My time in San Francisco-proper was relatively limited this time around, as the primary purpose of my trip is a conference out in the Silicon Valley area. That being said, I packed in a solid weekend in the city, filled mostly with eating and drinking (naturally). I had an amazing meal at Incanto, which is a must if you’re a meat lover (pork in particular). I had outstanding mexican food, well, pretty much everywhere. I had terrific coffee from Blue Bottle at the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market (which was a great experience in and of itself). And I discovered my favorite cocktail of the trip when I stopped for a snack at Beretta (where the food was also outstanding). Read More
Earlier this week, I was fortunate to join many of New York’s cocktail twitterati for a celebration of Mardi Gras at one of my favorite new bars, Rye House. At an event hosted by the Time Out Dining & Libation Society, we were lucky to find proprietor and master mixologist Lynette Marrero behind the bar furiously shaking and stirring the classic cocktails of New Orleans, including the Sazarac, the French 75, and my favorite of the evening – the Vieux Carre. Read More
This evening, my friend Laren (@sweetblogomine) and I joined Jonathan Pogash for his Cocktail Lab class at the Astor Center Lounge. I’ve mentioned Jonathan here before (he was the source for our post on the Maple Plum Sparkler), but to refresh your memory, Jonathan is a cocktail development consultant, and the beverage director for Hospitality Holdings (which manages a number of major bars here in New York, including the Campbell Apartment and Bookmarks Lounge).
I’ve taken a number of classes at Astor Center in the past, and they’ve all offered an opportunity to learn a great deal from some of the country’s most talented mixologists. Be sure to check out their full calendar; if you’re in the area, I highly encourage you to give one a try. Jonathan’s class is actually offered monthly, so you can definitely take that one. If you’re just starting out, I’d suggest the Home Bar Basics course. Read More
The Sazerac is one of the oldest cocktails on record – and supposedly the first cocktail invented in America. It came into being in New Orleans, Louisiana in the 1830’s, and was originally made with cognac and Peychaud bitters (created by Antoine Amédée Peychaud). The Peychaud bitters are still a key ingredient, but the most common preparation of the cocktail is now with rye rather than cognac (even though our friend @halw likes to mess with bartenders by ordering it with cognac anyway.)
I came late to the Sazerac, but was introduced to it by another friend, @livethelushlife, who counts the Sazerac among her absolute favorite cocktails. And it really came to life for me when I had the chance to sample the cocktail in its native environment – New Orleans – where the Sazerac is still an institution. Read More
I had the extreme pleasure this past July 4th weekend to journey 90 miles north of New York City to visit Tuthilltown Spirits – the home of one of my all-time favorite whiskeys, Hudson Baby Bourbon.
Physically located in the heart of the Hudson Valley, near New Paltz, NY, Tuthilltown Spirits is the spiritual center of a revival that has been a long-time coming. Humility takes over when distillery partner Ralph Erenzo talks about his craft. He says, “There’s nothing magic here – It’s just whiskey. Really good whiskey.” But one need only set foot on the grounds of Tuthilltown Spirits to know differently, and none other than the New York Times agrees. Read More
During our Brown Liquor Tweetup earlier in the week, our group eventually made its way to a wonderful cocktail bar called the Clover Club. You may remember, I’ve posted about the Clover Club cocktail in the past, and while they seemed to do a fine job mixing their namesake drink, another cocktail on the menu caught my eye: the Ward Eight.
The Ward Eight is essentially a whisky sour, but with the addition of grenadine. In The Essential Cocktail, Dale DeGroff teaches us about its historic political roots in Boston’s Eighth Ward. The story goes that it was created on Election Eve 1898 to celebrate the victory of Martin Lomasney. Historians can debate if that’s true. While they do, I’ll be pouring myself a drink. Read More
A little while back, I told you about my trip to Eleven Madison Park and my decision to go with my Bartender’s Choice. That evening, my bartender selected a cocktail for me off the Eleven Madison Park cocktail menu called the Silhouette. I’m so glad I let him choose!
The Silhouette is a Rye-based cocktail, but it has a very light profile compared to straight Rye thanks to the addition of sweet vermouth (Vermouth de Chambery Rouge at EMP) and Aperol, an orange-flavored liquor. That lighter profile makes this cocktail a great place to start for those who aren’t traditionally Rye drinkers, but would like to be (you know you want to!) Read More