. The drink is served up, with the cayenne pepper dusted over the top.
Why you should order it: "Aside from the fact that it's delicious, The Gunpowder is a signature Presidio Social Club drink. You could say that it's in our DNA. It was on the cocktail list for over 6 years, and our regulars continue to order it, so we've kept the ingredients behind the bar for them." -Scott Brody, bar manager
The cocktail: Pink G
What's in it: A bottle of pink gin, infused with lemon peel and bitters overnight and then frozen.
Why you should order it: "We typically shoot this with industry folks, or we pour it over a big rock with a twist. Freezing this gives it an amazing viscosity and texture. People go crazy for this." -Isaac Shumway, bar manager