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Cocktails & Spirits

Sunday, July 31, 2016

What to Drink at Outside Lands

Posted By on Sun, Jul 31, 2016 at 9:30 AM

'Ye Ol' Beer Lands at Outside Lands 2015 - BRAD JAPHE
  • Brad Japhe
  • 'Ye Ol' Beer Lands at Outside Lands 2015

It's August in San Francisco. Which means it's time for the annual urban ritual that is Outside Lands. On the eve of its ninth rendition, it's a festival above the rest: a premiere destination for all things food and drink. And, oh yeah, the music ain't too shabby, either. Golden Gate Park's Polo Field reimagines itself this weekend as one gigantic house party, serving some of the Bay Area's best beers, wines, and cocktails to some 70,000 lucky guests. Here's what to expect, from a few of the fine folks putting it together.

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Friday, July 29, 2016

Oysters and Scotch: A Love Story

Posted By on Fri, Jul 29, 2016 at 10:30 AM

DIY Pacific Northwest Oysters with Bowmore Whisky - BRAD JAPHE
  • Brad Japhe
  • DIY Pacific Northwest Oysters with Bowmore Whisky

Although it's been building momentum as of late, the combination of oysters and single malt should hardly be viewed as mere trend; they've been soulmates from the start. The maritime notes of a luscious bivalve reverberate in the finish of a fine scotch — particularly those distilled and aged upon the craggy, seaside shoals of Islay, on the western border of the U.K.

Half a world away, San Francisco is blessed with access to some of the finest oysters, well, anywhere. Since the city is also known to fancy a dram of whisky from time to time, it should surprise no one that local restaurants and bars are embracing this intuitive pairing. And if you don't feel like going out, it's easy enough to enjoy the experience right in your home kitchen.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Negroni Week Recap: One Swiller's Search for Copacetic Campari

Posted By on Tue, Jun 14, 2016 at 3:00 PM

Holy Mountain's Negroni Punch - WES ROWE
  • Wes Rowe
  • Holy Mountain's Negroni Punch

If charity isn't a good reason for drinking, then what is?

Last week over 6,000 establishments in over 44 countries took part in the third annual Negroni Week, designating favorite charities (from food banks to pet adoption) and dreaming up riffs on the classic three-ingredient cocktail of Campari, gin and vermouth. With an additional $10,000 promised to the top fundraiser, the stakes were high for competitive cocktails.

While I was more than happy to celebrate a week of charitable imbibing — especially one that reaches as far as Nigeria, Poland, Australia and India — I shamefully admit that I truly dislike Campari. The last time I was in Italy, I herded my boyfriend into an osteria, made him order an Aperol spritz and a Negroni, and proceeded to detest them both.

Years later I was working for a magazine that had little more in their liquor cabinet than Aperol, Campari and far too much tonic water. Again, I thought I would try these Italian traditions, and again I was terribly disappointed (I'm also not the greatest mixologist, so there is that to take into account).

This week I thought I would try once more, with the naïve belief that any flavor can be masked or mellowed with enough mixers and panache. So, I put on the dedicated Pandora station and went out to conquer my Campari aversion.

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Friday, June 10, 2016

Friday Six: Seagull likes Indian food too much, General Mills releases first cereal since 2001

Posted By on Fri, Jun 10, 2016 at 12:57 PM

  • via Vale wildlife hospital/PA
Plus Sacramento gets food trucks, and Spoonbar teaches mai tai classes in time for the warm weather.

The North Beach Festival is this weekend
Dust off those hand-talking skills, because everyone’s favorite Italian-American San Francisco neighborhood is hosting its annual open house on Saturday and Sunday. The Barbarossa Lounge (714 Montgomery) will even be hosting a 6 pm afterparty for anyone who likes cocktails, food, and live music.

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Thursday, June 9, 2016

Thursday Six: World Gin Day is coming; Dad wants a pig roast

Posted By on Thu, Jun 9, 2016 at 1:14 PM

  • Whitechapel
World Gin Day is on Saturday - where to sip in SF
With Negroni Week coming to its close, it’s time to graduate to the final stage in alcohol adulation. Saturday brings us the international celebration of gin, that botanical booze we love so much. Visit Stookey’s Club Moderne (895 Bush) to experience their own house-made Barrel Aged Negroni, as well as a flight of G&T’s with Boodles, three different types being served from now through June 11th. And if gin really gets you going, don’t forget to stop by Whitechapel (600 Polk), SF’s resident gin haven.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Wednesday Seven: Celebrate Negroni Week; Jose Cuervo's agave surfboard

Posted By on Wed, Jun 8, 2016 at 12:19 PM

  • Kitchen Story
Plus the Curry family continues to put all other couples to shame while Elon Musk guides the future of space travel and eating vegan.

Celebrate Negroni Week *tonight* at Holy Mountain
The Negroni has long since deserved its own week (it’s rumored to have just barely missed making it into the Constitution), so we’re grateful that local bartenders Nora Furst of Horsefeather, Nicolas Torres from Lazy Bear, Kevin Dowell from the 86 Company, and Troy Bayless of the host bar Holy Mountain (680 Valencia) will be working together tonight to whip up summer-appropriate cocktails for the thirsty masses.

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Monday, June 6, 2016

Monday Six: Rockridge Improvement Club; Eatsa initiates breakfast menu; Shark fin ban upheld

Posted By on Mon, Jun 6, 2016 at 7:00 AM

7-Eleven's delicious abomination - ALI WUNDERMAN
  • Ali Wunderman
  • 7-Eleven's delicious abomination
Plus sharks celebrate multiple wins with a continued ban on their fins, while 7-Eleven debuts a shark-themed donut full of shock, awe, and jelly.

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Friday, May 27, 2016

Negroni Week Returns: Kill Your Liver For a Good Cause

Posted By on Fri, May 27, 2016 at 12:00 PM

Cockscomb is offering mussels in Negroni for 2016's edition of Negroni Week. - WES ROWE
  • Wes Rowe
  • Cockscomb is offering mussels in Negroni for 2016's edition of Negroni Week.
Back for a fourth year with no signs of slowing down, Campari’s Negroni Week returns even bigger and redder than last year. The charity event, which started in 2013, continues to gain momentum and is now celebrated in over 40 countries and raised over $300,000 for various charities last year. From June 6 to 12, over 90 bars and restaurants in San Francisco will be selling special Negroni themed cocktails and food items with a portion of each going to a charity of their choosing. A full list of participants can be found on the Negroni Week site, but for those of you too lazy to do that, here is a list of the most interesting events and offerings of the week. Unfortunately, you’ll have to put on pants and leave your bed to enjoy them because there is not yet a Negroni Week delivery app.

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Friday, May 20, 2016

Hangar 1 Releases Fog Point, a Vodka Made with Fog Water

Posted By on Fri, May 20, 2016 at 10:00 AM

  • Hangar 1 Vodka
Have you ever stuck your head outside on an especially foggy day and tried to suck the moisture from the air? No one else? Just me, then?

Well, even those not as intimately familiar with San Francisco’s characteristic fog (sometimes referred to as Karl) as I will be intrigued by the latest concoction of the Bay Area’s own Hangar 1 Vodka.

Today Hangar 1 revealed that after years of collaboration with Canada’s non-profit, FogQuest, they have made a fog-based vodka available on the market, called Fog Point.

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Friday, April 22, 2016

Anchor Gets a Tasting Room for Spirits

Posted By on Fri, Apr 22, 2016 at 8:00 AM

Anchor Distilling Tasting Room - ALAN KROPF
  • Alan Kropf
  • Anchor Distilling Tasting Room
Since time immemorial, Californians had been unable to sample spirits in tasting rooms the way we could with wine or beer. That only changed last January, but the team at Anchor Brewing — under the leadership of founder-savior Fritz Maytag during his 1965-2010 pontificate — had effectively anticipated this moment for decades.

The brewery’s spirits subsidiary — Anchor Distilling, which produces Hophead Vodka, Genevieve Gin, and Old Potrero Straight Rye Whiskey, among other things — has taken advantage of California’s legislative reform, and as of Thursday, April 21, will open itself up to the public for the first time in its 23 years of existence, giving expert-led, hour-long tours and tastings for up to 26 people on Thursdays and Fridays at 2:30 and 4:30 p.m.

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