Drink of the Week: the Savory Collins

This week I tried out Hi Lo, the new BBQ place on 19th and Mission. The fact that it was started by the people from Hog & Rocks was a good sign where cocktails are concerned, so even without a bar or bartender anywhere to be seen, I felt confident ordering off of the drink menu.

The Savory Collins, with lemon, pickling liquid, and tarragon, sounded like the kind of thing that would be better in theory than in practice, but I took the plunge and asked for it anyway. It came out in a pint glass, with thin-sliced pickled fennel and big strips of tarragon floating around. I started to worry that between the salty meats and sides and a mouth-puckering cocktail, I was going to spend my dinner grasping for my water glass.

In fact, the Savory Collins was delicious, satisfying, and not all that intense. The citrus added some sweetness, and the soda kept the pickle brine at bay. The result was somewhere between a lemon shrub cocktail and a celery soda.

I also had a sip of the paloma, also 16 oz., which was a doozy. I might have to write that one up separately, but suffice it to say that, in addition to tequila, it had a fucking shot of mezcal in it.

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Drink of the week: Goon of Fortune

So Saturday was Australia day – did you miss it? Well thanks to our Australian friend Jess, we definitely did not. Unlike America, the British basically just gave Australia its independence, but that didn’t stop the Australians from coming up with important Australia day traditions like making weird cakes and stringing up bags of Franzia. Wikipedia explains the latter, in a particularly head-scratching entry:

Goon of Fortune is an Australian drinking game between any number of individual people. The name of the game is a spoof on the TV show Wheel of Fortune.

“This game is based on popular game show wheel of fortune. 1 or more (depending on number of participants) goonsacks are pegged to a Hills Hoist and players sit under the perimeter of the clothes line. A mixture of red and white wines can be used if players are of expert level however only 1 variety is recommended for amateurs. A player spins the hills hoist to start the game and when the clothesline comes to rest the player/s under where the goonbag stopped must drink an amount of goon agreed upon before the commencement of the spin. Players are prohibited to impede the natural spin of the clothesline in any way [sic]. Penalties vary on surroundings.”

The quote is from a defunct website. You’re welcome.

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Drink of the week: cranberry cider, cider generally

So cider is a thing now, right? Given the tendency of microbreweries to put creativity above all else, I’m surprised it didn’t happen sooner. Think of all those years we wasted on mead and barley wine when we could have been drinking all sorts of cider.

The easiest way to get wacky with cider is move on from apple and pear, and since the first two adjectives that should describe any good cider are “crisp” and “tart,” what better place to start than with cranberries? The Two Rivers cranberry cider, which I tried over the holidays at Shotwell’s, was dry and refreshing, and the cranberry taste was surprisingly muted as opposed to the overpowering sour-sweetness of the juice. They’ve since moved back to apple on tap, although they still have a few bottles of Two Rivers pomegranate in the fridge. If you want to try the cranberry, I think they still have it at Rosamunde, so get it while you can.

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Drink of the week: the Mission Bowl michelada

Every time I order a michelada I end up regretting it. There are just not many situations that are well-suited for 20 oz of beer, salt, and hot sauce, and nursing a hangover is certainly not one of them. However, my losing streak was broken when I tried Mission Bowling Club’s take on the classic.

They start with Negra Modelo, which is clearly the ideal michelada beer – bold enough to stand up to the hot sauce and other add-ons, but without any conflicting bitterness or fruitiness. They solve the volume problem by preparing the drink in a small glass and giving you the rest of the bottle to top it off with, so your first sip in strong, spicy, and pungent enough to jolt you out of your morning haze. The additional ingredients focus on smoky, chipotle flavors, and I’m not sure how they get that frothy little head on top, but it’s similarly full of flavor. Oh and also, they put a fucking shot of mezcal in it.

So thanks, MBC, for revealing the beauty of the michelada to me, even if you did have to bastardize it a little.

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Why doesn’t the NObama NOtipper just step forward and become a Tea Party hero?

This picture has been whizzing around the internet all week, gaining all sorts of predictable (and merited) criticism, including the great honor of a stream-of-consciousness smackdown on Gawker. Although Gawker assumed the prickish missive must have originated in L.A., Inside Scoop reports that it came from a $37 check at a restaurant in the S.F. Westfield Center called “Cupola.”

Although the Bay Area might be a tough place to pull this kind of bullshit, I think the stingy little fucker is missing an opportunity to ride this viral news story to fame of Joe the Plumber proportions. I would gladly tune in to see this guy flesh out his political and economic theories on Fox & Friends. So how about it, buddy? Time to take the plunge and stand up for what’s right? I can’t imagine an anonymous note to an unsuspecting server in the mall is the extent of your thirst for social justice.

Drink of the week: Il Professionale

I have been putting off going to Locanda, the newest addition to the Craig Stoll empire, because I figured it would be 1) a shitshow and 2) incredibly expensive. After continually seeing it referenced as one of the best places in town to get a drink, I stopped by last week and found neither of my suspicions to be especially true. I easily got a seat at the bar around 6 and ordered Il Professionale, a mix of bourbon, sweet vermouth, Amaretto, and a bunch of mystery bitters.

It was great. The Amaretto makes the drink considerably sweeter than your usual Manhattan variation, but it was strong enough to balance it out. If the rest of the drinks are as good as they sound on the menu, this place joins The Hideout and West of Pecos as one of the best places to get fancy cocktails around here. Hey, when is Trick Pony opening?

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More scenes from the Capp St. fire


Drink of the week: the Sunday Smash

I’m pretty sure the first time I ever had a whiskey smash was at Slow Club, about five years ago. Now it’s my all-time favorite brunch drink. The mint and lemon make the drink crisp and refreshing, but the unmasked malty bourbon reminds you that it’s really irresponsible to be ordering drinks like this in the middle of the day.

Slow Club calls their version the Sunday Smash, and it’s still the best one I’ve ever had. Even after making several at home, I haven’t been able to capture the magic. Slow Club sweetens theirs with maple syrup instead of honey, which is maybe what pulls it together so nicely.

It’s the perfect drink for resigning yourself to the fact that you’re not taking Sunday easy this week and you’re just going to have to tough it through Monday with a hangover. Try one this Sunday (they’re open, I checked), although that’s kind of cheating because you have two days off.

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Drink of the week: your own bottle of whiskey at Hog & Rocks

I’ve always been intrigued by bars and restaurants that get their own private barrel of whiskey. Four roses does these branded bottlings a lot: Nopa used to have one, I think Elixir still does, even Beltramo’s, the South Bay’s most famous liquor mart, had their own branded bottles of Four Roses. For me, though, it’s hard to form an opinion on a spirit with just one shot in the course of a dinner or a night out.

Enter Hog & Rocks, who is offering their private barrel of Elijah Craig 12 by the bottle. Here’s the deal: you pay up front for the bottle, they put your name on it, and they keep it behind the bar. Then, any time you want, you just walk in and have them pour you a shot. I’m especially looking forward to convincing friends to go with me without mentioning the program, and then just walking up to the bar and having them pull out my personal bottle like a boss.

They also allow you to add up to four names in case you don’t think you can go through an entire bottle yourself. But I live a few blocks away, so I’m not worried.

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Drink of the week: Christmas magnum from Anchor Brewing

Who here’s in the HOLIDAY SPIRIT??? The trees are going up, the Mission is almost entirely underwater, and the city’s youth are booking their plane tickets back to Michigan.

One local institution that knows what I’m talking about is Anchor Brewing, who has released their 37th? annual Christmas ale. Each year the recipe is different, but from the taste I had, the 2012 is a rich, nutmeggy brown ale that represents the season well. The thing that makes it irresistible, however, is the beautiful 1.5 liter bottle, pictured here with a bottle of gin just to make sure you realize how big it is.

Available wherever fine magnums of Christmas beer are sold.

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Nick Pal

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This author is a person who has been writing for Mission Mission for an amount of time. This person likes things--things like movies and pizza. This author is also involved with other exciting projects. When this author is not busy with his/her respective hobbies, this author enjoys having a good time with friends. If this author had to choose one adjective to describe him/herself, it would be "existing".