It is time to up your game and celebrate all things whiskey this week! WhiskyFest officially kicked off on Monday and runs all week. There will be whiskey tastings, master distillers, master blenders and education seminars all throughout the city, with the coup de gras being the big WhiskyFest tasting event on Friday, September 27. WhiskyFest is the longest-running and best-attended whiskey festival in the U.S. Delight your senses with single malt and blended Scotch, Irish, Bourbon, Tennessee, Japanese, and Canadian whiskies, all assembled in one Grand Ballroom. If you get tired of all the whiskey fun, high-end rum, cognac, vodka, beer and other spirits will be available as well. Start planning your evening on their website in advance. With 300+ whiskies and countless events, a roadmap for the evening’s activities will be oh-so helpful. Locations: Elixir Bar, 3200 16th St; The Whiskey Shop, 360 Sutter St.; Per Diem, 43 Sutter St.; 83 Proof, 83 1st St.; Grand Tasting: San Francisco Marriott Marquis, 780 Mission Street; 6:30pm doors, 5:30pm VIP; tickets $225 VIP, $175 regular. More info here.
ELIXIR in the Mission is celebrating WhiskyFest with whiskey tastings, master distiller visits and a private barrel release. This will be an exceptional week of whiskey tastings and education for everyone from beginners to full-on whiskey-philes. There will be distinguished whiskey professionals featured who will talk about their individual products and their associated whiskey categories. For you whiskey lovers, this is your week! Here are just a few of the tantalizing whiskey events this week at Elixir, 3200 16th St @ Guerrero (415) 552-1633:
- World Premiere of Elixir’s first private barrel of Elijah Craig 12 yr with Heaven Hill Master Distiller Craig Beam and Bernie Lubbers, The Whiskey Professor. Weds, 9/25 at 7 p.m.
- Angel's Envy with Founder Wes Henderson. Thurs, 9/26 at 7 p.m.
- Four Roses Private Barrel tasting event with Master Distiller Jim Rutledge. Snacks provided by Healthy Spirits. 10 whiskies in all will be tasted.Tickets $45 available here. Fri, 9/27 at 12 p.m.
Bergerac is officially opening their doors to the public today (Weds 9/25). They will be offering up internationally influenced craft cocktails and fare from nationally-acclaimed Bar Director Russell Davis and Chef Randy Lewis. This mixologist is legendary and his drink menu complex! The menu will be divided into various sections, based on degree of severity, complexity and perhaps your mood. You can sample from the “approachable” menu, or how about the “high-low ABV” drinks? These drinks aren’t your typical, can-find-them-in-any-bar cocktails. If there are a few old tried-and-true drinks on the menu, they’ve given them a new twist, like the Vodka Martini, served dirty as dirty gets, shaken, and finished with kalamata olive brine and celery bitters. Or, Bond lovers will lover the creativity of the Live and Let Die, which includes coconut oil-washed pisco, Campari, a house blend of sweet vermouth, Fruit Loops foam (yes, you heard that right) and lemon zest. The bar is also fully stocked with nearly every spirit known to man, so for those that don’t feel up for experimenting, grab your favorite beverage and just enjoy the vintage rock n’ roll-like scenery. 316 11th Street; (415) 255-9440; 5 p.m. – 2 a.m.Tues– Sat.
Presidio Social Club (PSC) just opened a back deck and it's a prime location to eat and drink the day away as the weather changes for the better. In keeping with the classic concept at PSC, the new menu includes nightly specials, raw bar items, increased appetizer selection for sharing, and an array of other dishes perfect for summer on the Bay. They are open for lunch and dinner daily. Try their Badminton Cup with Burnett’s gin, cucumber, mint, and lime juice, or the Hemingway Daiquiri with white rum, grapefruit, lime, and maraschino. $20 for 3 oysters and a flight of bubbles sounds just delightful. Presidio, 563 Ruger Street, just inside the Lombard Gate. (415) 885-1888.
FiDi favorite Café Claude has expanded into the Marina, offering up their French vintage flair cuisine, wine and cocktails. The Café opened their doors about a week ago and it is already a-buzz. This place has serious charm. It's designed to feel as if the restaurant has been plucked straight from the Loire and dropped into the cozy Marina neighborhood. The new restaurant’s beverage program from Wine Director Sarah Knoefler and Bar Manager Carlos Yturria will highlight grape varietals from the Loire Valley, a selection of French-focused aperitif drinks, and international and locally made beers. This will include a low-alcohol aperitif cocktail list, meant to open the palate before a meal, as well as offer you a light and refreshing alternative to the wine and rotating beer selection offered at the bar. 2120 Greenwich Street; Sun, Tues, Weds - Aperitif Hour 4:30-5:30 p.m.; dinner 5:30-10:30 p.m.; Thurs, Fri, Sat - Aperitif Hour 4:30-5:30 p.m.; dinner 5:30-11:30 p.m. (415) 375-9550.
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