Interview With John Codd of 15 Romolo

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15 Romolo is a North Beach bar in San Francisco that has been open since 1998. They aim to provide great cocktails and delicious locally sourced food without the attitude.

The Cocktail list is an ever rotating list of house libations and classic rifts. The menu is forever evolving and changing so there is always something new to sample. Its time to cast a spotlight on one of its bartenders and his drink the Miss Liliac Sour that was recently featured on the menu.

How did you initially get involved in bartending?
It’s a funny thing I went to 15 Romolo for the first time about 4 years ago and saw the passion and seriousness the bartenders took to their craft while having lots of fun. I knew then this is what I want to do. Now I’m working there and I’m enjoying every minute of it, but I got my first opportunity to bartend at the Grand Tavern in Oakland which is now a well-known spot for cocktails. Opened by Small Hand Foods’ Jennifer Colliau.

What do you enjoy most about bartending? Is it the customer interaction, the drink creation process, the comradery, a combination or something else entirely?
All three and more, the customer interaction is what keeps the job interesting. The drink creation process is what keeps it exciting. The comradery is what makes us feel like family.
What I love about bartending the most is that I continue learning more every day. There is an endless possibility to our craft which makes it interesting.

What is your approach when it comes to formulating cocktails?
Learning and trying new techniques from every great bartender and developing new ideas that no one has tried. Take one base ingredient and work from there. I also taste everything before it goes in the cocktail to see if it would be a good fit and figure the proportion.

What was your inspiration for the creation of the Miss Liliac Sour?
Romolo wanted to do a grape base cocktail menu. I tried to find something unique, so I made a red wine syrup. From there I developed the Miss Liliac Sour.

What is one drink on the new winter menu (15 Romolo) that you are most excited about and why?
There isn’t one specific cocktail on the menu. I really like the concept of the current menu using predominately sherry. It is hard to decide one drink that I’m intrigued by. I’ve never seen a menu like that, very original.

Miss Liliac Sour
2oz Rye
1 oz Red Wine Syrup (Syrah)
¾oz Lemon Juice
1/2oz Cocchi Torino
1/2oz Egg whites
First dry shake all ingredients together. Add ice, shake, and double strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

For Red Wine Syrup
Simmer one bottle of Red Wine (Syrah) over medium heat until reduced by half. Add 12.5 ounces of sugar and stir until all sugar is dissolved. Bottle and refrigerate.

Thanks again to Mr. John Codd for his time. If he is not behind the stick at 15 Romolo you can find him tending bar at the Wo Hing General Store where if you ask nicely he may mix you up a drink consisting of:
Rye, Dolin Blanc, Yellow chartreuse, Rothman Winter orchard apricot liquor, and topped with Campari foam.

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