A guide to the best midday cocktail spots
A three-martini lunch is impressive for quantity--but not creativity.
Even though many of the city's best destinations for superb cocktails are only open at night, if you're strategic, you can drink well at noon. Here, a road map to a tension-free (and unproductive) afternoon:
Rickhouse Thirsty Fi-Di workers hit this bar after the stock market closes. For a sturdy liquid lunch, try the Rye Maple Fizz ($9), made with Russell's Reserve rye, maple syrup, an egg white and a splash of soda. 246 Kearny St. (at Bush St.); 415-398-2827 or rickhousesf.com
The Slanted Door The upscale Vietnamese restaurant in the Ferry Building has always been the place to bring clients--or your parents--for a well-mixed cocktail with a waterfront view. Order the bold Vieux Carré ($10), a New Orleans classic made with Cognac, rye and two kinds of bitters. 1 Ferry Bldg. #3; 415-861-8032 or slanteddoor.com
Absinthe Hayes Valley's classic brasserie is open for lunch every day except Monday. Consider the daily drink specials on the chalkboard above the bar; if those don't appeal, choose the sprightly Galapagos ($9), made with pisco and lime leaf muddled in pepper syrup. 398 Hayes St. (at Gough St.); 415-551-1590 or absinthe.com
The Alembic This Haight restaurant (pictured) began serving lunch after the New Year, which means there's less of a wait for its one-of-a-kind cocktails. Try the Vasco da Gama ($10), made with Buffalo Trace bourbon, garam masala-spiced apple syrup and a touch of smoky Islay Scotch. 1725 Haight St. (at Cole St.); 415-666-0822 or alembicbar.com
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