Tonique (French)


1. A medicinal substance taken to give a feeling of vigor or well-being.
2. Giving a feeling of vigor or well-being; invigorating



1. A person with refined taste, especially in food and wine.
2. A person devoted to sensuous pleasure and luxurious living

This cocktail blog was created by a workaholic who resides in the food, wine and cocktail mecca, San Francisco, California!

Upon starting this blog I made a New Year’s resolution pact to take ALL of my vacation days for the entire year (a first) and in addition to the vacation pact, I travel frequently for work, which brings me to a myriad of cities across the USA and the globe. I have a passion for fine dining, exploring new places, and have always enjoyed a fine cocktail and a night out. Several years ago my passion for unique cocktails grew after tasting a spicy cocktail at STK in LA. It was the “Green Intensity” gin –  lime juice – serrano chili slices – basil leaves, and it literally blew me away. Ever since I sipped that spicy piece of heaven, I was on a mission to see if I could find another one, or convince the bartender to make me one from scratch. I found that many places were not willing, didn’t have the ingredients, or just thought I was crazy for liking a drink that could almost literally burn your lips off and that is where my love for the unique and different began.

Before each trip, I do a great deal of research, trying to find the most unique bars or restaurants with amazing drinks (with an emphasis on “spicy” (still one of my favorites). I look for places that specialize in unique artisan cocktails, creative drinks, mixology, places that have no-menu at all or unique cocktail lists, fresh ingredients they termed “farm to glass,” exclusive/selective bars, hidden bars, and members-only clubs. I love when a bartender’s passion for the art of the cocktail can be felt from the other side of the bar.

So how do I choose where to go? I start with tips from friends, lists like the 50 Worlds Best Bars, other blogs, magazines, and most importantly once I get to my destination I do a whole lot of asking, and update my list with tips from industry insiders and locals. I love predicting what the absolute best restaurants, bars, and places are, in advance. Look for some of these “Napkin Lists” on this blog!

All the bars, places, and cocktail reviews are based on my own tastes and preferences. I go to lots of places but only the BEST make it into this blog! I hope you enjoy, and if you do, please subscribe, comment, or send me a note!


Tonique Epicure
July 2013