Zero Zero: premium-quality drinks for premium-quality pizza 

The bar’s unique name derives from the premium-quality flour used to make traditional Neapolitan pizza. In Italy, flour is classified either as 1, 0 or 00, and refers to how finely ground it is. Doppio zero is the most highly refined and is talcum-powder-soft. Only open since July, bar manager Joel Teitelbaum attributes the popularity of this upscale South of Market pizza place to the dish’s enduring appeal and owner Bruce Hill, who perfected his pizza crust at his Larkspur restaurant, Pizzeria Picco. Zero Zero features two bars and a grand staircase leading up to a dining mezzanine. The main bar is downstairs, separated from the open kitchen and impressive pizza oven by the staircase. The place attracts baseball fans after games at nearby AT&T Park. Zero Zero, 826 Folsom St., San Francisco, (415) 348-8800,

How long have you been in the restaurant business and what other jobs have you had? I started working in the kitchen of a pizzeria when I was 15 years old in Ojai. I had a sales job but quit after three days. I told the guy I was a detriment to his company because I hated the job.

What do you like about being a bartender? There’s something about making good cocktails. Especially now, in tough times, people can’t go out so much because money is tight. You can make it a really great experience. I think a lot of people in the industry forget about that — they forget what it’s like to be on the other side of the bar or table.

Where would you like to go to have a drink? I’d like to have gone to Paris when Prohibition was going on in the U.S.

What was the inspiration for your Winter Apple Toddy? The beauty of this drink is it’s not anything inaccessible. It’s the season when people want nostalgic flavors like honey and apples, and it’s warm. I just like to make drinks that people recognize, but maybe in a way that they’re not used to seeing together. It adds a little seasonal flair.

What makes the cocktails distinctive here? If you use high-quality ingredients and you put them together right, it’s hard not to get a good result. Sometimes people try to outthink cocktails. It’s about balance.

What bartenders do you admire? Duggan McDonald at Cantina. Jeff Hollinger and Jonny Raglin of Comstock.

What are your favorite bars? Comstock, Cantina, Alembic, which has an amazing bourbon selection. Bar Agricole.

What do you drink? I like whiskey neat. I like Pappy Van Winkle — it’s a family business that was one of the first distilleries after Prohibition ended. Bruichladdich, a 12-year-old Islay single-malt scotch. Amaro Nonino, a special brandy from Italy that’s a complete spirit — sweet and strong.

What are the most popular drinks?
High Smolder, made with agave anejo tequila, jalapeno, housemade nectarine marmalade. That was so popular we went through 10 liters of nectarine marmalade in a month, using a bar spoon at a time. Spiced Pimm’s Cup. Yuzu Sidecar.

What’s the biggest tip you’ve gotten? $100. I chatted with a guy about his soup. He just wanted somebody to be cool, and he got exactly what he was looking for. It’s all about the results and doing things the right way.

Winter Apple Toddy

  • 1½ oz. apple-cinnamon-infused Beefeater gin
  • 1 oz. apple liquor
  • ¼ oz. lemon juice
  • ½ oz. honey
  • 4 oz. hot water
  • Serve in cup or tall glass. Garnish with apple slice.

Apple-cinnamon-infused gin: Put sliced apples, cinnamon into gin; let soak for a few days. Apple liquor: Mix together brandy, vodka, sliced McIntosh apples, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, simple syrup.

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Donna Domino

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