The Golden West Saloon has been in operation as a bar (additionally at different points a brothel and a boarding house) for over 125 years. In 2015, hometown sweethearts Jessica Morsell-Haye and Mikael Haye, in partnership with their dear friend Matthew Barnard, bought the place, fulfilling a dream at least ten years in the making. With the help of their friends, they lovingly restored the Golden West, retaining most of its old timey charm while building one of the greatest selections of small batch gin, whiskey, bourbon and tequila in Mendocino County. Still, don’t expect a cocktail menu when you come in; Haye and Barnard don’t want the place to seem too high falutin’. They embrace fancy-pants city slickers as equally as old timers who just want a beer and a shot. Whoever you are, make sure to carve out time on Sundays when they offer a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar that is not to be missed.
This cocktail, Verdant, is Haye’s recipe. “When I think spring time, I think of bees, I think of honey, walking in the woods, flowers.” Barr Hill Tom Cat Gin is distilled with honey, St. George Terroir Gin features coastal fir and sage, and together they create a drink that is one for the ages—just like the Golden West itself.