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cocktails

The Globe Theatre

Though I've written about him before, it's never enough. So a late-night jones for a pizza and a cocktail the other night afforded us an excuse to stop by the bar at Globe to see our friend Shane McKnight. Part serious mixologist, part host, part clown, he and his beverages always comprise an engaging two-ring circus.


Shane

Mojitos at Farm

The Carneros Inn, with all of its understated luxury, is certainly one of the premiere places to stay in Napa. Not being a connoisseur of such things, however, I can more confidently attest to the cocktails served at its restaurant, Farm. Pictured here is their modification of Cuba's famous drink. It's called a cucumber mojito.


The cucumber mojito at Farm.

The key to it is not only the cucumber, but the fact that the mixologists dialed back on simple syrup, this reduction of sweetness clarifies the flavors and makes it all the more refreshing.

Margarita Up

Sunny days mean margaritas.




At my house, though, we always take our margaritas up, in a cocktail glass—as opposed to on the rocks, which is how most people seem to drink them. I had my first margarita up back home in Austin in 1996. Drinking it this way means that it stays undiluted and has an elegant, almost creamy smoothness, which I love. I've never gone back.

Float Me Some Green



Playing around with a cocktail idea I got from a friend in New York, I made this gin and tonic served up by floating a shaken mixture of gin and lime juice on top of a base of tonic water.

It looks nice, but needs to be stirred up to drink--otherwise you just get a mouthful of incredibly tart, austere alcoholic lime juice and then a big mouthful of tonic water.

Every Week is SF Cocktail Week


H in action

Parents say that "every day is children's day" when their kids ask why there's a Mother's day and Father's day but no Children's day.

Cantina is Open for Business



That's Duggan McDonnell in his new bar, Cantina. It's well worth visiting.

580 Sutter St. (at Mason)

Tonic Boom

Since the subjects of gin and tonic water have been coming up repeatedly, I thought I would add a plug for one of the best and most needed products I’ve seen come around in quite some time: Fever-Tree tonic water.



Bad tonic water is a major thorn in the side of any serious gin drinker. Indeed, I had to give up the G&T when I first moved to SF, because tonic water everywhere was off the gun, which made for flat, awful drinks. Even the tonic in bottles wasn’t so great, and choice is limited to Schweppes, basically.
   

Summer Drinking


Zuni's cocktails

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:
5. Ame
4. Americano
3. Slanted Door
2. Perbacco

Taste3 on Drinks

I was fortunate enough to attend the Taste3 conference in Napa last week. Sponsored by the Robert Mondavi company, the gathering of food, wine and art minds from around the world is supposed to be a sort of culinary TED conference and—if you have an extra $2-grand and consider yourself a die-hard foodie—is well worth your time and money. Great thinkers, scientists, story tellers, cooks, taste makers and thinkers gather together for two days of awesome talks on everything from bees and mushrooms to terroir, food blogging and new kitchen inventions. And you can rub elbows with the speakers at several lunches and dinners.

Cortez Returns



Cortez reopened on Tuesday after closing the dining room for repairs, and it's no coincidence that there's a renewed sense of innovation in the updated dining menu and excellent cocktail list. If you can't get into Bourbon and Branch for a drink, swing around the corner to Cortez because B&B's bar manager, Todd Smith, used to be the man at Cortez, and a lot of the drinks continue to reflect his creativity and good taste.
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