Califonia Bountiful
Home | Contact Us

Article

Raising a glass to the farm

Scott Beattie is a private eye of sorts. He travels to every corner of Sonoma County, in search of the freshest, most local and seasonal produce available.



Scott Beattie is a private eye of sorts. He travels to every corner of Sonoma County, in search of the freshest, most local and seasonal produce available.

Scott, bartender at the Cyrus Bar & Restaurant in Healdsburg, has an unusual way to showcase the best local ingredients - by mixing them into cocktails.

"I think over the last couple dozen years, people in Northern California have become a lot more food savvy," he said. "Now you're seeing bartenders like myself put just as much attention towards cocktails as a chef does toward his food."

Belly up to the bar at Cyrus and you're greeted by the usual vodkas, tonics and elixirs. But look closer and you'll see some unfamiliar things--how about fresh herbs and spices, as well as locally grown peaches, blackberries, and citrus?--and Scott wouldn't have it any other way.

The Cyrus Restaurant opened in 2005 but it was the front of the house, the bar, that almost immediately attracted the most attention. The bar offered something no one else did--the first of its kind in the nation--an American regional cocktail menu. With drinks like Thai Boxer, Blackberry Lick, and Creole Watermelon, it's not hard to see why Scott is creating a fan base as fervent and loyal as any chef's.

"I think the stuff we're doing at Cyrus is because of our access in the area to amazing produce," he said. "Healdsburg has two farmers' markets a week. And I've become friends with many of the people over the year. Many of them grow specific things for the bar. Every winter I meet with them and say, 'This worked out. This didn't. I'm curious about this. Can you plant it?' Then, come spring, these things start growing, they show up at the farmers' market and this really is produce paradise."

One of Scott's regular suppliers is Dry Creek Peaches, which has 1,000 trees, including 30 heirloom varieties of the fruit.

"What I love about them is they're using what's here and using it to its maximum," said farmer Gayle Sullivan. "Using the fruits and vegetables in ways you wouldn't normally think of, like a dried peach with a strip of peppermint on top of a bellini, just doing things that make it so much better."

For more information, visit www.cyrusrestaurant.com and www.drycreekpeach.com.


Follow us on: Facebook Twitter YouTube Pinterest Pinterest