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Duggan McDonnell has been a fixture on the west coast beverage scene for the past ten years and is finally getting the recognition he deserves. In addition to being named a Rising Star Bar Chef by this year, he was honored by Food & Wine Magazine as one of America ’s Best Mixologists, and also served as a Cocktail Designer for the Sundance Film Festival. McDonnell has an undeniable ease with guests and colleagues alike, an inventive spirit, and a knowledgeable, highly trained palate.

Duggan has shaken up a number of San Francisco spots, including the Repastoria Satyricon, the bars at the Clift Hotel, and Mecca. Prior to his work in San Francisco, he tended bar at Wild Ginger in Seattle, the area’s foremost Pan–Asian restaurant. Among his currently preferred mixology techniques is the use of essential oils that result in very focused, intense flavors. The practice originated from a fascination with healing and aromatherapy, and he creatively applied the technique to the bar.

McDonnell’s depth of knowledge and love for beverage extends beyond the mixed cocktail. He has toured wineries, distilleries, and breweries throughout the United States, Europe, Mexico, and Australia, and has also received Level One Certification in the Court of Master Sommeliers. Prior to focusing on a career in mixology, he served as a wine advisor for WinePro Services in Napa and Seattle, where he was responsible for selecting approachable, consumer-friendly wines for wholesale food centers, markets, and special events.

A graduate of Seattle Pacific University and a candidate for an MFA in writing from the University of San Francisco, McDonnell is an avid writer. For the past two years, he has been a contributor to SOMA magazine, writing features on cocktails, wine, nightlife and travel, in additional to developing signature cocktails for readers. Despite being inextricably connected to San Francisco’s nightlife scene, Duggan insists that he is truly a home-body who enjoys time spent with family and friends and life’s simple pleasures: a book in the afternoon sunshine, dogs swimming and running at the beach, and a pitcher of margaritas with loved ones.

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