The Story of San Francisco’s Original Craft Cocktail

Before New York had the Manhattan or Boston had the Ward 8, San Francisco had the Pisco Punch. Born in the heyday of the California Gold Rush at the Bank Exchange Saloon, it was perfected by Duncan Nicol, a Scots bartender since eulogized by historian Herbert Asbury as “second only to Professor Jerry Thomas.”

For a city whose existence was negligible prior to 1848, San Francisco blossomed into the Paris of the West in the next few decades. Nestled along the Pacific Ocean, it...

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