Fourth of July
Before you reach for that bottle of Provencal rosé for this weekend's festivities, why not consider this more festive, gin-soaked, made-in-San Francisco treat?
Does anything epitomize the American independent spirit like a road trip? We think not. Plus, if you feel like getting out of town on Fourth of July but don’t yet have plans, it’s not likely you’ll get a hotel room at this point. So hop in the car, head over the Golden Gate and follow all or part of our Marin coast itinerary: from funky hippie parade to gourmet picnic to an expensive, but luxuriously relaxing, view of the SF fireworks.
This week we were faced with a style dilemma that always leaves us a bit perplexed: how to pull off red, white and blue without looking like, well, a contestant in the Miss Liberty pageant. Don't get us wrong, we usually jump at any excuse to get a bit themed-out and the Fourth of July happens to be one of the best reasons to do so, but this year we decided to skip the star-spangled bikini and opt for something a bit more seaside chic. So without further ado, our look of the week:
There's no better way to serve a crowd than a punch. It might take a little preparation, but so does potato salad. And once you've got it all together, you can just sit back and enjoy the day. Here's an adaptation of one of my favorite recipes—a classic, going back to the golden age of punch in the 18th century England (no, the woman in the photo is not from the 18th century, although she could be), when tea and rum were prized commodities for the seafaring nation.
Serves about 16.
4 bags of green tea or 4 teaspoons green tea leaves
1 cup superfine sugar
2 cups brandy, try VSOP cognac
3/4 cup dark rum
1/2 cup light rum or cachaca
The situation: Since your house has a view, your friends have elected you to be the host of the fireworks party.
The problem: You haven't had time to even think about what to cook.
The solution: A menu of grilled sausages with spicy mustard, German potato salad, fruit kabobs and chilled raspberry cream pie.
• Rosamunde Sausage Grill (545 Haight St., 415-437-6851) doesn't just make the best sausages in SF, they sell them uncooked too. Our perennial favorite is the spicy beer sausage. Pick up as many as you need ($3 a sausage) and while you're at it, add in some of their great potato salad to-go.
The Fourth of July is my favorite holiday. No gifts, no obligations—just beer, pyrotechnics, grilled food and a long weekend. At least, it used to be my favorite holiday, until I moved to San Francisco five years ago. More specifically, I moved to San Francisco's Mission District. You may cry gentrification all you want, but trust me—on Independence Day weekend, the neighborhood, known for fancy coffee shops and slick restaurants, returns to its lawless, wild west-like roots. Lying in bed on July 2, 3, 4 or 5, listening to M80s being deployed what feels like mere inches from my bedroom window, I imagine I'm living in London during the Blitz and that someone in my building has accidentally forgotten to pull their black-out curtains.
With the Fourth of July just around the corner, how will you celebrate our country's Independence Day? With so much on tap around the Bay Area, we'd wager you won't have any trouble finding something to do.
Groove alongside 100,000 of your closest friends to the tunes of some of the area's greatest jazz performers on three main stages. Arts, crafts and food vendors will occupy 10 blocks should you get restless and need to exercise your legs. July 4-5, 10am-6pm, free.