With a gin-centric menu featuring 30 different varieties of the unique and versatile spirit, Priscilla Young is quickly making her own niche in the San Francisco cocktail scene at Brasserie S&P at the Mandarin Oriental.
When sitting down at the bar, it is almost like a class on gin – Young knows the spirit up-and-down, back-and-forth. She makes her own tonic water (which she calls “Sensei”) and the Gin and Tonic is a major part of the menu (Project Gin and Tonic). Each of the tonics has a specific smell and taste, whether it’s fruit, herbs or even a medicinal quality. And Young pairs them perfectly with each specific gin.
But the Gin and Tonic is not the only cocktail menu item. Young mixes plenty of tried and true classics, but with her own twist. The cocktail list is not only impressive for the drinks and spirits – but the use of an iPad-like device with a touch screen enhances the whole experience. Mix and match gins, tonic water and other ingredients to your liking. It’s like an adult playground in the palm of your hand.
Young said she changes up the menu with the seasons, with spices, herbs and citrus matching with the spirits on her roster. “A lot of it really has to do with conversation. I will have guests sit at the bar who are not familiar with gin and want a rundown and sort of an education,” Young said. “Then there are those who are looking for a particular drink. So what I’ll do is give them something that is similar, but might have a gin that they may have never tried before or that I think works well with that particular cocktail. I don’t necessarily want to change their opinions but it’s nice to open up their minds to new possibilities.”
A very cool, elegant and relaxing environment to enjoy a cocktail from Priscilla and her staff or food at Brasserie S&P at the Mandarin Oriental.
Here are a couple of her most popular recipes:
1 ½ oz Oxley Gin
1 oz Madagascar Vanilla syrup
¾ oz lemon juice
3 wedges red grapefruit
4 red grapes
Glassware: 11 oz Mason jar
Directions: Muddle grapefruit, grapes and lemon juice. Add other ingredients and ice. Tighten lid. Shake hard. Unscrew the lid and float soda.
Indian Summer in Mt. Tam
1 ½ oz St. George Terroir Gin
3 oz Sensei Saffron Tonic Water
1 lime wedge
Stir until cold
Serve with Mt. Tam Flowers/Lavender in a vintage highball glass