830 25th Street, Golden Hill
Like New Yorker Tony Bennett singing his heart out for San Francisco, Counterpoint bartender Ryan Andrews has made the East Coast cocktail known as the Quick Fix his own — and in the process a regular fixture in San Diego.
“It’s a simple, delicious, refreshing cocktail that people have loved at every bar I’ve worked at in San Diego,” says Andrews, co-owner and co-founder of Golden State Spirits.
Although recently departed from Counterpoint to hone his craft elsewhere, Andrews stuck around long enough to see this pisco-based cocktail become a crowd favorite. Conjured by one of the accomplished cocktail crafters in the Big Apple cocktail scene, Michael Madrusan (PDT, Milk & Honey, Little Branch), Andrews says the Quick Fix has found a perfect home in San Diego.
“Everyone loves a boozy cocktail,” he says, “but nine times out of ten, if we ask patrons if they want something boozy or refreshing, they’ll say refreshing.”
Assuming it was named for its perky nature as a pick-me-up, Andrews says that his own take on the Quick Fix is anything but: “It’s a perfect-afternoon-and-I-just-got-off-work-and-I’m-sitting-outside-on-a-patio-in-San-Diego-and-the-sun’s-starting-to-dip-and-the-temperature’s-cooling-off kind of drink.”
The Quick Fix is a bit fickle in deciding what it wants to be, Andrews admits, but patrons are delighted with the variety and levels of flavor.
“You immediately think it’s going to be a bitter cocktail — then you think it’s going to be a citrusy cocktail — and then you think it’s a floral sweet cocktail,” he says. “The pisco is a fairly mild liquor — it’s kind of between a rum and vodka. Basically an unaged brandy, it helps back up the bigger players in the drink, the two types of citrus and the St. Germain.”
And although the pisco hangs back, Andrews says, it has its moment toward the finale as it slips in quietly behind the other ingredients’ glittering symphony.
“Pisco gives it that little funky, earthy grape flavor that you find in cognac,” he says. “It’s got that lingering grape flavor in the background, which complements the sweet notes in the elderflower well.”
How to Make It
- 1 oz. Portón or Barsol Pisco
- 1 oz. fresh grapefruit juice
- 1 oz. St. Germain
- 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker, shake it “fairly quick,” pour over fresh ice, and garnish with grapefruit peel.