(credit: Kimberly White/Getty Images)

Mixology is a term most commonly referred to as specializing in mixed drinks and cocktails, with specialized bartenders known as mixologists.  As one of the biggest foodie cities in the nation, San Francisco has a vast amount of choices for the mixed drink lover. If you want to take your mixology experience to the next level, the City by the Bay is the place to be.  We take a look at just a few of the top notch places to go—hidden speakeasies, modern day lounges, party club atmospheres, and even a pirate-themed bar.

Wilson & Wilson Private Detective Agency
505 Jones St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
www.thewilsonbar.com

A quirky “hidden” modern speakeasy located in the back of Bourbon & Branch—a bar within a bar—Wilson & Wilson Private Detective Agency is the perfect spot to get your drink on in the heart of the Tenderloin area. Keeping up with the Private Eye theme, patrons must fill out “documents” and input them in their “case file” to order drinks. Wilson & Wilson even offers classes in the form of its Beverage Academy for those interested in learning the art of mixology. Reservations are strongly suggested and are done only through the website—of course, a password is required for entrance.

Rickhouse
246 Kearny St.
San Francisco, CA 94108
(415) 398-2827
www.rickhousebar.com

After a long day at work, Rickhouse, located in San Francisco’s Financial District, is the ideal place to meet up with friends and de-stress. While the bar boasts a large menu of mixed drinks as well as beers, what sets this place apart from other happy hour hot spots is its mixed-drink punch bowl, which can be shared between two to five people (depending on how thirsty your group is!)  Other noteworthy libations include the Rye Maple Fizz (rye, lemon, maple syrup, egg white, soda and Angostura) and the La Bonne Vie (Plymouth, lemon and grapefruit juices, basil and bitters). As with many mixology bars in the city, seats fill up quickly, so best to punch that time clock and head straight over after work.

Wish
1539 Folsom St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 431-1661
www.wishsf.com

Stepping away from the speakeasy model, Wish, located in the South of Market (SOMA) neighborhood, brings a large variety of drinks to its mixology menu. The custom specialty cocktails are mixed with care by the bar’s expert mixologists. The atmosphere comes complete with a house-music DJ spinning every night, along with ample seating and modern décor. With San Francisco Giant’s AT&T Park located just down the street and a myriad of close-proximity music club venues, Wish is great to meet before your night begins or for a nightcap as things wind down.

Oddjob
1337 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
(650) 787-2432
www.oddjobsf.com

Another South of Market favorite is Oddjob, offering a dimly lit ambiance and a more sophisticated, non-hipster vibe. While there are plenty of creative options on the cocktail menu—like the Young Gun with toasted coconut brandy and coco nib bitters—Oddjob also has a word class mixologist on staff ready to custom tailor a drink to your specific tastes. So don’t be afraid to let your imagination run wild! Don’t forget to make a trip to the ATM beforehand; this a cash-only establishment.

Smuggler’s Cove
650 Gough St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 869-1900
www.smugglerscovesf.com

With numerous awards and accolades, Smuggler’s Cove, full of pirate-themed décor, offers a large menu of exotic cocktails and over 400 types of rum. The small capacity bar only seats 49 people at a time, but its size makes for an intimate experience and atmosphere. Add to the fun by winning a prize if you can drink your way through the whole menu (over time – not all in one sitting, of course).

Andrew Wilson started a music webzine to photograph and write about his favorite artists. He quickly notoriety as both a writer and photographer, and has since been published to a variety of national news sites. Andrew resides in the San Francisco Bay Area and is pursuing a degree in landscape photography.
 

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