Mixologist: At Bar Agricole, quality ingredients make the cocktail

Bar Agricole: The name, which means “farm bar” in French, conveys the owners’ philosophy and approach, stressing the importance of agrarian values by using premium products for the drinks and the food. Bar manager and co-owner Eric Johnson, whose 15 years of experience include such notable bars as Delarosa, Heaven’s Dog, Beretta, and Bourbon and Branch, speaks with passionate intensity about what distinguishes Bar Agricole. “We pay a lot of attention to where our ingredients come from,” he said. “It’s a fastidious point of view: Where do the pomegranates come from in the grenadine? It’s comforting and we’re prideful to serve someone the best.” Open for only a month, the exterior of this “modern, urban tavern” features historical corrugated metal and a 1,200-square-foot garden and patio, hidden behind the walls. Upon entering the futuristic, stark space, one is immediately struck by the shimmering skylight fixtures made from tubular glass that float down from the ceiling, conveying a sense of movement, like huge, luminous waves. They are remarkable and memorable, just like the cocktails. 355 11th St. (between Harrison and Folsom streets), San Francisco, (415) 355-9400, www.baragricole.com

What bartenders do you admire? Steven Aleshire, who worked at Mecca, showed me how important it is to be gracious. People do remember if you’re not.

There are a lot of exotic cocktails being served in city bars now. What’s your philosophy about it? Drink recipes were getting more convoluted, but it’s really not that complex. The real question is, does it really give you satisfaction as a guest? The simplest recipes have a huge amount of nuance — different types of limes and how you squeeze them. I try to use it as inspiration that can benefit the enjoyment of the drink.

What are your favorite bars? Heaven’s Dog. It represents perfectly the work that gets done there. Tommy’s in the Richmond. Owner-bartender Julio Bermejo opened up a world of possibilities to me and helped a lot of people. Harry’s Bar in Paris. Hence, the Parisian cocktail shakers that we use.

<strong>What’s your favorite drink? Tequila for spirits; Martinez for cocktails. The Martinez tends to be malleable enough to accept different types of base spirits. It’s the forefather of the martini.

What’s the most popular drink at Bar Agricole? The Presidente. It’s a Cuban drink that was one of the reigning cocktails of the Prohibition era. It can be luminescent on the palate. It’s very subtle, but when it all comes together it’s wonderful.

What makes a great bartender? Humility, attention to detail, doggedness. I had to learn 65 drinks when I worked at Bourbon and Branch.

What distinguishes Bar Agricole? The twinkle in the eye for this place came from our bartenders. It shows where we came from.

Star Daisy

  • 1 oz. gin
  • ¾ oz. Calvados (apple brandy)
  • ¾ oz. lemon juice
  • ½ oz. pomegranate grenadine

Shake ingredients together in cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a coupe (Champagne saucer) glass. Add a splash of soda water.

entertainmentFeaturesFood & DrinkFood and WineNEP

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

The Rev. Norman Fong of the Chinatown Community Development Center joined San Francisco city leaders and community partners in a “Campaign for Solidarity” at Civic Center Plaza on Saturday, Apr 17, 2021. (CraigLee/Special to the S.F. Examiner)
City launches ‘Campaign for Solidarity’ to combat racial violence

Mayor London Breed, the city’s Human Rights Commission and community leaders launched… Continue reading

Former Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs spoke to San Francisco’s new Guaranteed Income Advisory Group on April 16. (Courtesy SFGOV)
City launches task force to explore Universal Basic Income programs

San Francisco on Friday launched a guaranteed income task force that could… Continue reading

Muni’s K-Ingleside line will return six months earlier than previously announced. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
K-Ingleside train to return on May 15

Announcement comes on the heels of pressure from Supervisor Myrna Melgar

The Warriors will be back inside the Chase Center against the Denver Nuggets on April 23. <ins>(Chris Victorio/Special to S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Sports weekahead for week of April 18, 2021

A look at the upcoming major Bay Area sports events (schedules subject… Continue reading

Demonstrators march from Mission High School towards the San Francisco Police station on Valencia Street. (Jordi Molina/ Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Vigil, march honors those killed by police

Deaths of Daunte Wright, Roger Allen and others prompt renewed calls for defunding

Most Read