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cocktails

The Hemingway Daiquiri

Ernest Hemingway, July 21, 1899 - July 2, 1961

As was pointed out by one of the genial, twittering, PR birds so constantly abuzz in my ear, this is the week of Hemingway's birthday (and the anniversary month of both his death and birth).

Hemingway's contributions to many fields are in no need of enumeration here. But the man did stamp his identity on the cocktail with his favored way of taking the drink.

The Daiquiri is named for a Cuban mining town where an American engineer came up with the simple formula of lime + rum + sugar (hmmm, hard to imagine that had never been done before) that worked so beautifully that it became canonical.

The Beauty of Nopa


Neyah with a special, unlisted cocktail

You know they're doing something right at Nopa when you’re willing to wait 25 minutes for a bar stool, and fight off vicious competitors while doing it. It's clear why people are so eager to get seats here: The bar is genius.

Classic Crunch Cocktail with a Twist

Here is a version I created of a classic drink: the Champagne Cocktail. This one employs blackberries, which I quartered and marinated in Cointreau for a half hour. The rest is just as simple.



Champagne Cocktail

Drop a sugar cube into the bottom of a Champagne flute
Drench it with several dashes of Angostura bitters
Top with Champagne or some other sparkling wine
Drop in a few blackberries

It’s a good drink for brunch—that is, if you're not nursing a hangover with a Bloody Mary.

A Taste of Some of the Other Drinks

Now that you know the winner, here’s my take on the other drinks. Stay tuned for the official recipes, to be posted over the next few days.


H.

H. from Elixir infused his vodka with chai and added fresh strawberry and lychee liqueur to make an extremely complex and surprising drink. 


Alberta

Bottle Service Superlatives


Alberta's The Woo-Hoo

Most Sophisticated: The Woo-Hoo (Alberta, Cocktails on the Fly)
Most Fun: Rocket Bob (Vince, La Rocca’s Corner)
Most Interesting Use of Ingredients: Ruby Natsumi (H., Elixir)
Most Exotic: Fortune and Glory (Jackie, Le Colonial)

Third Place/Best Balance: Day Off (Vard, Sip Lounge)

Bottle Service Success




photos by Matthew Knudsen

As you know, the 7x7 Bottle Service Pour-Off went down last night, and I think most people would agree that it was a rousing success. Sip Lounge is a great space with a great vibe, especially when it's filled with so many good people there to cheer on their favorite bartenders.

Reminder for Monday



Kissui Vodka: the required ingredient

The field of bartenders is set and includes some of the city's best, and the favorites that you voted for:

•  Cantina's Duggan McD
•  H.  from Elixir
•  Jackie P. from Le Colonial
•  Amanda from Rye
•  Tim Stookey from Presidio Social Club

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.
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