Edit ModuleShow Tags

Raising the Bar

NYC transplants look to bring a taste of Manhattan to SD—and we’re not talking Big Apple-tinis


Published:

Erin Williams and Bek Allen bore firsthand witness to the evolution of NYC’s thriving mixology scene, logging time at Soho’s famed Pegu Club. It’s there they slung drinks and honed their skills under the tutelage of P.C.’s renowned owner and mix-master, Audrey Saunders. That experience inspired them to venture to a city with an emerging cocktail scene—our own—to follow Saunders’ model, and do their part to boost San Diego to the next level.

Enter Hush Cocktails, San Diego’s first women-owned and operated cocktail development company. Just months after moving to SD, they’ve already been tapped to establish the mixology program at Saltbox (1047 5th Ave., inside Hotel Palomar). There’ll be a number of original drinks, but the main thrust at this new gastro-lounge will be modern takes on age-old recipes. That’s fitting considering it’s those time-tested classics that first piqued Williams’ interests in adult beverages and continue to inspire her.

“In the beginning, I used recipes from long-lost books to make my first Sidecar, Hot Toddy, and a Salty Dog with a very old bottle of Boodles gin, and I continue to use the books as my guide to make, and perfect, the classics,” says Williams. “I think it’s important for people to be able to familiarize themselves with the cocktails of old. Without the Sour, Manhattan, Old Fashioned, and Martini, we wouldn’t even have a cocktail resurgence.”

With their first big gig under their belts, the dynamic duo (who are also a couple) have been able to breathe a little easier and take in their new digs. Their impressions of San Diego so far? “We love it here,” says Allen. “Everyone is friendly, the weather is beautiful, and there is so much potential.” Much as the classics excite her partner, it’s the future of places that are perfectly suited for mixology greatness that excite Allen. “This town is full of Xanadus—the amazing mid-century dives that look as if they’ve been preserved by a curator on the inside. It’s like stepping back in time. All these places need are great cocktails and bartenders who care about the craft.”

She points to the Red Fox Room and Hillcrest’s long-forgotten sore thumb, Pernicano’s, which she dreams of reopening with an amazing cocktail program. Transplants are commonplace in San Diego, but newcomers like these have the vision to help us grow upward as well as outward.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

San Diego Happy Half Hour Podcast: Episode 126

Pisco Carlsbad makes a big pivot, Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins and Javier Plascencia team up for a one-night dinner, and the Convoy District Partnership talks expansion and staying authentic

San Diego Happy Half Hour Podcast: Episode 125

Sidecar Doughnuts lands in Del Mar, a new pastry concept caters to gluten-free diners, and Urban Solace chef-owner Matt Gordon is back in the guest seat

10 Must-Try San Diego Desserts of 2018

Chocolate, fruit-forward, caramel-laced, and more—here are the 10 sweet treats that caught our eye this year
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. San Diego Magazine's Travel Awards 2019
    Cast your vote now for your favorite hotels, travel companies, and attractions
  2. Best Restaurants in San Diego: 2018
    San Diego's top restaurant owners, chefs, and bartenders name their favorite San Diego restaurants of 2018.
  3. Winter is Waiting in Montana’s Yellowstone Country
    Win a trip for two that includes roundtrip airfare from Long Beach and a stay at the Element by Westin in Bozeman, Montana
  4. First Look: Realm of 52 Remedies
    Wildly imaginative speakeasy cements the arrival of design to San Diego’s Asian food haven
  5. Incoming: The Hold Fast
    One of the country’s top sustainable sushi chefs is opening a handroll bar serving 100-percent local seafood
  6. Behind the Brands 2019
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions

Not Your Grandma's Orthotics

New year, new – shoe? Staying on your feet for long hours at a time just got a whole lot more comfortable with Wiivv’s BASE custom insoles

October is Rideshare Month

Join the Rideshare 2015 Challenge and get there together
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Connect With Us:

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sponsored

9 Questions Answered about Botox

Avalon Laser demystifies Botox myths and explains procedures

Win Tickets to the 41st Annual SDCCU Holiday Bowl

This year’s Utah vs. Northwestern match-up marks the Holiday Bowl’s second straight paring of teams that are ranked nationally in the top 25
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags