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:
3. Slanted Door
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.
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.
Here’s a reason why I think the Bay Area is so awesome: We believe. We believe in a community that cares about its food and drink.
What’s special about this picture? No, it’s not that Rajat Parr, Michael Mina’s wine director, at the Golden State versus Utah playoff series. It’s the fact that the beer he is holding (which was mine) is a Trumer Pils—one of my favorite brews, crafted distinctly right here in Berkeley.
It was a good game and a great beer.
I also like #29, "If you owe someone twenty dollars or less, you may pay them back in beer."
My meetings continued with a rare opportunity to meet with Desmond Payne, the master distiller for Beefeater gin. He lives in London and while his appearance may give the impression of a mild-mannered fellow, his personality is the opposite. He has a wonderfully dry wit, loves the Negroni (as do I) and gets excited for good parties. We talked at length over lunch at Town Hall, where I had the excellent fish and chips in honor of Payne's hometown.