Bar Manager, Bartender Erik Adkins, Slanted Door, San Francisco, CA, California, Heaven’s Dog, SOMA, Chinese, Financial District, Embarcadero, Asian Fusion, Modern Vietnamese, Emeryville, Oakland, San Francisco, New York, NY, Portland, OR, Oregon, Liquor, Spirits, Resources, Rhum, Rum, Whiskey, Vodka, Gin, Cocktail Books, Chateau Briat, Armagnac, Barbancourt, Blue Gin, Dudognon Cognac, Del Maguey Mezcal, High West, Rye, Whiskey, Hudson Whiskey, Tuthilltown

COCKTAIL RECIPES15_erik_adkins_recipes.html15_erik_adkins_recipes.htmlshapeimage_9_link_0
Q & A

Recommended By

- Thad Vogler (Bar Agricole in San Francisco, CA)


Erik Adkins’ recommendations on what and where to drink in San Francisco, Emeryville, Oakland, New York and Portland.


The Slanted Door

Financial District / Embarcadero

Asian Fusion / Modern Vietnamese

1 Ferry Building #3

San Francisco, CA 94111

T: 415.861.8032 (make a reservation)



Daily: 11am -  2:30pm, 5:30 -10pm

Mon - Sat: 11:30am - 3pm

Sun: 11:30am - 3pm

Heaven’s Dog



1148 Mission Street

San Francisco, CA 94103

T: 415.863.6008



Sun - Sat: 5pm - 11pm


Q & A With Erik Adkins

Q. Please tell us about your bar program at The Slanted Door:

Bar Manager Erik Adkins

Photograph courtesy of Erik Adkins

A. We are serving classic cocktails in our 180-seat restaurant. Our goal is to bring people into the world of craft cocktails by making simple, execution-driven drinks. 

The bar is ingredient-oriented. We process pineapples and apples daily on a hydraulic press and have the full support of our pastry department, which makes syrups and liqueurs for us.

We also support one of our bartenders whose company, Small Hand Foods, makes orgeat, gum syrup and pineapple gum.

Q. Is there a difference in the way you design cocktails for The Slanted Door from the ones at Heaven’s Dog?

A. At Heavens Dog, we have more cocktail savvy guests. The bar is off the beaten path, so most of our guests are there for the cocktails. We do more spirit-forward stirred drinks and use a lot of rum and brandy. The cocktail menu is based on the books of Charles H. Baker. We pull the drinks from his 1939 ‘The Gentleman's Companion’ and his 1951 ‘Gentleman's Companion: South American Edition.’

Q. Are there particular cocktails that pair better with Asian cuisine?

A. I take a more classic approach to cocktails and dining. Cocktails are great before a meal and after a meal. Wine is the best partner with food. However, if you are going to drink cocktails with food, I think that bright citrus-driven drinks have the acidity to stand up to food. The acid starts the digestion process by getting the mouth to salivate.  


Advice / Tips

Liquor Swap | Switch Out The Big Name Spirits With Boutiques

Erik Adkins’ Liquor Recommendations


Instead of Bacardi, which is neutral to a flaw, try the Barbancourt white rhum from Haiti. This rhum is made from cane sugar, rather than molasses, and smells like freshly-cut cane.


Bombay Sapphire is designed to lure vodka drinkers over to gin. Instead try Blue Gin from cult Austrian eau de vie distiller Hans Reisetbauer. He distills each botanical separately and vats them for his gin. It is a very well put together distillate.

Cognac / Armagnac

Instead of a big name cognac, try Dudognon. Dudognon is a small grower/producer that makes lovely cognac or get out of cognac all together and try some of the rustic brandies from Armagnac. Chateau Briat is one to look for.


If you like tequila and are not afraid of an intensely flavored distillate, then look for some of the single village mezcals coming out of Oaxaca. Del Maguey is one of the first importers of this rustic regional spirit. These smokey, salty, bright distillates are favorites of San Francisco bartenders and sommeliers.

Whiskey / Rye

If you want to drink whiskey, but don't want to support GMO corn agriculture, then try some of the small whiskey producers that are popping up around the country. I like High West out of Utah and Hudson from upstate New York. As these fairly young companies have time to age more whiskey, their product will only get better.

[See details.]

Cocktails | My Dessert Island Drink

Pegu Club Cocktail

It might be because it was one of the first drinks that excited me. It tastes antique, exotic, and familiar all at the same time. It’s romantic and not of this era. First served at the British Officers Club, of the same name in Burma, this mix of gin, curacao, lime juice and bitters is dry, brisk and to the point.



Find | Online Resources


If you want to get lost, really lost, in the minutia of cocktails, check out the spirit and cocktail forums on Egullet.

Alcademics | Cocktail Chronicles

I really enjoy Camper English's Alcademics and Paul Clarke's Cocktail Chronicles -- they are both true enthusiasts and great writers.

[See details.]

Find | Cocktail Books

Erik Adkins’ Cocktail Book Recommendations

Straight Up or on the Rocks | William Grimes

A must read for books about cocktail culture.

Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails | Ted Haigh

If you are looking for a modern book of vintage recipes that are ready to be made at home.

1934 Official Mixers Manual | Patrick Gavin Duffy

1927 Bar Flies and Cocktails | Harry McElhone

1930 Savoy Cocktail Book | Harry Craddock

For compendiums of vintage recipes.

1939 Gentleman's Companion | Charles H. Baker

An emotional favorite of mine -- part travelogue, part recipe book, part bon vivants companion. It’s a snap shot of drinking around the world in the 1920's.

[See details.]


Eat | San Francisco

Where The Local’s Go

NOPA | Bar Agricole | Slow Club | Delfina

Photographs courtesy of NOPA | Bar Agricole | Slow Club | Delfina


The classic industry hang out -- try their pork chop. They do everything right.

Bar Agricole

Besides having the most talented bar crew in San Francisco, they have fantastic farm to table food. I like the liver on toast and the half chicken. Bar Agricole is already a San Francisco classic.

Slow Club

I am always nostalgic for the burger at Slow Club. It’s a cool hidden neighborhood restaurant that has been quietly cooking great food since 1991.


I love the grilled calamari here. Go early or get a reservation, it’s on everyone’s list.

[See details.]

Classic San Francisco

Sand Dabs & Cioppino at the Tadich Grill

Photo Credit: Scaredy Kat [flickr]

Tadich Grill

For old school San Francisco, I would go to the Tadich Grill for sand dabs or Cioppino.

Hayes Grill Street

It’s thankfully lost in time. Get an iceberg salad with blue cheese or a Caesar salad and grilled local fish.

[See details.]

Off The Beaten Track

The Marshall Store

Photograph courtesy of The Marshall Store

Tomales Bay | The Marshall Store

A real find, no cocktails though. You get to sit by the side of the road overlooking the beautiful bay eating BBQ oysters and drinking bubbly. The store sells all of their wine at retail prices. Really off the beaten path.

[See details.]


Drink | San Francisco

Where To Go For Cocktails

Bix | Cocktails At Comstock Saloon | Irish Coffee At Buena Vista

Photo Credit: Bix | Comstock Saloon | summer park [flickr]


For a Negroni.

Bar Agricole

For a Ti Punch.


For a West Coast Pale Ale.


For a Margarita.

Comstock Saloon

For a Pisco Punch.

Buena Vista

For an Irish Coffee.

[See details.]

Drink | Emeryville & Oakland

Emeryville | The Prizefighter

We are all looking forward to The Prizefighter in Emeryville. 

Oakland | Flora

I always enjoy grabbing a cocktail at Flora in Oakland, across from the Fox Theatre.

[See details.]

Drink | Portland, OR

Teardrop Lounge

Photographs courtesy of Teardrop Lounge

Teardrop Lounge & Clyde Commons

If I am in Portland, I love the Teardrop Lounge and Clyde Commons. Daniel Shoemaker, the bartender/owner of Portland's Teardrop Lounge, is the hardest working bartender that I know. Daniel takes DIY to a ridiculous level.  Add loads of talent to tireless drive and you have the recipe for the Teardrop Lounge.

[See details.]

Drink | New York, NY

Death & Company | Little Branch | PDT | Pegu Club

Whenever I am fortunate enough to be in New York, I like to make a circuit out of Pegu Club, Little Branch, PDT and Death & Company.

[See details.]

City Guide

- Download the F.E.D. San Francisco City Guide


Details of Erik Adkins’ recommendations on what and where to drink in San Francisco, Emeryville, Oakland, New York and Portland.

Cocktail Recipes

- Fourth Regiment



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The Slanted Door | Heaven’s Dog - San Francisco, CA