Grab a D.B. Cooper cocktail and disappear at Prospect 

click to enlarge Prospect
  • Evan DuCharme/special to the S.F. Examiner
  • Prospect bartender Davin Affrunti creates the I Am D.B. Cooper.
This bar and restaurant is located at the base of the Infinity Towers building, surrounded by the ever-evolving South of Market. There are several construction projects underway in the neighborhood, including new high-rises and the new Transbay Transit Center. But within Prospect’s high ceilings and earth-toned walls, craft cocktails and contemporary American cuisine are seamlessly served to a mixed clientele of those wandering off the waterfront and others looking for a buzz and a bite. Sit at the communal table and sip an I Am D.B. Cooper, a rye-based cocktail with an evergreen nose and a long, sweet maple finish. The drink is named after the mysterious man who hijacked Northwest Airlines Flight 305 in 1971, using a briefcase that he said contained a bomb, before jumping out of the plane and disappearing into the Pacific Northwest wilderness. Those on board the flight reportedly recall that Cooper ordered a whiskey cocktail before his mysterious jump. Bar director Davin Affrunti, a screenwriter at heart, appreciates a good story behind a drink.

What kind of crowd comes this way? We get a combination of folks from the Financial District, kind of a crossover from some people who might be going to a ballgame and the locals. We’ve got the Infinity Towers right above us.

What’s your favorite spirit to work with? I’d have to say gin. My cousin and I used to take pulls from my grandfather’s bottle as kids. I like the different styles. St. George Botanivore has been my personal favorite.

What is your go-to drink? A black and tan. When it comes to cocktails, a Dark and Stormy has never done me wrong.

What are some of your favorite places in The City? Beretta is always a good time. The Bitter End. Smuggler’s Cove has its gimmick, but it’s one of those golden places.

So what did you do before you started working here? I was in The City until 2005. I moved away on my 22nd birthday and tried to do the ski-snowboard bum thing for just a season. That turned out to be more like four. Bartended at a place called Whiskey Creek in Mammoth Lakes. I’d work till 4 a.m., wake up to get the early tracks on the mountain, maybe take an hour nap and then do it all over again. When I came back to The City, I worked at Fly Bar.

Any quirky hobbies? Between reading and movie watching, it’s hard to do anything else. I love watching “Cash Cab” and playing trivia. My wife hates it when we watch “Cash Cab.” Sometimes I go to Blur on trivia night and I’ll play by myself. I take it more seriously than others do. I’m kind of the geek within. The encyclopedia of useless knowledge.

What kind of useless knowledge? I could tell you what city [Jimi] Hendrix died in. I could tell you a lot about Jim Morrison’s last days. I can tell you about those random things that no one seems to care about.

What do you like about working here? This is one of those places where you can proudly stand behind the food and the program. I love the creativity, the social aspect. I’ve become friends with a lot of my guests. That goes a long way. It’s a creative outlet. I come from a writing background. And I also have a love for cocktails. I’ve been able to bring the two together.

I Am D.B. Cooper

Douglas fir eau de vie

2 oz. rye

¾ oz. rosemary-infused maple syrup

¾ oz. lime juice

3 dashes Angostura Bitters

Rinse glass with eau de vie. Shake and double-strain remaining ingredients into an Old Fashioned glass with large ice cube. Garnish with slapped rosemary sprig.

About The Author

Rhys Alvarado

Rhys Alvarado

Rhys Alvarado is a cocktail enthusiast and sucker for soul and sweet reggae music. A food and drink blogger since 2009, Rhys has sipped his way from Hawaii to Santa Barbara and up the coast to San Francisco, where he's found a glorious wave of craft concoctions and expert drink-makers.
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