Drink of the Week: Bitter Rivers at Hotsy Totsy

Lou Bustamante
We enjoy a well-made cocktail and are willing to wait as long as it takes for it to be made, but sometimes the focus of a bar visit is spending time with friends, not geeking out on cocktails. On busy nights, with patrons five-deep, we want something fast to get us back the socializing, and a shot and a beer isn't always what we crave. A few bars often mix up a punch to sell by the glass on those jam-packed nights, but the Hotsy Totsy Club is offering something unique: a bottled cocktail.

Order the Bitter Rivers ($7, Citadelle Gin, Aperol, grapefruit, lime, rhubarb bitters, water--all carbonated then bottled), and a short, cold bottle appears. The bitterness and fizz are light, refreshing with enough acidity to brighten up the drink and make them a perfect foil for the tacos ($1.25) sold by the truck parked in the bar's lot.

Owner Jessica Maria named the drink after one of her bartenders, Keli Rivers. "She laughed and liked double entendre for the name as she and the cocktail are both mildly bitter," chuckled Maria.

Hotsy Totsy Club, 601 San Pablo (at Garfield), Albany.

Lou Bustamante tweets at @thevillagedrunk. Follow SFoodie at @sfoodie, and like us on Facebook.
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