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cocktails

Are You Hung Over?

Hopefully this was not you on the morning of January 1, 2008.

Dept. of Silly Products, II



An electric martini maker? This should insult every bartender—or really anyone with use of his or her arms. Is it that hard to stir a martini or shake a margarita? C’mon!

Cocktails on the Fly



I feel remiss, as I don’t know that I’ve done anything yet to promote one of the Web’s most engaging cocktail resources and one of the most creative and talented bartenders I’ve ever met.

My New York Competition

Little did I know when I was in New York a couple of weeks ago that I would be going back so soon. But, indeed I was—though this time not as a journalist, but as a bartender.



A cocktail I created at the suggestion of Duggan McDonnell at Cantina (we just had to invent a cocktail that contained some form of sherry, and it had to be available on a drink menu somewhere), somehow made it to the finals of the National Sherry Cocktail Competition. And I got a return trip to duel with some of the country’s best.

Invisible Cities

One of my favorite novels by Italo Calvino is Hidden Cities, which is imagined as a conversation between Marco Polo and Kublai Khan and includes Polo’s fantastical and imaginative descriptions of 55 cities he’s seen on his travels.

I had a hidden-cities moment myself the other day, when I was led to a party in a particularly fantastical backyard, behind a row of houses near Duboce Park. The yard, shared by several residences, was a marvel and to emerge from an ordinary back door to gaze upon it was similar to feeling like Alice after falling down the rabbit hole.


Cocktails with Camper

At the Macallan dinner (the name of the house is actually The Macallan, so perhaps that should be “the The Macallan” dinner, I was seated next to San Francisco’s most dogged cocktail blogger and freelance journalist, Camper English. After dinner, I had plans to make some rounds and convinced young English to come along. We caught a cab and flew down to St. Marks, and the unlikely cocktail bar, PDT.


Jim Meehan behind the bar

Any Given Sunday

I was born a fan of the Seattle Seahawks and there’s nothing I can do about it. We have a love-hate relationship—I hate to get too excited about them, because they always let me down, and they love to let me down.

I don’t often get to see the ‘hawks on TV, as you need a dish or some expensive TV package to get out-of-town games. But this year, I’ve got a solution . . . going to watch football at Elixir in the Mission.


(Taken with my phone.)

Spruce It Up

Spruce the long-awaited bar and restaurant on Sacramento Street in Laurel Village opened a couple of months ago. I finally had time to stop by and check out the cocktails and wine list at its exceedingly lovely bar.


Church of Absinthe

I’m not a religious man, but a weekend visit to Absinthe, where I hadn’t been in a while, did feel a little like going to the Unified Church of Libation. See . . .


The light streamed in the stained glass windows.

Thirsty from a long walk from the Embarcadero, I paid tribute to a Pillar of Wisdom:


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