Smuggler’s Cove – Hayes Valley
My second stop on my night out outside of the Castro was Smuggler’s Cove. I have to say I love how they have renovated the space; gone are the cool green tiles of Jade, in are warm wooden textures everywhere and an over-the-top tiki/pirate theme. Also missing are the usual rows of flavored Stoli and Absolute, in their place rums from around the world and lots of rare liquors.
Obviously, I have been to a lot of bars and tried a lot of cocktails; in addition to this project, I am a bartender by trade myself. And I can say without a doubt that Smuggler’s Cove has the best cocktails I have ever tried. I tasted every single one of my friends’ drinks, and they were consistently well balanced, creative, and delicious.
The bartender didn’t miss a beat when I went off menu and ordered a silver rum fizz; he even added a few extra ingredients to make my drink just that much better. We had originally planned only to stay for one, but we ended up gabbing with the bar crew and drinking fancy cocktails until we were quite pleasantly buzzed.
We were even provided with entertainment, by way of a 20-something yuppie who spent 20 minutes arguing with the bartender and then the manager about why he shouldn’t be charged extra for a double. As we heard him say about thirty times, he was from L.A. and according to him bartenders in L.A. would never charge extra for a double. He was oblivious to our uproarious laughter until one of the bar patrons handed him a tampon and told him he probably needed it more than her. At this point he finally stopped telling everyone about the supposed drinking customs in L.A. and went downstairs, only after challenging her to fisticuffs! To the bar’s credit, all of the staff were extremely polite throughout this whole ordeal. At my bar he would have been out the door.
Next time I go to Smuggler’s Cove we are for sure ordering something in these:
San Francisco, CA 94102