Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Where to Drink: Wo Hing General Store


I'm always surprised at how little I hear people talk about Wo Hing General Store in the Mission. As the most recent addition of Charles Phan's Asian food empire, you'd think it had immediate street cred––especially in terms of cocktails. For whatever reason, though, Wo Hing isn't nearly as bustling as it should be. Noelle and I went back last week––admittedly, after Wo Hing's opening six months ago, we haven't made many as treks to the Mission as we used to––and found at that Wo Hing's drinks are just as excellent as we remembered.


Though the shelf is relatively small compared to many other bars, they are still able to mix and incredible range of cocktails.

Recently, John Codd (formerly of 15 Romolo, though he still works there one night a week) took over as bar manager of Wo Hing, and I must say that I like his style. Four of the drinks on the menu are thematic, and they change monthly. This month the theme is "infused spirits." The Currently Available (below) is from that set. The other, signature drinks are all John's.

Winter's Cup––homemade Pimms's, rye, congnac, lemon, organic apple juice, maple-cinnamon, and a splash of ginger beer. This aptly named cocktail brings together a cornucopia of fall and winter flavors; the maple and rye work well together, providing the foundation to this drink. The cognac and apple juice add a nice, fresh sweetness. The cinnamon comes out, accentuated by the beautiful apple garnish.


Currently Available––black currant infused scotch, yellow chartreuse, lemon, honey, absinthe. Please go enjoy this drink while it's still available (there's a pun in there somewhere...) because it's part of the rotating menu and will disappear at the end of the month. I loved the heck out of this drink, especially because the absinthe sings on the finish.


Rum Cocktail––rum, benedictine, gum syrup, bitters. The benedictine adds nice spice to the rum; this is a nice drink to sip long and slow.


Amaro Swizzle––Fernet, averna, cynar, lemon, cinnamon, bitters. Here's the swizzle part:


 You had to know that I was going to work in amaros in a big way into this post somehow. Here it is. This drink was maybe my favorite of the evening (which is saying a whole heck of a lot). John explained that he had to go very light on the fernet for it to work in this drink, offsetting it with a heavy does of averna. The balance is perfect. Even if you're not big into bitter, you can still enjoy the depth and richness of this drink.


The garnish is both pretty and utilitarian, offering a nice aroma to complement the drink. They also make it appear moody and emo, which is a nice touch. That may just be the settings on my camera, though.


If you're worried about the neighborhood, don't. They have a mean bouncer:


Tip: Ask for a "Rum and Oats." It's a hot beer cocktail that's currently off the menu, but will blow your mind. 

Wo Hing General Store
San Francisco, CA
584 Valencia St
Neighborhood: The Mission

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