Skip to main content

BevX 2023: Cavaña Serves Up the Flavors of South America

Before opening Cavaña in January 2023, the management team took an in-depth South American research trip to understand the deep-rooted history of various Latin cultures. The rooftop bar and lounge at the Luma Hotel San Francisco — a BevX winner for Best Innovative Independent Beverage Program — has used that experience to create a beverage program that’s infused with Latin American spirit and vibrancy.

The expansive and well-curated selection of spirits includes high-end and imported mezcals, tequilas, piscos, gins and rum. Cavaña’s beverage director Emilio Salehi, bar manager Miguel Salehi and co-owner and managing partner Anthony Parks approached the program in a modern yet accessible way, showcasing native and unique Latin ingredients such as feijoa, yerba mate, mole, purple corn, uchuva, hoja santa and more.

Celebrating Latin American Culture

“At Cavaña, we’re passionate about Latin American culture and want to celebrate it with the world. That’s why we created a space where you can come to experience the best of Latin American food, spirits, flavor, music and hospitality,” Parks says.

“We draw our inspiration from a variety of sources, but the vibrant flavors of Latin America are always at the heart of everything we do,” he adds. “We love to find unique and unexpected pairings, such as coconut and coffee, charred corn and pasilla chile, or sweet peppers with cactus. We also take inspiration from classic Latin American cocktails and recipes, which serve as guiding ideas for our menu.”

Cavaña’s Caña Parchita cocktail, with Oaxacan aguardiente, bajan rum, passionfruit, coconut ancho chile, lime.

Cavaña celebrates the spirits of central and South America with its expansive collection of sugar-cane and agave distillates. The bar boasts natural wines from Chile, Argentina, Spain and California. The bottle service is an experience resembling that of a sommelier, with tableside preparation of assorted seasonal fruits, agua frescas and house-made pairing salts.

The restaurant takes a contemporary and innovative approach to cocktails, enhancing its energetic social atmosphere. Drinks such as the Palo Mandarina, with Mexico City gin, mandarin, palo santo and goldenberry, the Kiwi Hoja, with Bolivian brandy, mezcal, kiwi, hoja santa, lime and milk clarified, and others, do not disappoint.

Daring Menus Pose Challenges

While developing and implementing the cocktail menu, Parks notes that they faced quite a bit of self-inflicted challenges by using lesser-known ingredients. Applying an aromatic wood like palo santo in a Martini-style cocktail sounds like an exciting idea on the surface, but there was planty of trial and error for the Cavaña team to get this drink right.

“Another challenge was sourcing some of the ingredients we wanted to use. For example, we had a hard time finding a steady supply of hoja santa, a Mexican herb we use for our Kiwi Hoja cocktail,” says Parks. “We were initially sourcing it from the backyard of a local culinary professor. Being creative and using lesser-known ingredients isn’t always convenient, but it’s always been worth it to us.”

Cavaña offers substance beyond the beautiful views, with a carefully curated beverage program and a passionate team that delivers a memorable and high-value experience. Each visit is an opportunity to discover a new Latin-inspired musical talent or favorite libation, capturing the attention of both new and returning guests

The post BevX 2023: Cavaña Serves Up the Flavors of South America appeared first on Cheers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.