SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — After a quick search on Google of what you can buy for $43 — 18,000 large garden ladybugs, a prank fake ultrasound pregnancy photo, a sign that says ‘If you quit once, it becomes a habit… never quit’ — the prospect of spending $43 on a martini made with genuine San Francisco fog sounds not only reasonable, it feels downright necessary.
Epic Steak, located on San Francisco’s Embarcadero added the $43 Fog Point Martini to its menu about a month ago. It’s made with Hangar 1 Fog Point vodka, an exclusive spirit, that’s so, so San Francisco.
“I knew it would be a niche drink,” says Nick Henry, the restaurant’s Beverage Director.
Nick has been working with Hangar 1 for a long time and created the cocktail for Epic Steak.
“I kept it really classic,” he says. “With vermouth, garnished with a lemon twist.”
The main ingredient? Three ounces of Hangar 1 Fog Point vodka, made with water harvested from the San Francisco fog.
Despite the abundance of brume in the Bay, it takes a whole day to harvest a few cups of the precious mist. Mesh ‘fog catchers’ perched high on the hilltops mimic the plants — drop by drop — turning fog into fresh water that is later filtered and blended with vodka from distilled premium wine.
You can’t even buy a bottle of Fog Point vodka. The website says it’s sold out.
“The fog catchers only harvest something like 600 litres a season,” says Nick. “That’s why it’s so hard to get.”
Hence, the $43 price tag on the Fog Point Martini.
“We have a some scotches and cognacs that cost more, but it’s definitely the most expensive cocktail on the menu.”
Nick says he only sells one or two a week.
So what kind of customer orders a $43 martini?
“It’s for a true vodka lover, probably from the Bay Area — who can appreciate the fog and the styling. Someone who wants to taste something really special.”
And what would Nick pair it with, besides the breathtaking view of the San Francisco bay?
“I always say that a vodka martini is a great compliment to a good steak.”
Check out the Fog Point Martini at Epic Steak, 369 The Embarcadero — San Francisco.
CBSSF.com writer, producer Jan Mabry is also executive producer and host of The Bronze Report. She lives in Northern California. Follow her on Twitter @janmabr.