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  • Writer's pictureJarnard Sutton

Behind the Stick with Eric Giger of Sycamore Den: How to make the Moonchild

If you're looking for a light, tart and refreshing adult beverage than look no further than the Moonchild from Sycamore Den, located in Normal Heights. Eric Giger, general manager, shares his refreshing cocktail with 'Behind the Stick.'



1 oz. Beefeater Gin 1 oz. Sauvignon Blanc (Sauvy B) .75 oz. fresh lime juice .75 oz. dry orange curaçao 2 dashes Angostura bitters 1 dash orange bitters Garnishes: Orange slice and lime wheel

What’s the origin of Moonchild?

I wanted to do a tall and refreshing spin off of the classic cocktail called the Pegu Club. The inspiration of splitting the base spirit of Gin came from when I was researching how to use wine in cocktails for a competition I was entering. How would you describe the taste to someone who hasn’t had this before?

Light, tart and refreshing. A tart alcoholic grapefruit soda. What would be the key component in this drink?

The Sauvignon Blanc for sure. It is Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand which is packed with grapefruit citrus flavors.

What reactions do you get from customers when they try this cocktail for the first time?

They love how tart it is. They see Sauvy B and curacao on the menu and expect a very sweet cocktail, so it is a definite surprise when the first sip is packed with grapefruit flavors.

The orange curacao is housemade, what's the process of creating this?

I wish it was a lot more exciting than it is. We add a rich simple syrup to the classic orange liqueur Grand Marnier.

What are some good dishes to pair this drink with?

You can pair it with anything really. I personally like it with lighter fare; cheese and crackers, salads, light sandwiches are great to pair.

General manager of Sycamore Den, Eric Giger, shows us how to make his refreshing, summertime cocktail, the Moonchild.

What kind of experience can diners have at the Sycamore Den?

Everyone feels very comfortable at the Den. The wood on the walls, and low warm lighting makes everyone feel very comfortable when they sit down with a drink. We won't judge if you don't know about or even like cocktails. We are happy to guide you in a direction of what we are hoping you will enjoy. If you want a beer and a shot, we are right there with you.

About Eric Giger

Are you from San Diego? If no, how long have you lived here?

I am from Woodland, CA just outside of Sacramento and came down to get degree in Kinesiology from SDSU. I moved away to Colorado when my girlfriend (now wife) got an English teaching job right after College in Colorado Springs. I have been back in San Diego for over three years now and loving it.

What's your thought process when creating a new cocktail?

It really just comes to me as stupid as that sounds. I walk my dog and ideas pop into my head when I see or smell something that pulls me out of a podcast that is in my ear. If my wife and I are in the car, we play a game where she comes up with cocktail names and I come up with new cocktail recipes on the fly. I am lucky to have friends that are willing to help me with an idea I have and improve on it as well.

Define the perfect cocktail?

For me, sunny equals clear bubbles and night equals brown liquor and sour or direct. I will crush gin and tonics or rickeys during the day, but when the sun goes down, I do not crave the bubbles as much. Beer is different, anytime is a good time for a beer.

Are you planning on creating any new cocktails in the future?

I am a bartender, there are always new cocktails coming at you from my well. What is one thing you wish people understood about bartending?

It is my real job. I take it very seriously. I try my hardest every shift to improve myself and provide a safe and comfortable environment for my guests. So basically I am trying to say is don't be an ass hat. What do you do in your spare time when you're not creating cocktails?

Walking my little dog everyday down Adams ave for sure. I try to grill as much as I can, I love asada and any meat in tube form. I have been known to drink a beer or two along with a bourbon at Polite.

Sycamore Den

3391 Adams Ave., Normal Heights. (619) 563-9019 or

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