IN THE SPIRIT FEATURING: FAITH XU, HOME BARTENDER

TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF:

I am a home cocktail enthusiast who loves experimenting with creative and classic cocktails. In San Francisco, fortunately we are spoiled by a huge variety of amazing cocktail bars. Watching bartenders work their magic to create delicious libations has inspired me to learn more about the craft, from the history and traditions behind spirits from all regions of the world, to the recipes, inspirations, and methodology to create these types of drinks in the comfort of my own home.

CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR MOST RECENT PROJECTS?

Lately I've been working on my website (barfaith.com), focusing on making it an easy-to-navigate resource for recipes as well as information about various bottles to stock for the home drinks enthusiast. Ultimately my goal is to help other home bartenders discover and sift their way through the vast world of spirits and hopefully inspire creativity and spark some curiosity along the way!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE RECIPE YOU HAVE COME UP WITH USING AN ACC PRODUCT? WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND IT? 

Smoky Gingerita. This spicy twist on a margarita is the perfect drink to transition into spring! With warm spice from the ginger and smokiness from the mezcal, this refreshing sipper drink hangs onto the last threads of wintry coziness while fully ready to shine at next outdoor BBQ. It's spicy, bold, and hits all the right notes to satisfy your thirst.

WHEN YOU ARE COMING UP WITH NEW DISHES OR DRINKS, DO YOU HAVE A SOURCE(S) FOR INSPIRATION?

Many of my drink recipes are inspired by cooking and food combinations...if I try a dish with unique ingredients at a restaurant, I try to think about how I can incorporate those flavors into a cocktail. Otherwise, I'm also very inspired by traditional, historical drinks...recipes that were originally created and imbibed during another era. I find the idea of tasting something from another time and place so fascinating, so creating variations of classics definitely drives a lot of my inspiration.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE RESTAURANT OR BAR, WHAT DAY OF THE WEEK DO YOU RECOMMEND IT, AND WHAT KIND OF EXPERIENCE CAN A VISITOR EXPECT?

I have too many favorites in San Francisco, but regardless of place, I definitely recommend hitting up the bars on weekdays - you'll get a much better feel for the vibe of the venue without the crowds. Some of my go-tos in the city are True Laurel, PCH, Smuggler's Cove, Pagan Idol, and Whitechapel!

WHAT INFO ABOUT COCKTAILS DO MOST PEOPLE MAKING DRINKS AT HOME NOT KNOW THAT WOULD BE HELPFUL TO THEM?

I cannot stress enough the importance of ICE as a drink ingredient! It's not just something to chill down the drink, but almost 30% of the drink is composed of the melted ice, and the dilution is critical to balance out the drink. Always use good ice; if freezer ice "tastes kinda weird," it will make your drink "taste kinda weird." Switch out your fridge water filter regularly, or just stock some bagged ice in your freezer for cocktails; it makes a HUGE difference.

FAVORITE ACC FLAVOR?

Smokin' Margarita 

WHAT TRENDS (EITHER LOCAL OR INDUSTRYWIDE) ARE YOU NOTICING TAKING SHAPE AND HOW? 

Fresh local ingredients, farm-to-table food culture extending to drinks, low proof cocktails.

ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE? 

Where to find me: instagram (@barfaith, @barfaithdrinks), youtube, facebook, twitter 


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