When planning a holiday party, many people spend so much time thinking about the food menu that they hardly pay any attention to the drinks. Instead, they make a last minute run for wine and spirits and let their guests pour their own libations. However, a haute hostess knows that the beverages you serve should be just as important as any other aspect of your party, so hire a bartender or two to fill glasses and shake cocktails. Not just any bartender, but a master mixologist from one of our favorite cocktail catering companies. Read on for the 411 on the top three cocktail services. Cheers!
One of the city’s first true mixology bars is Greg Lindgren and Jon Gasparini’s Rye in the Tenderloin. It opened over ten years ago and in 2006, the duo decided to take their successful business on the road, thus Rye on the Road was born. Now, they have eight satellite bars and cater roughly three events per week. The Rye on the Road bartenders are much more than your average joe and can make any cocktail you want. Be it something more on the complex side, like a Last Word with gin, chartreuse, luxardo, and lime juice or something as simple as an Aperol Spritz (aperol, prosecco, and soda). They also make their own syrups and tinctures, squeeze all citrus, cut ice from 300 pound blocks, and travel with glassware – because a proper hand crafted cocktail requires the correct vessel.
The newest mobile cocktail catering service on the scene is Bar Car, a sleek 1965 airstream trailer that’s been retrofitted and turned into a bar. “We bring the party to your home, your private tailgate, wedding or corporate event and free you up to enjoy your own party!,” says Bar Car’s creator, restaurant and bar entrepreneur Greg Medow. It’s an all-inclusive experience that involves no set up or clean up. Medow and his team bring everything – even ice. One of the great things about bar car is that it has local brews (Lagunitas IPA, Speakeasy Prohibition Ale, and Magnolia Kalifornia Kolsch to name a few) on a self serve tap. They also have a sound system that can hook up to an iPod, games like corn hole and ping pong, and a friendly staff to ensure that the host has the most pleasant experience.
H. Joseph Ehrmann is the mastermind behind one of the Mission’s most beloved cocktail havens, Elixir. His cocktail catering company, Elixir To Go, is an extension of the bar and provides traditional beverage catering like Rye on the Road, but also offers educational experiences and team building workshops. These interactive classes allow you to be the mixologist. More often than not, they are taught by Ehrmann himself. An expert barman and instructor, he can teach you the proper way to make a lemon twist while entertaining you with fascinating facts on the history of American whiskey. If you aren’t interested in learning bar tending basics, you can hire Elixir To Go to craft excellent beverages — either way you won’t be disappointed.