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  • Writer's pictureJenna Broughton

Cocktail Commentary: Third Rail

Updated: May 2, 2021

Third Rail

At the holidays, San Francisco empties out. It is the perfect time for trying new places or the ones that can be a challenge to visit when it is busier. One such area in the city that we don’t visit often enough is the Dogpatch.

An up and coming neighborhood, the Dogpatch’s DNA is grounded in grit and industry, but overtime has become a haven for creative types. The once under the radar district has found itself the center of attention as a renaissance marches through the area bringing with it bars and restaurants. Among the new places to arrive in the area is Third Rail, which promises craft cocktails and jerky bar.

Yes, you read that right…a jerky bar.

Faster than you can say Slim Jim we found ourselves in the Dogpatch at Third Rail. (Well not quite that fast, because let’s be honest you can’t get anywhere quickly on public transportation in this city.)

The idea of a jerky bar seemed so random…deliciously random, which makes you wonder why someone hadn’t thought of this before. Most of the jerky is served by the ounce — making it easy to mix and match. Our favorite out of the three we tried was the Cowboy Jerky, a perfect balance of spicy and sweet that was made with pineapple juice, onion and jalapeños.

But the jerky is just a mere accompaniment to the thoughtful cocktails. Arranged by style, the menu is broken down by appertif, citrus and spiritous drinks. I went with the namesake cocktail under the assumption that it had to be good if it is to bear the name of the bar. Made with Buffalo Trace bourbon, Lillet, honey, lemon and orange bitters, the Third Rail cocktail lived up to my lofty expectations.

In the early weeks of its opening, Third Rail was a quiet respite occupied by just a few. A true locals spot where you can marinate in all that is great about this city, without any pretensions. But it is a gem lying dormant waiting to be discovered, and it is just a matter of time before it is.

Visit Third Rail at 628 20th St., San Francisco, CA 94017

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