Beretta: When a liquor saleswoman named Mona provided the inspiration for this drink, bartender Vince Lund decided it wasn’t a good name for a cocktail. But since she was from Los Angeles, he settled on Angelina. Lund, who previously worked in a British pub in New Orleans, loves classic cocktails and coming up with inventive variations on them. “I think this tequila is particularly oaky; it’s a beautiful spirit that lends itself well to many classic cocktail interpretations.” One of The City’s newest hot spots, Beretta fills almost immediately when it opens at 5:30 p.m. with a well-dressed crowd that is drawn to its esoteric cocktail selection. 1199 Valencia St. (at 23rd Street), San Francisco, (415) 695-1199, www.berettasf.com
What bartenders do you admire? Chris Hanna, who works at the French 75 in New Orleans. I think there are few things as civilized as having a drink when he’s at the bar. He’s got a great demeanor and sense of humor; he just has a wonderful way about him. Marco Dionysos at Smuggler’s Cove on Gough Street. He loves making classic cocktails and is just very knowledgeable. He’s a bit of a bookworm when it comes to researching his drinks and can make something on the fly, completely new.
What are your favorite bars? Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant in the Richmond. It has arguably the best selection of 100 percent agave tequilas outside Mexico. I always like going to New Orleans bars and having beautiful cocktails in historic settings. The Napoleon House is one of my favorite bars in the world; I go back there all the time.
What are your favorite drinks? Sazerac for cocktails. My favorite spirit is tequila.
What’s your favorite thing about being a bartender? I like creating something delicious that provides instant gratification on the spot. I like the way you can have a conversation with people that can change your life for the better.
What distinguishes Beretta’s cocktails? Premium spirits, fresh juices, great technique, good balance. Our drinks are great and we want them to be consistent.
Mix in cocktail shaker with ice; strain into cocktail glass, add brandy cherry; spear an orange peel on a toothpick over the glass, flame the peel briefly, then discard and serve.