Reza Esmaili

reza-esmaili-largeOriginally from Tehran, Iran but raised in Marin County, California, Reza Esmaili has been working in San Francisco restaurants, hotels, bars and nightclubs for the past 24 years.

Reza established his career at the Fairmont Hotel on San Francisco’s Nob Hill and then at Gordon’s House of Fine Eats, where he managed one of the city’s first craft cocktail programs. He then joined the team as a partner at Pesce Seafood Bar, creating cocktails paired with the restaurant’s northern Italian food menu. Reza has consulted on the launch of other beloved San Francisco bars and restaurants like Conduit, Zare at Fly Trap, along with being a part of the opening teams at Smuggler’s Cove and Honor Bar.

In 2011, Reza launched his consultancy company called Ananas (Farsi for pineapple, the symbol of hospitality) where he creates cocktail programs and consults on restaurant launches and special events. In 2012, Ananas was tapped to redevelop the bar programs for Project One Gallery and the historic Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley.

In the spring of 2013, Reza joined forces with Stag Dining Group to launch Derby Cocktail Co., a Southern-inspired mobile cocktail and food offering that serves boozy snow cones and other fun, refreshing libations.

He has been using The Perfect Purée products for more than 10 years. His first introduction was to White Peach Puree, used to make a perfectly balanced Bellini. The products are in line with his ethos and approach to cocktails in that they are locally produced and sourced from quality fresh and natural fruit. Reza uses the purees in the Triple Crown SnoCone Program sold at San Francisco’s famed Off the Grid, a weekly mobile food truck emporium offering a unique, gourmet street food experience.

Derby Cocktail Co. offers a nine-item cocktail menu, with rotating seasonal snow cone expressions of classic cocktails such as the Harvey Wallbanger (vodka, Galliano, mandarin orange); Bramble (gin, crème de mûre liqueur, blackberry); Cherry Negroni (gin, Campari, sweet vermouth, cherry); the Hurricane (rum, passion fruit, lemon, lime) and the Fernet Branca Mai Tai. The Perfect Purée provides that rich base needed in the snow cones to add depth of flavor and viscosity to fresh juices.

A respected member of the bar and restaurant community, in early 2013 Reza was elected as Northwest Regional Vice President of the United States Bartender’s Guild. Reza leads service and hospitality seminars and continues to develop new cocktails and experiment with various flavor expressions.


Bramble Snow Cone
Hurricane Snow Cone