It’s essential drinking for San Francisco bon vivants at this point: Head to 20th Street’s Trick Dog each time the uber-popular bar puts out a new zany, inventive menu. It’s one of the only bars in the city that’s made the World’s 50 Best Bars list, and it’s done so twice. Now the bar is bringing out its 20th roster of top-notch beverages, and the theme is all things maritime. Chalk it up to the popularity of shows like Our Flag Means Death and One Piece crash landing on everyone’s radar thanks to Netflix. Or just call it classic Trick Dog and walk the plank.
The Salty Dog menu brings a level of exuberance to both the drinks list and the physical design of the bar. Across the 16 new drinks, not including the Red Flag Fleet punch for groups of four or more, fans can find nods to real-life ships and vessels, ornate and floral presentations and garnishes, and five different rums. It marks the first time Trick Dog will change its interior to match the menu’s theme. The new drinks and refurbished space debuted today, January 8.
Keeping the Pirates of the Caribbean energy alive, there’s the rum-laden Queen Anne’s Revene. Named after the French ship made famous by none other than Edward “Blackbeard” Teach, Trick Dog’s riff on the real-life frigate incorporates whisky, bourbon, curacao, cold brew liquor, orgeat, mint, lime, even more coffee, and, indeed, rum. But there are many a mighty drink on the new line-up, each going for $17. The Elizabeth, starring Aberfeldy 12-year single malt whisky, comes gussied up with peanut butter and Sriracha. And, if those weren’t bold enough for the scallywag in the group, peep the Happy Delivery, a nod to English pirate George Lowther’s smaller ship. It comes with gin, plum wine called umeshu, pho spices, hoisin, and absinthe.
Trick Dog’s last few menus ran the gamut from ridiculousness to retrospection to the literary. The 19th menu was all about yoga and pooches, and before that, there was the 18th menu which doubled as a celebration of the bar’s 10th year in business and a look back on the various menus that made it so popular — but as a kind of museum exhibit. Last summer it was “In Good Spirits,” a poetry-themed menu pairing drinks with words. No matter the theme, portions of sales from the drinks and associated merch are donated to the Bon Vivants Scholarship, which goes through the Mission District’s ScholarMatch.
The new “Salty Dog” menu debuts at Trick Dog (3010 20th Street) 4 p.m. on January 8