A scholar's knowledge of tequila at Mosto 

Tequila on the brain: Mosto bartender Josh Forth has been studying tequila for a decade, and now puts his knowledge to work while serving more than 300 agave spirits offered at the Mission district bar.
  • Tequila on the brain: Mosto bartender Josh Forth has been studying tequila for a decade, and now puts his knowledge to work while serving more than 300 agave spirits offered at the Mission district bar.

Josh Forth is a Reposado guy, but it wasn’t always that way. The current bar manager at Mosto, a tequila bar that opened the day before Thanksgiving in the Mission district, grew up in San Diego knowing wine. And having bartended nearly half of his life, Forth, 36, who is also an artist in his free time, infuses his love for food into his craft behind the bar. And with more than 300 agave spirits on the list, tequila knowledge isn’t the only thing customers can be exposed to. For those wanting to leave a piece of themselves at Mosto, just look up. And for those who are hungry, Tacolicious is right next door. Open 5 p.m to midnight.

Mosto, 741 Valencia St., San Francisco, (415) 346-1966

What distinguishes this place from other Mission bars? The focus here is on tequila, for sure. So we try to showcase the versatility as well as the range that tequila has. We also try to showcase tequila as the beautiful liquor that it is. We try to come up with cocktails that are not only fresh and seasonal, we like to do everything from scratch in-house.

How did your education on various tequilas begin? Growing up in San Diego, I’ve traveled to Mexico. My grandparents had a place there when I was younger, so I’ve been traveling there for most of my life. I never really got super into tequila until maybe 2001. That was when I started going, “Ahhh, I really like this liquor.” I wanted to educate myself more. Then when I tasted them, I started realizing how different some of them were. Through that understanding, I started seeking out why they were different.

How is Mosto different from other tequila bars? Visually, it’s a very striking and comfortable place to hang out in. But I think the main thing about Mosto is that we want people to come in here and try something new while appreciating the classics.

You take a lot of pride in your prep work and fresh ingredients. How many hours do you put in on the prep side? I probably put in 20 to 30 hours a week just on prep alone. I actually have five prep employees, where that’s all they do eight hours a day. We’re talking hand-squeezing 40 to 50 liters of lime juice a day here. Everything is fresh that day.

What can people expect when they come here? They can expect a smile and a friendly face, and somebody who can show them about a really cool liquor without any attitude. Our bartenders are not too cool for school, they’re awesome people who like sharing and having a good time.

What’s with the jars hanging from the ceiling? It’s just a cool design idea. Joe Hargrave, the owner, has a really good eye. And he just wanted to have something where people could kinda put something in. People can unscrew a jar and put something in and screw it up. That way you have your jar here. There is some cool stuff up there. I would like to see all the jars to eventually be filled one day. That way people have a piece of it and we have a piece of them.

Tequila Sunrise

  • 2 oz. Corralejo Blanco Tequila
  • 2 oz. fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • Drizzle of housemade grenadine

Pour the tequila into a glass and build with ice. Add orange juice and grenadine and top off with an orange slice.

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