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cocktails

Cocktail ABCs: How Not to Make a Daiquiri

Thanks to friend and cocktail fiend Alex for this gem.

Watch this video, and then tell me that you would ever would ever put that drink in your mouth. There's so much that's wrong with the way he makes this drink, it's scary, but we'll just mention some of the highlights:
Try not to pick your nose while chilling your cocktail glass.
Try not to use only one ounce of rum in a cocktail--at least give 'em an ounce and a half.
Try not to completely botch the measuring of your ingredients.
Try not to pick your nose again.
Try not to use prefab sweet-and-sour mix.

253...

...cocktails made in one hour (in Las Vegas, by Beam Global Spirits master mixologist Bobby G) to set the Guinness record. See the video. That's a lot of drinks. I'm not sure what the Guinness record is for drinking cocktails in an hour, but I have to believe it's a bit lower. I hope so, anyway.

Stompin' at the Savoy

This was the scene last week at the Alembic, the best cocktail bar between Van Ness and Japan, where intrepid bartenders Thomas Waugh and Daniel Hyatt (in ties and vests) had suspended the use of their standard cocktail list and replaced it with the entire 293-page Savoy Cocktail Book. Originally published in 1930, this volume is both a valuable historical clue to the vibrancy of a distant age and a still-relevant compendium of drinking fun. A dozen copies of the book were available at the bar, and drinkers were invited to simply thumb through it and find something they wanted to drink.

Fever time at the Grotto

The Grotto, the writer's collective of which I am fortunate to be a member, was paid a visit by the ever charming and convivial Tim Warrilow of Fever-Tree. Fever-Tree is a new English brand of mixers that uses natural botanicals and flavourings (my nod to the Brits) and less sugar. The desire to start this company came from the experience that Fever-Tree's founders had in running Plymouth Gin (SF's favorite artisanal brand these days), a lovely and complex product that is easily—as any good gin is—desecrated by bad tonic.


DIY Liqueurs, Alembic-Style

I have an article coming up in the magazine about do-it-yourself booze, and this definitely follows a trend in both my print articles and this blog (see last week’s post on Neyah White). 



Josey Packard over at the Alembic is doing some very interesting stuff, and she was kind enough to show much of it to me on a busy Saturday afternoon. Her limoncello, triple sec (punningly called Con-treaux)


Gin Fizzes: Not Just for Cocktail Time Anymore

I don't know why, the other morning, I was moved to make a Ramos gin fizz at 9:30 a.m. Oh, yes, I do, actually. It's because I have Dave Wondrich's wonderful book Imbibe on my bedside table. And when I awoke this morning and reached to grab something to read, there it was. Soon enough, I found myself back in the pre-Prohibition world of punches, fixes, fizzes and daisies. I read the entry on the gin fizz and said, Hmmm. So, one egg and some half-and-half, orange-flower water, gin, sugar and lemon juice later, there I was, boozing in the morning. Now, I'm having coffee.


The Little Things



One thing I love about Neyah White's operation at NOPA is the care and attention he pays to the less heralded aspects of cocktail craft. Sure he cares about the base spirits, fresh fruit juices, and interesting herbs and spices. But the things most loves seem to be the liqueurs, bitters and tinctures that don't get all the same attention. Most of them he makes by himself, which is why it was a treat to get a tour of his own personal cellar space in NOPA's cramped store room, where his magical infusions and marinations all happen.

Fish and Farm



Had a chance to stop by and see the new culinary team at Fish and Farm, Charlie Kleinman and Jake Des Voignes. You might remember that these two were the old culinary team that cooked a memorable meal last year back at the Fifth Floor. I was glad to see that the two had returned with such flair at a small downtown restaurant that bustles with an animated energy, yet preserves a sense of intimacy and discretion.
   

School Spirit

Wine classes in the city abound. You can learn about reds and whites in any number of places, from City College to the CCA to multitudes of smaller, private institutions. But if you wanted to learn about spirits and cocktails there has been no organized way to do that. Until now.

The New St. Germain?



Without question, the biggest thing to happen to the spirits world last year besides the legalization of absinthe was the unstoppable success of St. Germain, the elderflower liqueur released in Spring 2007. Bartenders, shop owners—everyone fell in love with it. It was hard not to because it is so damn good—fully flavored, but in a remarkably integrated and tactful way, sweet but not too sweet, incredibly long finishing… just an extremely well-made product for sipping or mixing.
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