07/26/2011 05:01 pm ET Updated Sep 24, 2011

Spicy Spirits: New Cocktail Menu At Dosa Valencia

After a brief closure, Dosa in the Mission opened its doors earlier this summer with more than just new bar stools--they now have cocktails too. While the Fillmore location has always boasted an impressive cocktail list, liquor is a new addition to Dosa Valencia. Following in the footsteps of the numerous single-spirit SF spots, Dosa is staying true to their South Asian roots and focusing on Gin.

Head bartender Lenny Gumm says the list at Dosa is rooted in the Spice Route with the use of classic Indian flavors like cardamom and coconut milk. "I find people naturally gravitate towards ingredients they like,” he says. Gumm focuses on isolating spices and making distinct cocktail flavors that lend well to the depth and intensity of Indian food.

One of the most impressive additions to Dosa’s cocktail program is the introduction of Dosa Blade Gin. Handcrafted in a distillery just south of the city in Belmont, Dosa paired with a personal friend of Mitra to create an Indian-inspired gin that’s exclusively theirs. The wheat and grape based spirit is infused with curry leaves, star of anise, juniper, ginger, cilantro, citrus, cardamom, coriander, black pepper and cinnamon and available exclusively at Dosa. (Story continues after slideshow.)

Dosa Drinks

While you can’t go wrong with any of the nine signature cocktails on the menu (five of which are exclusive to Valencia) these three bevies are perfect for a balmy summer evening:

The Kharbooza
: Only available on Valencia, its a blend of Dosa Blade Gin, cantaloupe juice, a Riesling reduction, lemon and ginger beer. Garnished with a lemon peel, it’s light, sweet, fizzy and thirst-quenching. The Kharbooza pairs beautifully with their chaat menu, especially the dhai papri or chaat rasam as well as the summer citrus avocado peach salad.

The Expat:
Another signature summer cocktail, the Expat is made with Square One Organic Botanical and muddled lemon, mint, honey, green cardamom. The earthy, refreshing tang of the Expact lends itself beautifully to some of the lighter dishes like the Prawn Molie or Hyderbadi eggplant.

Gin & Tonic: While you can get a classic gin and tonic at any bar in the city, Dosa’s version is a must-try. Made with Dosa Blade Gin and their in-house prepped tonic, it’s a smoother, sweeter take on this timeless tipple that complements almost everything on the menu.

Dosa on Valencia, 995 Valencia Street at 21st (415-642-3672 or

All photos by Shyla Batliwalla