CATCH MIKE VEGAS AT CLOCK BAR - WESTIN ST FRANCIS, SF
Mike Vegas has been a bartender for 25 years. That’s right, since 1992...before ubiquitous smartphones and certainly before terms like “craft” or “mixology” were thrown around. Mike’s career aspirations started with law but quickly turned to what he calls Liquid Engineering, and he’s never looked back.
High-volume restaurants in Las Vegas were where Mike earned his stripes before relocating to the Bay Area to helm the drink programs at several well-known San Francisco institutions. Self-described as suffering from “Super Attention-Deficit-Disorder”, he now splits his time between Clock Bar in the St. Francis Hotel and Tony Nik’s in North Beach. The differences in location, vibe and clientele keep him on his toes.
When creating a menu, Mike goes into meticulous thought & detail: “You have to balance what’s available, so offer some items that are spirit-forward and some that are less so. Flavor profiles, acidity, sweetness, the number of layers…these are all things to consider.”
Mike has used Batiste for several years because “every good recipe starts with simple, highest-quality ingredients.” The Silver is “smooth & subtle, enhancing other fresh ingredients while lending a great grassy-quality. Batiste Gold is similar, but with rye whiskey hints that open up killer mixing possibilities. I also appreciate, and my guests love, that Batiste is all-natural and eco-positive. It’s nice to see things done the right way.”
Mike’s Holiday Batiste creation at Clock Bar is called “The Runaway Cable Car”. "It's an ode to a cocktail that Tony Abou-Ganim made a block away back in 1996, and was the first SF drink I learned. A modern rum-sour classic, I wanted to showcase the flavors of Tony's cocktail in a spirit-forward fashion that also displays the uniqueness of Batiste Gold."
Drop in on Mike to see a master Liquid Engineer at work, and hop a Runaway Cable Car!