BiteClub, Cookbooks

Cyrus’ famous bartender has left the building

If you've been to Cyrus, you've no doubt tried Scott Beattie's amazing cocktails - painstakingly-made drinks that include everything from dried lotus root to jasmine blossoms and egg foam with names like Hot Indian Date, Rhubarbarella and Huck Yu.
With a popular new book, Artisanal Cocktails: Drinks inspired by the seasons from the bar at Cyrus, you might think Beattie would be on top of the world. And he is. Just not at Cyrus.

ArtisanalCocktails.jpgIf you’ve been to Cyrus, you’ve no doubt tried Scott Beattie’s amazing cocktails – painstakingly-made drinks that include everything from dried lotus root to jasmine blossoms and egg foam. They’ve got names like Hot Indian Date, Rhubarbarella and Huck Yu.

Now a celebrated author with a new book, Artisanal Cocktails: Drinks inspired by the seasons from the bar at Cyrus, you might think Beattie would be on top of the world. And he is. Just not at Cyrus.

Beattie actually left Cyrus’ official employ early last summer and is currently waiting tables at nearby Scopa restaurant. Wait. Whhhhhaaaaat?

“I just needed a break. I’m not an incredibly ambitious person,” says Beattie. The depature, he assure BiteClub, was totally amicable and Beattie still consults for his pals at Cyrus, runs a cocktail catering biz, teaches at Relish and the CIA and waits tables four nights a week for his pal, chef-owner Ari Rosen.

It’s a bit surprising for anyone who’s seen Beattie work the bar at Cyrus to hear that he’s no longer rockin’ the Les Mars. Hand-picked to craft Cyrus’ renowned cocktail program, the Healdsburger’s intense devotion to detail — BiteClub once watched him cook simple syrup behind the bar — is legendary. Drying lotus root and pickling fennel isn’t exactly the domain of unambitious folks.

In fact, when I asked Beattie about grabbing a recipe from the book, he stiffened a bit, saying that the recipes really needed to be transcribed exactly. In detail, with accompanying syrup, pickling and preparation recipes. This is Thomas Keller-level cocktail making.

But with all the national media attention showered on Beattie and the Cyrus staff over the last couple of years, who can blame a guy for wanting a little time off to hang with his friends, drink a little wine and hide from the limelight. Even if it is flavored with Rangpur and egg foam.

Artisanal Cocktails, $24.95 from Ten Speed Press.

Oh, and if you’re worried that the cocktails at Cyrus might not be the same, have no fear. Beattie personally trained all of them to his exacting standards. So sip your Pimm’s Cup or Pomiranian with confidence.

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Comments

19 thoughts on “Cyrus’ famous bartender has left the building

  1. Davina at Johnny Garlic’s in Santa Rosa can multi task during busy times, carry on a conversation, AND make up new drinks that fit your taste buds needs on the spot. She has a great sense of humor as well. By far the newest up and coming bartender in Santa Rosa!

  2. Latitude in Rohnert Park makes great cocktails-also try Sally Tomatoes out in the old Hewlett-Packard campus off Valley House Drive-they make an amazing Bloody Mary with fresh tomato juice.

  3. Hello. This is Kim Ngo the owner from Saigon Bistro at 420 Mendocino Ave, SR. The bistro IS NOT FOR SALE. You need to talk to the owner to get the right source then post something on the web. As a writer you know better.
    Thanks!

  4. Willis Wine Bar does have wonderful food and Wine, but I have yet to have a cocktail there… Willis Seafood in Healdsburg does have a full bar, and does make cocktails, which are very good. If we are going to include winetenders, can we add the Wine Spectrum and a few wineries?

  5. The best drinks in Santa Rosa are made by Michael at Ca’Bianca at 835 Second St.,Santa Rosa. He worked at Oakmont for quite a few years, and learned from the old guys before coming to Ca’Bianca.

  6. The best drinks in Santa Rosa are made by Michael at Ca’Bianca at 835 Second St.,Santa Rosa. He worked at Oakmond for quite few years, and learned from the old guys before coming to Ca’Bianca.

  7. What bar here sold 12$ Martinis in 1995? Willis, Auberge, Barndiva, Maybe Hotel Healdsburg, just to name a few… Make fabulous cocktails too… With simple syrup to top it off. Maybe even fresh fruit….

  8. Yeah, Underwood does very well. And how about Stark’s? I’d like to see Graffiti rachet it up a touch, but probably one of the better Petaluma places.

  9. Maybe we should do a survey on the best bartenders in the county. Start the list with the crew at the Underwood in Graton, by far the best in the biz!!

  10. Geez, a lot of bar angst in these comments…John Ash is the only other SoCo place that I have been that had similar cocktails.
    I thought Beattie left months ago?

  11. Okay, fair enough. I’ll admit that I got over $12 cocktails in about 1995 — so I’ve been out of the market. And yes, I do slum it when it comes to bars (the clientele tend to be a bit less plastic-fantastic), but come on — I’m not exactly from the Planet Teetotaller when it comes to imbibing.
    I can think of maybe one other place in Sonoma County that made a decent cocktail (ie: nothing with Watermelon Pucker) in the last three years. Tell me, honestly, where you get a crafted cocktail in these parts. I’m not talking just a nice dirty martini, but the kind of stuff that Beattie does. i think its worth an investigation…

  12. Well I have never seen a bartender make ice either, but it also doesn’t take anything special. Most bars do not have a stovetop to cook it at behind the bar. Hence the need to cook it before hand… Dried lotus root is available from Bi-Rite in 5 gallon buckets also. Again, have you seen it locally grown? Great concept for a bar, but far from the first or the last. But from your use of vocabulary, hella, I am sure Cyrus is much nicer than the places you normally visit, I.E. “Dirty Bird”, 440, B&B, etc. Nothing wrong with those places, just none of their cocktails really require simple syrup to begin with… Cheers!

  13. Wow, I must be going to some seriously awful bars, cause I’ve never once seen anyone cook syrup at the bar. I was hella impressed. Okay, can we give the guy props for dried lotus root? You can’t tell me other bartenders do that.

  14. Yeah um I’m going to have to call ******it too… Making simple syrup is something Bartenders have been doing for eons and is anything but Legendary. Jump off the Beatis train and drink around you’ll find every bartender worth his salt makes his own syrup.

  15. No offense, but is cooking simple syrup- Legendary? Last time it was made it was well, simple, sugar and water heated to create a syrup. I would consider the food at Cyrus Legendary, not sugar and water, but thank you for the “Legendary” article.

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