The Wilson isn't just a bar-within-a-bar with a 1930s gumshoe theme. Bourbon & Branch's new side project takes San Francisco's bar scene one step further down the path it has been traveling for the past few years. Bartenders have become cooks in their own right, brewing and infusing and stewing and concocting, taking ownership of the drink in ways we never imagined in the vodka-cran age. While the Wilson's cocktails can be ordered à la carte for $12, the preferred mode is to consume them as a $30 tasting menu — aperitif, "main," digestif...
If you're not in the mood for the tasting menu, the Wilson's cocktails can be ordered a-la-carte for around $12 each. Groups can order the $40 punch for four, served in a silver teapot.
"Get the Truth Serum. It has Highland Park 12 in it (an amazing single malt) and the other ingredients work in concert to round out this drink. You'll want a second but wait until the effects of the first kick in before making a decision!"
"Get the flight and follow your server's recommendations on pairing/pacing--it's well worth it. Don't expect to drive home as the third course packs a punch."
"Make reservations, and keep it small and intimate - the place is tiny. Visiting in pairs works the best."
The Wilson, a reservation-only, password-protected bar hidden inside an already-elusive bar, Bourbon & Branch, is taking reservations now.
It'll serve "investigative" cocktails made with the rarest B&B spirits and crazy tinctures/bitters (tobacco, sarsaparilla, etc.), a $30 three-cocktail prix fixe, and three boozy punches served in stainless steel, police-evading tea pots, presumably voiced by Angela Lansbury.