Industry News

Scott Baird and Josh Harris Announce Formation of New Cocktail Consulting Business

Award-winning beverage industry veterans bring creativity, Barbary Coast history and hand-made approach to the cocktail scene.

Bringing more than 20 years of combined cocktailing, bar and restaurant experience and craftsmanship to the industry, Partners Josh Harris and Scott Baird today announce the launch of their beverage consulting company, The Bon Vivants. From creating original cocktail programs to leading formal educational training sessions for bar staff, The Bon Vivants offer tailor-made programs for clients based on talent, creativity, proven success and a bit of whimsy. The company also specializes in guerilla marketing and unique cocktail event design and execution.

Scott Baird and Josh Harris. PHOTO: LIZA GERSHMAN

Inspired by the Gold Rush–era “Barbary Coast” of San Francisco in the late 1800s, Harris and Baird incorporate the free-spirit nature of the city’s bars prior to the Prohibition in both their personal style and approach to cocktails. Based on a philosophy of only using the best and seasonal ingredients, their cocktail programs primarily focus on using spirits from small production companies and they create many cocktail components from scratch, such as syrups, tinctures and bitter. In addition to working with clients near and far, The Bon Vivants are in the process of launching their own branded line of aromatic bitters and hand-crafted bar tools, which are expected to be on the market by the end of 2010.

“Launching our own business has been a long-seeded dream of ours,” says Harris. “Scott and I work seamlessly together and the two of us helping clients in our native Bay Area and beyond reach their full bar potential speaks to the core of who we are.  The Bon Vivants are about fun, quality and excellence.”

“Creating a successful and memorable bar experience is so much more than just mixing the right ingredients,” says Baird. “The Bon Vivants want to help clients create bar programs and events that transcend the norm and inspire, quench and intrigue their guests on a daily basis.  From the initial idea conception to teaching proper execution, we do it all."

From San Francisco magazine to Imbibe and everywhere in between, Harris and Baird have been praised repeatedly for their cocktail creations and respected around the country for their creativity, talent and deep knowledge of spirits, cocktails and bartending.  The San Francisco Chronicle recently named them 2010 “Bar Stars” in their annual cocktail feature highlighting the rising local stars of bartending. The Lady Macbeth, a cocktail they created for a restaurant client in Washington, D.C., was recently selected by Details magazine as one of the top drinks in the country.

Both Harris and Baird have consistently won many industry awards for their bar skills, including Baird’s being named “The City’s Best Bartender” by Skyy Spirits’ San Francisco-wide “Mixology Madness” competition in 2009 and first place finishes in the Nirvino Navan competition in 2009 and the 2008 Macallan Amber competition.   Harris has taken first place in seven competitions in the past year with his original cocktail creations, including the Suntory National Competition, Cointreau’s Master of the Margarita, and the 42Below Vodka World Cup in San Francisco.

In addition to launching The Bon Vivants, Baird can be found behind the bar at 15 Romolo—a North Beach institution, known for its classic cocktails, upscale, inventive bar food and off-beat vibe and listed by Eater SF as one of the “Top 38 Essential Restaurants” in San Francisco.  He also serves as co-managing partner and chef, creating tempting dishes to complement the cocktail program.

About The Bon Vivants

Based in San Francisco, California, The Bon Vivants is a beverage consulting company that is dedicated to the betterment of everyone’s drinking experience, for both everyday consumers and seasoned industry professionals.  Led by Partners Josh Harris and Scott Baird, their mission is to help bridge the gap between the beverage industry and the drinking public through bar consulting, cocktail menu creation, special events, training and education and brand ambassadorship.  Specializing in original cocktail creation – be it a single drink or an entire bar program – The Bon Vivants work with a variety of clients across the country to “raise the bar.”  For more information, visit their website.  

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