“Cocktails are about something beautiful.” As I sat down with Foreign Cinema Bar Manager Nicky Beyries, this was one of the first things she told me. “They evoke memories or by mixing fun ingredients, we make new memories,” she continued. “I like to take great ingredients and be irreverent. The point is to let the ingredients speak for themselves” And that is what she does with her cocktails.
Nicky grew up on farms in Petaluma and Santa Rosa, which explains her appreciation for fresh, seasonal ingredients. With ten years of experience behind the bar, she joined Foreign Cinema in San Francisco last October. The current cocktail list is her first full cocktail menu at Foreign Cinema and I joined her at the bar recently to taste through her current list.
Since 1999, Foreign Cinema has been a destination that combines food, wine and cocktails with film and art. Nicky honors that tradition with a cocktail menu theme based on Jean Cocteau’s Orpheus Trilogy, a series of three films: from 1930 The Blood of a Poet, 1950 Orphee and 1959 Testament of Orpheus. Nicky explained that she loves “working within a theme and tying it all together but not in an over-the-top way.” The drinks are all variations on classics. After all, as Nicky said, “They are classics for a reason. The ratios work.”
Blood of a Poet (Square One Bergamot Vodka, Dolin Blanc Chambery, Salers, Gentian Aperitif, Blood Orange) – This drink is a play on a Negroni but unlike the typical red color, this is a white Negroni. There is no gin or campari in it. The vodka is unfiltered and the drink is super aromatic with a creamy, almost oily quality on the palate and with a citrus finish.
Eurydice (Wild Cupreata Mezcal, fresh lemon, English Mead, rich simple syrup, roseater, spun rose sugar rim) – Named after the wife of Orpheus, the smokiness in this drink is elongated as the honey from the mead shines through.
The Henchmen (High West Double Rye, Leopold Bros Aperitivo, Cocchi di Torino, orange twist) – This drink is a play on a Boulevardier and is smooth with caramel notes.
Chamomile Sour (chamomile-infused Singani 63, fresh lemon, rich simple syrup, egg whites, edible gold) – This drink offers a lovely balance of chamomile and floral notes with a nice citrus finish.
The Immortal (Bernheim Wheated Whiskey, all spice dram, lemon, bosc pear, cinnamon puree) – A winter whiskey sour, this drink is bright and refreshing but also has a warming feeling to it. It is tart on the front with an airiness in back of the palate.
Through The Mirror (aromotized wines, tangerine-champagne shrub, Mezcal rinse, orange twist) – This drink has a beautiful savory quality to it.
The drinks are all approachable and along with a good story, they are all the more enjoyable. Nicky has done a great job combining all of the elements. She is changing the menu quarterly at Foreign Cinema so it will be fun to see what she comes up with in the future.
2534 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110