Number 81: Gin and Tonic from Pizzaiolo/Boot and Shoe Service
House-concocted bar mixers are hardly new, but few have the DIY charm of the tonic Cate Whalen brews up in Oakland for sister eateries Pizzaiolo and Boot and Shoe Service. It's a murky, pinkish infusion of tropical chinchona bark, grapefruit-dominant citrus, and spices that, allied with Plymouth gin and topped up with fizzy water, ends up tasting more aperitif than highball. Tannic, bitter, and hauntingly aromatic, it turns the lowly gin and tonic into a plausible accompaniment for blistered-crust pizzas of stinging nettles and house-made sausage, or chef Charlie Hallowell's signature wood-oven-roasted squid.
Pizzaiolo 5008 Telegraph (at 51st St.), Oakland; (510) 652-4888
Boot and Shoe Service 3308 Grand (at Mandana), Oakland; (510) 763-2668
Hungry for more? The dishes in our countdown thus far are linked below: