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What to Drink on Tosca Cafe's Brand New Cocktail Menu

The new menu comes from Chad Arnholt and Claire Sprouse

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Tosca Cafe
Tosca Cafe
Patricia Chang

Tomorrow Tosca is starting up a new cocktail program by rolling out a slew of new drinks created by the award-winning duo, Chad Arnholt and Claire Sprouse of Tin Roof Drink Community.

Lauded best new mixologists last year by Food and Wine, Arnholt and Sprouse are now directing the national beverage program for all of April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman's renowned restaurants, which span from New York to San Francisco. This includes the beloved neighborhood spot Tosca, which has graced North Beach since 1919 and is Arnholt and Sprouse's first project for the team. Lachlin Bray, a Sydney native most recently at Kin Khao, will take on the day-to-day role of Tosca's bar manager.

The Drink to Get: The Fata Morgana

Many of us have not even heard of sparkling red, much less one incorporated into a cocktail. Now you can try it in Arnholt and Sprouse's funky and refreshing play on the old New York Sour. They pour together a clever combination of trendy and classy ingredients: Armagnac, Hamilton pot still Jamaican rum, lemon, a bright red sparkling Italian wine called lambrusco, and a touch of simple syrup. These unlikely bed fellows create a fizzy, tangy, and refreshing drink that goes down easy with food, and will pair well with one of San Francisco's temperate summer days.

Behind the Menu

The new menu plays off the bar's foundation of tweaked classics€” put in place by former bar director Isaac Shumway in 2013. This time, the duo is introducing a strong selection of Italian ingredients to pair with the restaurant's plates of bucatini, meatballs, pig ears, and more.

Arnholt and Sprouse showcase their diverse trademarks: Sprouse's eye for re-imagined classics and cleanly executed three- and four-ingredient cocktails, and Arnholt's prowess in creating house ingredients and bridging the divide between craft drinks and well-loved dive bar sippers. It was a relevant cross-section for Tosca, which has drawn North Beach neighbors and celebrities alike as regulars for years.

"There is a festiveness and fun to this place," says Sprouse, "and we wanted the menu to reflect that."

The result is clean flavors that are both classy and tongue-in-cheek, presenting their own versions of whiskey sours, Godfathers, and more. Check out the full menu below.

Second Rounds

Since one is never enough, here's what else to get:

Start your night with Even Steven - Light, savory, and bubbly, the Even Steven lets you choose between gin and vodka. The bar staff adds Marjoram, €”an Italian herb that is one of chef Josh Even's favorite ingredients, plus lemon, dry sherry, and soda water.

End your night with Godfather, No. II - Yes, this is the old sticky scotch and amaretto drink. But Arnholt and Sprouse spruce it up with two different scotches, amaretto, sherry, marachino, and a brandied cherry.

Leave it to the professionals with the Dealer's Choice: Arnholt and Sprouse are keeping the fun tradition of ordering a drink of the bartender's choosing.

Cocktail Menu April 216

Tosca Cafe

242 Columbus Avenue, , CA 94133 (415) 986-9651 Visit Website