Jackie Patterson

Heaven’s Dog, San Francisco

Born in Bethesda Naval Hospital and raised in Hawaii, Jackie Patterson’s journey to San Francisco has been an unconventional one to say the least. Ditto her journey to becoming a bartender, a job which Patterson has only been in since early 2008.

But what a mark she’s made on the San Francisco cocktail scene in two short years on the job. Turning in stints at Orson and Zinnia, and now splitting time between the SOMA noodle joint Heaven’s Dog and brand new Hayes Valley tiki lounge Smuggler’s Cove, Patterson has left behind her a wake of satisfied drunks sprawled across the entire city.

For a long while the cocktail scene looked like it would be deprived of Patterson’s talents. She turned in more than a few years at the San Francisco Art Institute, studying to be a ––, before the solitude and tedium of fine art finally made her snap. Starting over as a cocktail waitress, Patterson paid her dues until, almost by random, she entered a tequila-focused cocktail competition in 2005. Her variation on a mango margarita (with Campari and a chili powder rim) bested all comers, much to the anger of many a professional bartender.

The $200 in prize money didn’t do much for her career, but the membership in the U.S. Bartender’s Guild did, and Patterson spent the next few years immersed in what she calls the “bartender geek” community, soaking up bar know-how and reading the essential tools of the trade, including Jigger, Beaker and Glass, the bartending tome upon which the drink menu at Heaven’s Dog is based. Other passions include vermouth, Campari, bitters, and the classic daiquiri.

Fighting for acceptance and against what she calls the “pretty girl” stereotype, Patterson landed a bar manager gig at Orson in 2008 and hasn’t looked back. Today she spends four nights a week behind the bar and the other three hosting private events, reading, experimenting, and traveling far and wide in search of new inspirations and challenges.

Jackie’s Holiday Cocktail:

Seven Spice
2 oz. 7 Leguas Anejo Tequila
1/2 oz. Del Maguey Mezcal
1/4 oz. St. Elizabeth Allspice
Dram Liqueur
Scant 1/4 oz. simple syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Add all ingredients to a mixing glass, pour over ice in a rocks glass and stir. Garnish with an orange peel after expressing its oils over the drink.

– Christopher Null

Photography by Aeschleah DeMartino