Thursday, December 9, 2010

Week 13: Tradewinds at Smuggler's Cove

Lemon, coconut cream, apricot liqueur, dark Jamaican rum, silver Demerara rum.
Smuggler's Cove is an oasis hidden behind tinted windows on a consistently traffic-filled portion of Gough street.  Once through the front door, customers will find themselves transported to a tiki haven.  Their menu includes countless cocktails from bygone eras and exotic regions of the world.  Every time I order a cocktail at Smuggler's Cove, it's hard not to smile as I'm presented with an art-like masterpiece complete with an umbrella, orchids, or even a flaming inferno (depending on the drink). This week's cocktail, the Tradewinds, is a superb blend of tropical flavors completing the vacation-like experience one can expect at Smuggler's Cove.  Closing my tab felt like checking out of a resort while on vacation; I knew my vacation was over and the realities of life awaited me.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Week 12: Cablegram at Nihon Whiskey Lounge

Yamazaki 12-year single malt, Stirrings Ginger Liqueur, bitters, fresh ginger and lemon
My friends and I have been planning on going to Nihon Whiskey Lounge for a long time.  We finally were able to coordinate our schedules and enjoy their vast cocktail and whiskey lists.  The Cablegram is a delicious cocktail, by far the favorite amongst the group that evening.  The amount of ginger from the Stirrings was just right and worked well with the Yamazaki.  I think a lot of people not familiar with whiskey often shy away from trying whiskey and whiskey-based cocktails because they are intimidated by the liquor.  The Cablegram is a perfect introduction for the weary because it highlights the flavors of whiskey while adding subtle sweetness and a smooth finish.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Week 11: Red Hook at Cole's Red Car Bar (Los Angeles)

Rye, Punt e Mes red vermouth, and maraschino
Rye whiskey continues to have quite the revival.  Make sure you have this cocktail while you can (Rye shortage article).  If you ever find yourself in downtown Los Angeles, I highly recommend going to Cole's for a french dip and cocktail as a mid-day treat. If you are there later in the evening, a speakeasy bar named The Varnish opens in the back of the restaurant (brought to you by the people behind NY's Milk & Honey).

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Week 10: A cocktail with no name at Comstock Saloon

I ordered the "Barkeep's Whimsy" at Comstock last night leaving my fate in the hands of the bartender.  The drink he served me did not have a name and consisted of: bourbon, orange curacao, and orange bitters.
The cocktail with no name

Note: My buddy Matt, who has accompanied me during the last 2 weeks of my cocktail mission, also ordered the Barkeep's Whimsy and was served a modified version of the New Orlean's cocktail The Ninth Ward: Bulleit bourbon, St. Germain, Velvet Falernum, grapefruit juice, and Peychaud's bitters. Despite my allergy to citrus, I definitely had order envy.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Week 9 : Great Pumpkin Fizz at the Burritt Room

Aged rum, Velvet Falernum, cream, egg white, lemon juice, maple pumpkin butter, old fashioned bitters

If Autumn was a beverage, it would be the Great Pumpkin Fizz.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Week 8: 21 Hayes at Absinthe

Damrak Gin muddled with cucumber, a splash of Pimm’s No. 1, lemon-lime and simple syrup
The cocktail was created to provide relief to riders of Muni's 21 bus; I strongly believe that it never fails.  I think of the cocktail as a more virile version of the Pimm's Cup, but just as delicious.