If you know Johnny Codd at all, you will not be surprised by this picture.
Or this one.
Or this one.
Or this one.
That's because Johnny has been known for this kind of flair in execution at bars across San Francisco — from Wo Hing to the Coachman to Gaspar. He's honed a graceful approach to cocktails. It comes through in novel presentations and in well-balanced, sometimes unlikely, flavor combinations.
Johnny recently took over running the grandiose bar in the Tenderloin, Tradition. Tradition is a bar built on a concept that the name suggests: The menu pulls from all styles of making drinks — from dive bars to Prohibition, from tiki to British and Scottish. Such a wide variety of cocktails creates a ready stage for Johnny to play in what he does best: creative cocktail development.
As with his previous bars, Johnny is driven by an ambition to wow visitors. He always seems willing to go the extra mile to delight the most jaded bar flies with something new and cool in their drinks.
Want to meet the cocktails on Tradition's new menu?
Molecular - Ford's Gin, clarified lemon, gomme syrup (sugar), soda water, blue ice, soda, and juniper foam.
The blue ice isn't made of the stuff from the Easter Egg coloring kits when you were a kid. It's made from butterfly pea flower, an ingredient that is beginning to trend, both in the tea world and now up-and-coming in cocktails. It is a flavorless, organic leaf that turns from blue to purple as acid is added.
This drink itself is "molecular" for additional reasons. Johnny uses his coveted industrial-strength centrifuge in back to clarify the lemon juice, a process that removes all impurities and makes the juice silky smooth. On top, he adds a juniper foam made using an ionizer juniper. The result is a drink that is pleasantly clean, delicious, and slightly creamy. You could drink the same thing all night.
The Big Easy - Rittenhouse Rye, rum, vermouth, Benedictine, and Trinity bitters.
The ingredients list on the menu lets the star of the show surprise you: GOLD! Who doesn't love gold! Johnny garnishes the drink with a satisfyingly warm, glimmering gold cherry and shiny accent on the base of the coupe — all non-toxic.
The drink itself is a twist on a classic: the Vieux Carre, which is one of Johnny's personal favorite cocktails. Instead of the classic cognac you'd find in a Vieux Carre, Johnny swaps in rum and adds Trinity bitters (which has hints of orange and cherry) instead of the traditional angostura and Peychauds. Between the gold and the warm, classic flavors, it's a drink that'll make you feel you you're wearing an evening gown or tux.
The Parting Glass is a beloved drinking song sung at the end of the night in Scotland and Ireland. Johnny honors the tradition with a nice pour of Irish whiskey and spicy flavors that will warm you up as quick as apple pie. The drink is made from Bushmills Irish Whiskey, lemon, tree maple, baked apple, and ginger.
Two words: sparkle dust. Yes, there is glitter in this cocktail. Using, again, non-toxic magic, Johnny adds some sparkle to an otherwise stiff and serious drink. Tip: The glitter is best seen when stirring up the cocktail, so be sure to give it several whirls — because you can.
The rest of the cocktail is a deep and spicy mix that will make Old Fashioned fans happy. It is made from Monkey Shoulder Scotch, Tradition Amaro, smoked sherry, cinnamon, and silver dust.
Johnny is known for trying to make the details of a cocktail fun, and in this case he does it by toasting the banana garnish in this drink until it is warm and crispy. He also uses one of England's favorite tea, Yorkshire, and infuses it into gin. To that he adds, Bacardi 8 rum, coconut cream, and green pineapple — creating a creamy, but tropical, drink with a fragrant finish.
Johnny's nod to the British pub is funky and easy to drink. It uses Junipero gin — in the British tradition, of course — and adds to that house passion fruit syrup, lemon, rose, vanilla, and a bit of egg whites for froth.
The drink may look pretty and fruity, but beyond the pink is a complex cocktail. It's made of Reyka vodka, lime, Creme de Noyaux (made from apricot pits), black pepper, and a pour of bubbly champagne. Every menu must have a vodka drink, and this one has plenty of depth from the lime and black pepper.
Dive BarThis is not the typical beer with a shot you'd order at a dive bar. Johnny inverts it by offering a strong — but refreshing — cocktail with a shot of beer. The cocktail uses some strong stuff — like El Silencio mezcal, Chartreuse, and white pepper — but then cools it down with funky ingredients like lime and pineapple sorbet. Dry Pacifico washes it all down. If you're anything like us, you'll be returning to this fun pairing in the future.
441 Jones St, San Francisco, CA