Skip to Navigation Skip to Content

Drink Here Now: Five Places to Sip This Week

There is holiday drinking in your future... Photo courtesy of Arizona Foothills Magazine

1) Take a Holiday Tasting Tour with Liam Mayclem

Local television personality and “foodie chap” Liam Mayclem is leading two holiday tours that take guests behind the scenes of SF’s most influential foodie haunts. On Saturday, December 7, the Holiday Shopping and Tasting Tour will focus on the Ferry Building. The following Saturday, Mayclem will take guests on a Holiday Cocktail Tour of the City with stops at Comstock Saloon, Burritt Room and Smuggler’s Cove. Both five-hour tours leave from the Ritz-Carlton at noon and include keepsake mementos and transportation from the Ritz and back. Tours are limited to 12 participants, and tickets are $199 per person. Order them online or call Melissa Loos at 415-773-6199. An optional four-course dinner with beverage pairings will be served at Parallel 37 at 5:30 pm, for an additional $100 per person. 600 Stockton Street

2) Raise a Tannenbaum Toast with Emperor Norton

It has been said that one of Emperor Norton’s decrees was the impetus for the 133-year-old tradition of a grand Christmas tree in Union Square. Joshua Norton declared himself Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico in 1859 and held court in San Francisco until his death in 1880. During his “rule,” he issued dozens of proclamations, including a call in 1872 for a suspension bridge to be constructed from Oakland to San Francisco. Whether or not the Christmas tree decree is true, The House of Shields will play host to The First Annual Tannenbaum Toast on Sunday, December 8, from 4pm to 6pm, to commemorate San Francisco’s good holiday fortune. The Emperor’s Bridge Campaign is organizing the party, as part of their quest to rename the Bay Bridge for Emperor Norton. Boothby cocktails will be served, and the formal toast will be offered at 5pm by the Emperor himself, as channeled by Joseph Amster of Emperor Norton’s Fantastic San Francisco Time Machine. The event is free with a cash bar, and RSVP is requested. 39 New Montgomery Street

3) Drink to the Repeal of Prohibition

Thursday, December 5 marks the 80th Anniversary of the repeal of prohibition, and 21st Amendment Brewery is hosting a parade and party to celebrate. Don your best drop-waist dress or zoot suit, and join the march for beer at Justin Herman Plaza, starting at 4PM. A marching band will lead the parade to 21st Amendment Brewery, where founders Shaun O’Sullivan and Nico Freccia will tap six special Firkin kegs of beer and give away scoops of Three Twins Ice Cream made with the brewery’s own Fireside Chat Winter Ale. A password-only party in the Brewer’s Loft upstairs will feature casino games, with all proceeds going to charity. Follow @21stAmendment on twitter and Facebook to find the password. 1 Market Street, Embarcadero Plaza to 563 2nd Street @ Brannon

4) Try the 12 Cocktails of Christmas at Five Restaurant

If the holidays tasted like cocktails, they would taste like the 12 Cocktails of Christmas at Five Restaurant in Berkeley. Festive libations on the December menu include the Two Turtle Dove Martini for the love birds, made with vodka, Godiva chocolate liqueur, and Chambord; the Three French Hens Champagne Cocktail for the ladies, made with gin, lemon juice, and Peychaudes bitters; and the Twelve Drummer's Cocktail, the drinking man's drink, made with bourbon, cognac, Benedictine, and bitters. Unlike the traditional 12 Days of Christma agenda, in which you get only one gift per day, The 12 Cocktails of Cristmas are all available now. Nevertheless, we recommend that you pace yourself. 2086 Allston Way, Berkeley

5) Celebrate Crab Season at Alioto’s

Christmas is but one of the seasons currently being celebrated in San Francisco. Crab season kicked off on November 14, and family-owned Alioto’s Restaurant in Fisherman’s Wharf is continuing an 88-year tradition of cooking, cleaning, cracking and serving fresh Dungeness crab. Sommelier Nunzio Alioto, Sr. shared his recommendations for the perfect wine pairing for three different crab dishes. For traditionalists who like their crab steamed, cracked and cleaned, he suggests the 2011 Chardonnay from Paul Lato, Hillard Bruce Vineyard ($61/bottle). He likes pairing the Roasted Dungeness Crab with the Kunstler, Domdechaney Riesling from Trocken, Germany ($57/bottle). And he recommends washing down Alioto’s famous Dungeness Crab Cioppino with a 2011 French Rose from Ch D’Esclans Whispering Angel ($27/bottle). And for those who like their crab at home, Alito's sells fresh cracked crab to go from a sidewalk crab stand. 8 Fisherman’s Wharf