Foodie Chap: Cantina, San Francisco
Shaher Misif found his beginnings at the Sir Francis Drake’s Bar Drake, that master mixologist Jacques Bezuidenhout developed to be an amiable lobby bar that echo’s San Francisco’s unparalleled bar culture and legacy.
Currently Shaher has been fortifying Cantina’s lively well-traveled bar focused on Latin spirits, begun by Duggan McDonnell.
Staying in-tune with current cocktail trends and culture, Shaher was recently named the champion of the 2012 G’Vine GCP worldwide bartender competition in Cognac, France.
“I have always been a fan of the circus; sitting in front of a great bartender can be exciting, when you put a bunch of them together for a night out, it could be the greatest show on earth.”
– Shaher Misif, Bartender
He also recently won the 2nd Annual San Francisco Bloody Mary Contest at the Sir.Francis Drake Hotel a full circle moment for him as this is where he started to make his name.
He credits his success to the bartenders and pals who sent him on his way, Guys like Kenny Luciano, Duggan McDonnell, Marcos Dionysus, Kevin Diedrich, just to name a few.
Bartenders are ringmasters, performers, craftsmen they are also therapists, listeners, healers oh so many different things to different customers. To me – coupled with a good cocktail – they are the reason I go to a particular bar or restaurant; Phil at the Residence, Jonathan at Piperade, Kevin at Grumpys. At Cantina in San Francisco it is Shaher who is the king of the castle.
Listen to the podcast to learn how this cool cat and lover of shenanigans got to rule the roost at one of San Francisco’s favorite hangouts.
5 Tasty Questions with Shaher Misif
1. Being a bartender to you is about what…?
It’s creating a culture, man. Wherever your bar is and wherever people like to hang out; it’s creating a community of people.
2. What are you most often asked by people at the bar?
“Can you make a fruity cocktail?”
3. What makes a great cocktail?
It just has to taste good, get you drunk too!
4. What’s your favorite bar to hang out at when you’re not bartending?
Cantina! It’s a fun atmosphere and you never know what’s going to happen.
5. At your last supper, who will be there, what will you drink, what will you eat and where will you be?
Last supper I’ll be at Scalas with Kenny Luciano, the best barback in the world, Jesus, because I want to challenge him to a cocktail contest, who can turn water into wine faster and we’d have a caprese salad to go with this Cara Mia.
CARA MIA COCKTAIL by Shaher Misif
1-5 oz SKYY Vodka:
3/4 oz Campari
3/4 oz Grapefruit juice
3/4 oz sugar syrup:raw sugar
1-5 oz tomato juice
Strained over crushed ice
Garnish of cherry tomato / basil /mozzarella
VOILA: An Italian style bloody Mary!!
(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)