The Florist From Marc 49 Tastes Like Autumn

Dezman Turner heralds interesting occupations with September’s cocktail of the month, which combines gin and seasonal herbs and edibles.


The Florist at Temescal's Marc 49.

Photo by Lori Eanes

Welcome to fall, a delicious time when rich, herbal, aromatic drinks replace citrusy beachfront cocktails. At Marc 49, a hallway-shaped bar with iron chandeliers and lanterns that seem to have been imported from the Middle Ages, co-owner and beverage director Dezman Turner is serving a menu of mixed spirits that showcases nature’s most recent bounty.

The September spotlight is on Turner’s new creation, The Florist. “This is great for fall because we’re utilizing more herbs that are in season, not only things that are harvested, but things that are wild, especially within Oakland,” he said. “You can find lavender and rosemary everywhere.”

With an ombré sunset effect of colors, The Florist flaunts a beautiful aesthetic. It starts as a muddled topaz near the stem of the glass, then blends into a paler shade of golden-pink, and finally blossoms into a champagne-like sparkle at the rim. Turner finishes the drink by resting an edible orchid on the bubbly brim. The completed creation is, in essence, a flower growing from the earth and into the sunlight. At first delicate in flavor, the concoction opens with a herbaceous lavender taste that then becomes more robust, lingering on the palate the way a fine wine would. Patrons will be challenged to come up with a way to describe it that doesn’t include a garden or bouquet of fresh flowers.

For each menu of custom cocktails that Turner constructs, he begins by determining a theme. For September the focus is on celebrating illustrious occupations of the world, some frequently overlooked despite their importance (The Florist) and others hailed as the pinnacle of career success (The Astronaut). “I want to kind of go through these more eclectic kind of jobs that have a lot of relevance. You may not think when you’re a kid, I want to grow up to be a florist, but without it, we wouldn’t be where we are,” said Turner.

It’s an inventive motivation for designing a beverage menu, and it’s one that garners some unique results. If you’ve ever wondered what autumn tastes like, stop by Marc 49 to find out.


The Florist

1.5 ounces Sloane’s gin

1.25 ounces sloe gin

0.5 ounces crème de violet

0.5 ounces house-made rosemary gum syrup

0.5 ounces fresh lemon juice

2 dashes of lavender bitters

5 dashes of orange flower water

An edible orchid


Add all ingredients into a shaker and shake. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with an edible flower.

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