Drinks

The Riff-Raff

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On Sunday, a select and very lucky group of us were granted access to the top-secret(ish) and charmingly industrial premises of Raff Distillerie. A craft distiller, long-time vintner, and bartender, Carter Raff founded his company in 2011. Having occupied the former Navy Brig on Treasure Island, Carter has a (probably haunted) gem on his hands – from the solitary-confinement-turned-storage rooms to the yard with basketball lines still painted on the ground. Here the craftsman produces batches of his outstanding gin and absinthe (“the best absinthe in the world,” according to the man himself) in a hand-machined and -built still. The passion and dedication evident in the fabrication of both his tools and his product is remarkable. With scrupulously-sourced ingredients and meticulous construction, his spirits are exceptionally good. (more…)

Oh, Bee-Hive

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On a sunny Saturday last weekend, we took a trip over to the SF Mead Company for a tasting, and what passed was an afternoon of (progressively more tipsy) enjoyment. Mead, an alcoholic beverage made by fermenting honey (technically it doesn’t sound all that alluring but trust us, it is), seems to be on the rise in this country. The drink is becoming more popular in the craft beer and foodie scene, and the burgeoning popularity is making both established and new breweries more familiar to the average consumer. (more…)

Dixieland Sunrise

drink In the first flush of summer weather, we’re all thinking one thing: strawberries. Bright red, juicy berries are bursting out of pastries, studding spinach salads, and turning post-workout smoothies a darling shade of pink. Tart and sweet, we have been trying to use these fruits in everything. It was only a matter of time before they found their way into one of our cocktail recipes. (more…)

Proudly Presenting the Mr. Darcy

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Sometimes you want nothing more than to come home, stir up a cool drink, and sit back for a six-hour adaptation of a 19th century novel of manners. Come on, it can’t just be us. We decided to craft the perfect drink for such an evening so that you can be fully prepared should the opportunity arise to slip in your old videotapes of the BBC miniseries (or a DVD of the Keira Knightley version – we don’t judge). (more…)

Mumbai Nights

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Sometimes food inspiration comes from unexpected places. Perhaps a day spent listening to the soundtrack of Wes Anderson’s 2007 movie, The Darjeeling Limited, leads one to explore some traditional sitar music on Spotify. Fantasizing (however unrealistically) of monsoon-swept trees and richly spiced curries becomes all but inevitable at this point in our journey. One forgets the stories of severe intestinal distress and chaotic tours and instead waxes romantic on things like papadum and the waters of the Ganges. As the days grow longer and summer sits patiently on the horizon, we also begin to review our arsenal of refreshing drinks. In the interest of stockpiling as many recipes as we can, we have been playing around with a few easy-to-find ingredients. The drink below, inspired by a few hours spent in the thrall of Ustad Vilayat Khan, we’re calling Mumbai Nights.

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Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Shrimp and Grits

As we face the slow march through the end of winter or, perhaps more appropriately, the long stretch of Lent, we need something substantial to fortify us until the dawning of spring (or the arrival of Easter). Although the religious origins of Mardi Gras – or Shrove Tuesday, as it is known to the more devout among us – are often overlooked in our progressive enclave, the urge to indulge ahead of the privations of Lent can still be understood and appreciated by those who live for good food and general merriment. Mardi Gras is related to the raucous festivities of Carnival: a final send-off to the more pleasurable and potentially sinful pursuits before a time of denial and repentance. (more…)