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New Cocktail Program at Sherry-Centric Gitane in SF

Gitane restaurant has a lovely bar with a sherry-centric cocktail program. It was originally designed by Dominic Venegas and later handled by Alex Smith, who recently left to open Honor Bar in Emeryville. The new and slightly simplified menu is the work of lead barman Ramon Garcia, with some aid from Neyah White (formerly of NOPA). Vinegar lovers should be thrilled to see the Sherry Shrub back on a menu. SHERRY SHRUB barbadillo manzanilla sherry,seasonal house shrub, lemon peel BOOTHBY cava, bourbon, sweet vermouth,angostura bitters LA PERLA reposado tequila, manzanilla sherry,pear liqueur SMOKED PALOMINO crema de mezcal,amontillado sherry, grapefruit &... Read more →

Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF is now available for sale.

These are notes from the Tales of the Cocktail seminar "Vinegar : The Other Acid). Forgive the formatting and spelling- I'm typing this on my phone as I managed to lose my laptop power cord. Three other acids used is cocktails include citric (citrus), tartaric (unripe fruit), and malic (apples and grapes). Lime has the most acid of the citric group. Vinegar is a double fermented liquid. Base to alcohol, the alcohol to acetic acid. Balsamic is more acidic on the palate than white wine vinegar, yet they smell the opposite. They tried to correlate perception of sourness/acidity with pH... Read more →

Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF is now available for sale.

Last week I took a shrub-making class, lead by Jennifer Colliau of Small Hand Foods and Aaron Gregory of 15 Romolo. (Blueberry-Raspberry-Thyme Shrub Ready for Vinegar) The class was co-hosted by CUESA, Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture, who puts on the Ferry Building Farmer's Market, farm tours, and educational events and Urban Kitchen, a group that hosts affordable, single-purpose classes and workshops themed around the DIY Slow Food concept. (Jennifer Colliau and Aaron Gregory) Here is what I learned: The word shrub comes from a Persian word for a syrup with citrus and fruit in it, which is... Read more →

Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF is now available for sale.

I had an advance look at the cocktail menu for Prospect, the new San Francisco restaurant from Boulevard folks that opens on June 29. The beverage program was designed by Brooke Arthur, the long time bar manager of Range in the Mission. (Brooke Arthur, stirring in her unconventional style.) The menu is below, but keep scrolling for my taste-through of the drinks. Prospect Cocktail Menu (Subject to Change)Catcher in the Rye wild turkey rye, amontillado sherry, amer, grand marnier, abbots bitters 10.5 The Whaler appleton reserve, champagne, honey, mint, lime, egg white 11. Stallion, dominic venegas beefeater, orange curacao, barolo... Read more →

Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF is now available for sale.

After nearly a year of no notable cocktail programs launching in San Francisco, they're coming fast and furious these days, with the Comstock Saloon, Burritt Room, Scott Beattie's program at Spoonbar in Healdsburg, Brooke Arthur's menu at Prospect, and The Bon Vivants at Wayfare Tavern. What's that, you say? Didn't you just read in the Eater interview with Tyler Florence about his restaurant Wayfare Tavern that he won't have fancy cocktails? Yes you did: Can we talk about the bar program? You know, there are some amazing consultants in the city, but I don't know if we're necessarily going to... Read more →

Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF is now available for sale.

Gin and Tonic cupcakes. An LA bar goes with big ice. This AP story on sake does a great job of explaining the surge in sake sales over the past decade. Here's the meat: "Distribution of sake was limited to Japanese trading companies. They sell you the food, the plates, the sake. It's one-stop shopping for sushi restaurants. In that environment, sake wasn't getting its due. And the majority of the sake exported was table sake, which isn't very good." But about 10 years ago, two things changed that. In the U.S., Asian food trends boomed. Asian and Asian-fusion restaurants... Read more →

Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF is now available for sale.

The Washington Post has a story on making your own vinegar. I think this would be the perfect amount of added complexity to vinegar cocktails, which are all the rage (so I hear). In fact, it makes people like Neyah White seem lazy. His shrub recipe, which uses vinegar, takes a mere two weeks to make. Where is the effort in that? Now, if he just took the step of adding a few months for waiting for vinegar to be ready first, it might really seem like hard work. Bartenders. So lazy! Read more →

Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF is now available for sale.

Wilding during Whisky Week

This is whisky week in San Francisco, so there are a ton of events happening with distillers and brand ambassadors all over the city. Last night, I made it to four of them. I started off at Swig, meeting Sam Simmons of Balvenie. I tried the Doublewood, the 12-year-old limited edition for Dave Stewart's 40th anniversary at the company, and the new Balvenie 17-year-old rum cask. Next up was Rye's cocktail competition with Michter's rye. I got roped in to judging the event at the last minute, but it's not so bad- it ensures both a seat and a steady... Read more →

Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF is now available for sale.