Nuggets of wisdom

Gems I took away from the barstaff at The Miranda, which just soft-launched in Oakland:

  • A pinch of salt or dash of saline isn’t just useful in negronis and other stirred cocktails; try it in daiquiris and gimlets too.
  • St. George’s Rye gin is great in stirred drinks. Conversely, why use a fine flavorful gin in a sour where it could get lost?
The reason I made a beeline for The Miranda. The Room 237: Gancia Americano, Cocchi Americano, lemon, Agricanto, sparkling rose wine. The room 237 keychain is my own (a beloved tchotchke from Borderland Books).

  • Rinse your coffee mug with absinthe. Add coffee. Apparently it’s delicious (and will be available at The Miranda when it starts offering coffee in the afternoons). I also overheard a recommendation to use coffee liqueur in a Sazerac in place of sugar or simple syrup.
  • The Leopold Aperitivo is good but has had a heavy hand on the gentian root. “Half a barspoon in a drink is plenty,” said John of The Miranda and Camino.
The refreshing Mon Signor. Gin, lemon, oloroso sherry, housemade five-spice syrup, Benedictine, and fresh slapped mint. The five-spice syrup was quite subtle — anise avoiders need not fear.
  • Why bartenders are the best people on earth, #19,856: “I’ve never had the Gancia Americano before. How does it compare to..” “Here. Have a taste.”

Thanks to John, Robin, and the woman who works part-time at St. George whose name I didn’t get. Good luck at your Friday launch!

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