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Friday, December 9, 2011

Belden Taverna's Foraged Manhattan Busts a Cap in Your Glass

Posted By on Fri, Dec 9, 2011 at 12:45 PM

The Foraged Manhattan - LOU BUSTAMANTE
  • Lou Bustamante
  • The Foraged Manhattan
As the days continue to get colder and shorter, so do my drinks -- my preferences slowly shift from tall, juicy, and shaken, to stiff and stirred cocktails. I'm not alone. For lots of people, winter brings an increasing fondness for aged spirits, with whisk(e)y and brandy bold reinforcements for heaters laboring in drafty Bay Area homes.

The drink that is the exact snapshot of this mood is Victoria D'amato-Moran's candy cap mushroom laced Foraged Manhattan ($10, brandy or rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, candy cap syrup) at Belden Taverna. The earthy maple-syrup-and-cinnamon essence compliments the aged spirits and lingers in your palate long after the drink is gone, insisting on a second round.

D'amato-Moran came up with the drink while cleaning a bookshelf and her grandfathers' 1968 copy of Kitchen Magic with Mushrooms, a collection of recipes from the San Francisco Mycological Society, fell on her head. "I joined the society that day, thinking it would calm me down from the bar business ... get away from cocktails on weekends," she explained. After finding wild candy cap mushrooms with a co-member, "The very first thing that came to my head was, 'How do I get these mushrooms into my cocktails?'"

Belden Taverna, 52 Belden (at Bush), 986-8887

Lou Bustamante tweets at @thevillagedrunk. Follow SFoodie at @sfoodie, and like us on Facebook.
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