There are times in life when indulgence is just what the doctor ordered. With that prescription in mind, we headed to our favorite “hospital,” the in-house bar and lounge at the Four Seasons. That’s where the gregarious and talented Sierra Zimei nursed our senses back to health with a decadent cocktail menu. It isn’t the cheapest place on Earth, but you don’t need a trust fund to sip on a “Trust Fund” ($14). Plus, we must say, you do get what you pay for: generous portions all concocted with meticulous care and only top-shelf spirits. The best part — besides the wasabi peanuts and yummy and zesty almonds — is everyone is actually really nice. We’ll be getting our bed rest here more often.
757 Market St., San Francisco, (415) 633-3838, www.fourseasons.com
Where are you from originally? Santa Rosa. I moved to London, though, in 1997 and that’s when I started bartending. Lots of gin and tonics and scotch on the rocks. Or rock, I should say. People would always complain I used too much ice.
Why did you move to San Francisco? For college. I went to San Francisco State, got my degree in speech communications and minored in political science. I wanted to be a campaign manager, but as I got close to graduation, I didn’t want to be a part of dirty politics. It seems like to be in that field, you have to sell a little bit of yourself.
So how did you get back into bartending? All through college I worked at a radio station doing promotions. I worked at Bill Graham Presents for a while, Channel 4 [KRON] for a while and, in between, bartending. I moved to D.C. for grad school and helped open the Ritz Carlton in Georgetown. Everyone was so nice and pushing me to do more drinks and be more creative. When I got laid off from KRON … it was tough. I thought maybe I should keep looking for a PR job, but do something low-key [in the interim] so I can buy a house and get married. That was over a year ago, and I’m still here. Life is funny.
If you could serve a drink to anybody, who would it be? Sharon Wright. She was the mayor of Santa Rosa and she was the one who really got me interested in politics. She took me to the Washington, D.C., [National] League of Cities conference.
What is the most luxurious cocktail you serve here? Courvoisier “Succession.” It’s $350 a shot.
Do you serve a lot of those? No. Usually at a wedding or something celebratory, someone will order it.
Do you get a 20 percent tip on that? It should be that way, but that’s always the dilemma: Is it harder to pour that than a $12 shot? But if you can afford to pay for a $350 shot, you can probably put 20 percent on it.
What’s the best tip you’ve ever gotten? Find the job that doesn’t feel like work, and you’ll be happy for the rest of your life.
The Trust Fund
1½ ounces Plymouth Gin
½ ounce St. Germain Elderflower liqueur
1 teaspoon orange marmalade
3 mint leaves
Shake ingredients together and pour over ice. Top with Champagne and serve with spoonful of cantaloupe “caviar.”