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Tonic Boom

Since the subjects of gin and tonic water have been coming up repeatedly, I thought I would add a plug for one of the best and most needed products I’ve seen come around in quite some time: Fever-Tree tonic water.



Bad tonic water is a major thorn in the side of any serious gin drinker. Indeed, I had to give up the G&T when I first moved to SF, because tonic water everywhere was off the gun, which made for flat, awful drinks. Even the tonic in bottles wasn’t so great, and choice is limited to Schweppes, basically.
   

Summer Drinking


Zuni's cocktails

Summer’s just around the corner, and heat spells like last week’s are good reminders of the absolute perfection of drinking a light, refreshing aperitif on a warm, sunny evening before dinner.

My top 5 restaurant bars for aperitif cocktails are:
5. Ame
4. Americano
3. Slanted Door
2. Perbacco

Pomander Recipe from Yountville's Bouchon



I went to Napa last week and stopped by Bouchon in Yountville to check out the cocktail list. It’s a truly lively restaurant and bar, and I was particularly enchanted with the Pomander, a drink dominated by flavors of clove and spice, yet incredibly refreshing and delicious at the same time.

Pomander Recipe:
2 oz Hangar One mandarin blossom vodka
1 oz aquavit
1 oz Velvet Falernum
1 drop essential oil of clove

Combine all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice, shake gently for 6-10 seconds and strain into a chilled martini glass.

Bossy Nova

photography by Misha Vladimirskiy

R&B singing sensation Kelis, whose 2006 single Bossy ranks second only to her 2003 runaway hit Milkshake, headlined a private show as part of Hennessy's second annual Artistry Concert Tour, featuring artists such as Brazilian Girls, Ne-Yo and DJ Irie in seven cities from SF and LA to Miami and New York. The second leg of the tour, which will hit all of the same cities, kicks off this September.

Eyes Wide Shut

photography by Misha Vladimirskiy

Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst brought youthful romance and musical whimsy to the Greek Theatre in Berkeley. Oberst, whose latest album Cassadaga is a great collection of folk and country-inspired tunes, enlisted his famous friends, singer and songwriter Gillian Welch, guitarist Fred Wallace from Oakley Hall and My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James, to help him out at the outstanding Bay Area appearance.

BRIGHT EYES

Bushi-tei's Blossoms

Growing up in the D.C. area, I didn’t realize how special cherry blossom season was until I left. Even fall foliage in New England (where I went to college) doesn’t compare. So when I found out that bushi-tei restaurant in Japantown had a four-course prix fixe meal in honor of cherry blossoms, I took action. Unfortunately for me, I’m not the only one who pounced on this unique offering of cherry blossoms mingled with wild shrimp, a brined cherry leaf stuffed with tuna tartare, veal loin stuffed with dried cherries and a cherry mousse with cherry compote.


Cherry blossoms in D.C.

Electric Company

photography by Misha Vladimirskiy

Electronic dance-punk Swedes, the Teddybears, rocked Mezzanine with SF's electro rockers All Teeth and Knuckles, as part of a free concert series.




Street Dreams

photography by Misha Vladimirskiy

Hip hop heavyweight Nas brought his East Coast flavor to Mezzanine, performing tracks from his latest Hip Hop Is Dead. Special guest Snoop Dogg joined Nas on stage for a few tracks.

NAS

Taste3 on Drinks

I was fortunate enough to attend the Taste3 conference in Napa last week. Sponsored by the Robert Mondavi company, the gathering of food, wine and art minds from around the world is supposed to be a sort of culinary TED conference and—if you have an extra $2-grand and consider yourself a die-hard foodie—is well worth your time and money. Great thinkers, scientists, story tellers, cooks, taste makers and thinkers gather together for two days of awesome talks on everything from bees and mushrooms to terroir, food blogging and new kitchen inventions. And you can rub elbows with the speakers at several lunches and dinners.

Hal Hartley Says Trust in Henry Fool

Greetings and salutations,* my pretties ...

Since it’s Indy Thursday here at Hooker’s Reel, Poppa H thinks it wise to spend a white hot minute suggesting you spend the weekend in a galaxy far away from the Movieplex where (currently) the stories are limp, the superheroes are flabby and the buttered popcorn? Merely lukewarm …

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