No Bars Open? No Problem: 6 DIY Cocktails Inspired by Local Mixologists

January 7, 2021

Moments of celebration look a little different this year. From virtual happy hours to in-kitchen fiestas, we’ve all spiced up our creativity with cocktails a bit lately. Although evenings after work look a little different for everyone this year, the persisting tradition of sharing spirits allows us to slow down and savor the moment. Luckily, bright, state-of-the-art kitchens here at The Harrison offer an ideal setting to try out some inventive mixology or perfect your favorite drinks with variations inspired by your city’s best bartenders.

Re-live pre-pandemic bar classics with Thad Vogler’s Cuban-style cocktails

Award-winning mixologist Thad Vogler is one of the city’s best-known barkeepers. Vogler was named one of Forbes Magazine’s most interesting people back in 2011, and has been recognized as an authority on craft spirits in the world of food and drink. Unfortunately, 3 out of 4 of his restaurants have had to close amidst the pandemic, but you can still enjoy star-quality drinks from your own home with signature sips from his award-winning bars. Settle into vacation mode with Vogler’s mojito variation developed for the Obispo — Cuban-style and steeped with mint. Another Cuban classic is Bar Agricole’s El Presidente Cocktail, accented by the refreshing citrus of curaçao. Alternatively, try out Vogler’s Agricole Mule, a variation of a Gin-Gin Mule that takes advantage of agricole rum’s gin-like, aromatic sugarcane-composition.

1. Thad Vogler’s Mojito
2. El Presidente Cocktail
3. Agricole Mule

Image: El Presidente Cocktail, Imbibe Magazine

Comfort cocktails from San Francisco’s no-frills favorite Mary Palac

San Jose’s favored Paper Plane bar is temporarily closed under pandemic restrictions, but their well-loved mixtress Mary Palac has shared a few of her top drinks that can be made at home.  Named a Top 4 American Bartender of the Year by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation, Palac refers to her style as low-maintenance, but hard-hitting. If you’re looking for one of her best-sellers, her play on Irish Coffee with its own kick – Chai-Rish Coffee – is the one to try. Alternatively, perfect the balance of delicate aromas and robust flavors with Palac’s Gunmetal Fix, which is gorgeous with its violet liqueur. 

4. Chai-Rish Coffee
5. Gunmetal Fix

Image: Chai-Rish Coffee, Punch

Want to stick with the classics? Take Caitlin Laman’s advice to perfect your drink

While nationally-recognized mixologist Caitlin Laman is currently based in Chicago, her most meticulous variation was developed when she worked at Trick Dog in San Francisco. Laman’s Manhattan is so simple, but is full-flavored and doesn’t skimp out on bitters.

6. Caitlin Laman’s Manhattan

Image: Laman’s Manhattan, Punch

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