What makes a better gift than DIY cocktail supplies? This kind of gift is cute, unique, and way more useful than another pair of hand-knit socks. Best of all, it’s surprisingly easy to make the components of one of my favorite cocktails, the Manhattan. Well, all of the components except for the rye whiskey. That one, I’ll leave to the experts.
Celebrate the prohibition era with a sneak preview of Ken Burns’ new documentary and wine tasting at Cal Academy NightLife.
Kevin Diedrich is the bar manager of Jasper’s Corner Tap & Kitchen. The San Francisco Chronicle recently named him one of five Bay Area “Bar Stars.” BAB caught up with Diedrich via an email interview.
Did you know that the margarita is the number one cocktail ordered in America? It’s also a distinctly American drink — American meaning it is mostly served in the United States. In Mexico, the Paloma — a combination of grapefruit soda, tequila, salt and lime juice — is the tequila mixed-drink of choice. But in the United States, Margaritas reign supreme and, as you might guess, there’s no day where margaritas are served more in this country than Cinco de Mayo.
If you’re purchasing a sparkling wine this holiday season, it’s easy to keep it local. After all, some of the finest American choices are produced in our own backyard. Following is a list of my top-ten local sparkling wine choices. Half of these wineries are set in Carneros, an area that covers parts of both Sonoma and Napa Valley that is perfectly suited for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grape growing (the two varietals most commonly used for sparkling wines). The other half are located in other parts of Napa and the Anderson Valleys.
It’s almost New Years Eve, and you know what that means — a lot of folks will be getting their drink on. If you have a gluten sensitivity, it doesn’t mean you need to miss the revelry. A lot of hard alcohol is naturally gluten-free, and for those not into hitting the hard stuff, there are quite a lot of companies making gluten-free beer and cider.
But as long as we’re indulging, why not throw in some adult libations as well? Of course there is the standard Peppermint Schnapps for a tried and true candy-cane flavored holiday aperitif, but what about some amaretto, Frangelico or whiskey to liven things up? Or, as Fred McMurray says in the classic Double Indemnity, “I wonder if a little rum would get this back on its feet?”
According to Rosemary Ellen Guiley’s book The Complete Vampire Companion, there is some guy named Damien Vanian who is living la vida muerte in London. Damien Vanian, aside from having a name that’s the undead equivalent of Amelia Bedelia, is supposedly “London’s most famous living vampire.” I didn’t learn a whole lot about the guy, but I did learn that he came up with a blood substitute recipe.
Left Coast Libations offers a bottoms-up snapshot of a particular moment in West Coast cocktail culture, one in which gin rules, elderflower liqueur flows, and bitters come in as many flavors as Jolly Ranchers.
San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors is considering imposing a fee on alcoholic beverages, which would go to pay for programs associated with alcohol abuse. But critics say the fee would burden businesses in already tough economic times.