The inspiration for A Proper Figging is not for the genteel. If you’re curious about the backstory of this cocktail’s name, please, proceed without judgment. If you’re simply interested in a cocktail recipe for a delicious ginger-tinged, raisiny cocktail without the occasionally obscene backstory, by all means, skip to the end.
As with many of the finest cocktail inspirations, this one started with a bottle of gin. In this case, it was Sweet Gewndoline French Gin. Sweet Gwendoline has a striking all-around design. The shape of the bottle hearkens back to the art deco style of the mid-20th Century. The label cuts a dominating presence with a woman bedecked all in black. She wears a catsuit, heels, a top hat, and opera gloves. Her right hand wields a bullwhip. The eye-catching packaging hints that there’s more to the story of this gin.
Wonder no more, for I, your average drinker, have opinions.
My general rule of thumb is that for $100 and northwards, value is essential. Facile as that sounds, think about what’s on offer around here. Most one-time classes run well under $100 (with the exception of Future Bars’ Beverage Academy, whose class descriptions don’t reveal much about the price/value ratio). It’s far easier to drop a Benjamin on actual drinks or bottles than an event.
Right away the Science of Cocktails price point sticks out. At $150 per general admission ticket or $250 VIP, it’s not your average date night.
Peanut gallery, I hear you: “It’s the premiere fundraiser for the Exploratorium Labs, you cheap grump.” Yeah, yeah. Well, when non-profits and cocktails collide, my judgment is relevant, and I am banging my gavel on the Science of Cocktails. Continue reading →
Heading into Tales of the Cocktail 2018 next week, I find myself thinking back to my top five cocktails of last year’s Tales. Some may prove continually elusive: will I ever have that many Rutte flavors before me ever again? Do I trust myself to experiment with chicken essence? Will I ever find the patience to make my own vanilla grapefruit shrub or track down a commercial version? Unlikely.
But I have attempted to recreate two of those top five.
Aquafaba has been pinging cocktail radars for years now, but I still don’t see it on as many cocktail menus as I’d forecasted.
Seriously, what’s not to love? It’s less perishable than egg whites, avoids the unpleasant smell of egg whites, suits vegan cocktails, has savory and sweet applications, and its byproduct is (practically) delicious hummus.
Dirty Habit SF uses aquafaba to create a foam sturdy enough to hold a charcoal garnish.
The last time Time Out handed out Bar Awards, I discovered a life-changing spritzer that shook up my opinions of that category.
This year Time Out’s local event focused on dear old San Francisco and the ways in which its cocktail scene deserves a round of applause. And we’ve earned it — not least for our historical contributions to the modern state of craft cocktails. Need context for San Francisco’s influence, alongside New York and London, in reviving and evolving our drinking landscape? Check out Robert Simonson’s excellent book A Proper Drink.
So San Francisco is historically innovative. But what about today? I headed to the Time Out San Francisco Bar Awards to learn who won the prize for “Most Creative Bar Menu” and find out how that honor breaks down in terms of inspiration and perspiration.
Seven days. Three ingredients. One simple way to give back.
That’s the motto of Negroni Week which returns for year six in June. Between June 4 and 10 more than 3,000 bars around the world will take part in what has become an annual holiday for cocktail enthusiasts. The main purpose of Negroni Week, a partnership between Imbibe Magazine and Campari, is to highlight one of the greatest cocktails ever concocted while raising money for a selection of charities.
Many bars play it safe during Negroni Week choosing to stick with the classic: one part London Dry Gin, one part Campari, and one part Sweet Vermouth, and served either on the rocks or up and topped with a twisted orange peel.
Some bars go further by playing with traditional variants like the Old Pal, White Negroni, or Boulevardier. However, every year an increasing number of bartenders go the distance by creating an in-house variant on the Negroni. Lucky for us, some of those bartenders kindly post the full recipes on the Negroni Week website.
The first iterations of this post were originally written for the defunct website UpOut which operated in five cities: Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Chicago. During Negroni Week 2017 lists featuring Negroni variations from each of those cities were created. We thought it would be fun to go ahead and compile as many original 2017 recipes we could find into one list. Below you’ll more than two dozen variants of the Negroni created by some of the finest bars in the United States. You’re welcome.
The Craft Spirits Carnival returns to San Francisco June 9th and 10th. This year the annual celebration of the distilled and aged will take over City View – Metreon. As we prepare our livers for this deliciously boozy event we thought we’d dust off an article we previously wrote for the now defunct UpOut.com. This post featuring some of the highlights of Craft Spirits Carnival 2017 should give you a good sense of what to expect this year. Continue reading →
New York City bartenders have been leading the country when it comes to going beyond both tequila and mezcal. Most notable is the rise of sotol, a spirit distilled from the Dasylirion wheeleri succulent (which isn’t technically an agave, but is a close relative). Other agave spirits taking root in New York bars include bacanora and raicilla.
Below are suggestions for some of the most interesting margarita alternatives worth seeking out in New York.
Plan an agave-soaked celebration without a single drop of tequila
(Originally published on UpOut SF May 2, 2017. I’ve previously shared bonus information and additional recommendations right this way.)
Did you know that San Francisco is instrumental in defending agave sustainability so future generations can enjoy the plentiful agave beverages we enjoy today? For a city whose drinking history is soaked in pisco, whiskey, and beer, San Francisco certainly claims above-average agave expertise.
If you’re interested in breaking tequila traditions without sacrificing agave indulgence, our list honors cocktails made with mezcal, sotol, bacanora, and raicilla.
Go for the Coco Puff-infused Breakfast Negroni decorated with orange peel stars and birds; stay for the Chi Wa Wa cocktail with Por Siempre sotol, La Gitana Manzanilla sherry, Plantation Pineapple Rum, lemon, honey, and housemade “spicy monk mix.”
In the mood for a sotol taste test showdown? El Jolgorio Sotol is on the spirits list.