Drink Here Now: Creamy Cocktails and a Bartending Pioneer

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If ketchup is a vegetable, then a Bloody Mary is a salad.


Raven's New Cocktail Menu is Properly Vetted

Ever wonder how bartenders develop new cocktails? At Raven, the process involves rounds of focus groups made up of friends and neighbors. And if you want to become a focus groupie, your best bet is to spend some time at Raven, where they're featuring a full line-up of $12 cocktails, properly vetted and approved. The Ginger Drop Kick reportedly will knock your socks off, with Bulleit bourbon, Aperol, lemon and fresh-juiced ginger. The Stogie conjures smoke and leather by combining Rittenhouse Rye, Laird's applejack brandy, Averna, and orange peel. And when you order the Fuego, made with Dobel reposado tequila, jalapeño, cucumber, lime and agave, they'll let you choose your preferred level of sizzle. Try them all for $3 off during happy hour, every weekday from 4 to 7pm and every Saturday from 6 to 7pm. 1151 Folsom

A Buck an Ounce Wine at Café Claude Marina

If you live or shop in the Marina district, you already have plenty of opportunities to eat, drink, and be merry. That didn't stop Café Claude Marina from providing yet another one. The neighborhood restaurant and wine bar has launched a weekday happy hour featuring wines for $1 an ounce, beers for $3 each, and French-inspired bites starting at $2. Choose from gourmet noshes like pommes frites, oysters Rockefeller and baguette sliders during the new Happy Hour, every Monday through Friday from 4:30 to 6:30pm. 2120 Greenwich

Drink from the Bottle Shop at SOMA Eats

Not satisfied with the eight beers and five wines on tap at SOMA Eats? Lucky for you, the modern café is also a bottle shop, boasting more than 200 craft beers such as Almanac Saison and Ballast Point Sculpin IPA and a wide selection of wine ranging from Three Sticks Durell Vineyard Pinot Noir to Medlock Ames Chardonnay and Kistler Chardonnay. Peruse the extensive shelves to find your favorite wine, or perhaps that elusive brew you read about online. Purchase it, pop it open, and enjoy it on site with house-roasted lamb bruschetta with date relish on toasted crostini, or the cheese board with three cheeses, mixed olives and candied walnuts. SOMA Eats serves casual comfort cuisine with an international flair on weekdays from 7am to 10pm and on weekends from 9am to 10pm. 186 2nd Street

Celebrate Bartending Pioneer Jerry Thomas

Local history and adult beverage buffs will recognize the name Jerry Thomas, the "father of American mixology," who hand-crafted cocktails in San Francisco bars in the mid-19th century and in 1862 published one of the first cocktail recipe collections, How to Mix Drinks or The Bon-Vivant’s Companion. To celebrate bartending's first superstar, Lucas Bols, the world’s oldest distilled spirits brand and producer of Bols Genever, invites local bon vivants to raise a toast to Thomas at a handful of bars around the City. December 15-21, you'll find some of the cocktail pioneer's historic drinks on the menu at Lolinda (2518 Mission), Wingtip (private club, 550 Montgomery), Rich Table (199 Gough), Urchin (584 Valencia), Moshi Moshi (2092 3rd St.), Poquito (2368 3rd St.), Reed and Greenough (3251 Scott), Beretta (1199 Valencia), and Comstock Saloon (155 Columbus). Look for Genever-based drinks like the Improved Gin Cocktail, Gin Daisy, and Gin Sour.

Creamy Cocktails at Kuleto's

'Tis the season for creamy cocktails, and Kuleto's has already mixed up two special ones to get Union Square shoppers in the spirit. The Bourbon Cream is blended in small batches and refrigerated for a few days before serving. Though it's served cold, the combination of bourbon, sweet condensed milk, heavy cream, milk, chocolate syrup, ground espresso, vanilla and almond extract is rich and warming. General Manager Aaron Grinnell has also added Aged Egg Nog to the menu, made from a three-generation old family recipe that has been handed down through the years. The thick mixture of evaporated milk, brandy, whiskey, spiced rum, eggs, sugar, and spices mellows during aging, which can range from three months to one year. Both cocktails are available for $10 through Christmas. 221 Powell Street

Send drinking suggestions to renee@grassrootspr.com.

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