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spirits

Pierde Almas Brings Oaxacan Corn Whiskey to Bay Area Cocktail Menus

One of Mexico's most beloved mezcal brands is branching away from their flagship spirit to produce a form of whiskey made from Oaxacan corn. After years of experimentation, the magical elixir is finally coming to San Francisco. 

Slow Like Mezcal: Rare, Handcrafted Agaves Make Their Way to Bay Area Bars

Astute barflies have likely noticed that mezcal has been gaining prominence in Bay Area cocktail spots—the smoky agave drink is often served in the kind of bold concoctions that would put hair on your chest. But lately, we stateside connosseurs have started getting our paws on the good stuff—the small-batch mezcals once kept by family distillers for their personal consumption. Now, we're beginning to appreciate mezcal on its own— unaged, unchilled, and without adornment of salt or lime—just how your abuelo would have wanted it.

New Oakland Spirits Company Invites Collaboration From Local Makers

What happens when a wine-making techie leaves the echelons of Silicon Valley to make grape-based spirits using local ingredients in a collaborative environment? Better booze for all.

Sip This: Cannella Cinnamon Cordial, Handcrafted in Dogpatch

“I’m Mr. Cinnamon,” grins Joe Cannella, at the Craft Spirits Carnival at Ft. Mason where he was offering samples of his Cannella Cinnamon Cordial. His first batch, made at the Seven Stills Distillery in Dogpatch, sold out shortly after its release late last year. His fourth batch has just been bottled. 

Anchor's New Hophead Vodka Takes Its Cues from Beer

Hophead Vodka

SF's own Anchor Brewing Company has a worldwide reputation as the locus of the current craft beer movement, but many fans of Anchor's brews may not know that founder Fritz Maytag was also a trendsetter in craft distilling. Since 1993, a micro-distillery located on the Mariposa Street brewery's ground floor has put out a small, well-curated selection of handmade hooch.

Go Behind the Booze at St. George Spirits' 30th Birthday Bash

Craft distilling is now one of the hottest trends in the world of drink, with new distilleries specializing in every type of spirit regularly launching across the country. But 30 years ago, when German native Jörg Rupf founded Alameda-based St. George Spirits, today's cocktail culture and appreciation of spirits were just a distant dream, and the small spirits community that did exist was more focused on foreign creations than domestic ones.

Cointreau Noir

I just wanted to give a quick shout about a new product. Cointreau Noir appeared at the end of last year without a lot of fanfare, but it's a pretty big deal as far as a new spirit. Years ago in 7x7 I wrote a column on the difference between Grand Marnier and Cointreau. Well this new release from Cointreau only blurs the lines.

New Orleans Report: Drinking to Learn

Yes, Tales of the Cocktails was about much more than drinking and eating. It was also about learning about drinking. Just to prove that we indeed did occasionally act studiously, I present you a picture of two SF bartenders, Neyah White of Nopa and Stephen Liles of Boulevard, in class and ready to learn about ancient liqueurs. Unlike most seminars, you will notice, in front of each seat was not a pad of paper and perhaps a glass of water but a mini bottle of Chartreuse and another of St. Germain.


Domain de Canton: Message in a Bottle?

People who have followed my work know that I am an unabashed fan of this spirit. It's simply one of the most complex, well-balanced, vivid and delicious liqueurs to have come around in generations. And I haven't really found anyone who disagrees with me. So the quality of the spirit is not really at issue.

But I have to ask you: What do you think of this bottle?


Grappa at Bar 888



I'd been meaning to post on this for month's, but kept getting sidetracked until I was reminded of this by seeing Helen Roy's column in a recent Tablehopper. The wine, bar and beverage director for SoMa's new InterContinental Hotel, Roy (above) has turned its Bar 888 into a temple to one of her favorite substances: grappa.
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