May 17, 2011

May 17, 2011

The bar at Comstock Saloon. Photo: © 2010 Liza Gershman.

This Friday May 20th, celebrate the one-year anniversary of ~COMSTOCK SALOON~ gloriously joining (and preserving) our local saloon scene. The party starts at 11:30am, with the gents offering a free lunch (until 2:30pm) with the purchase of two adult beverages. Hey, it’s Friday after all! Starting at noon, there will be live music (ragtime, bebop, Dixieland, swing, blues) until midnight, along with complimentary snacks, a sexy burlesque show, and $4 boots (dangerous, those boots—you’ve been warned) and $3 Steams. Vintage attire is encouraged, and as the invite says, “All moustaches will be checked at the door.” Happy Anniversary, Jonny, Jeff, Carlo, and all the rest of the Comstock crew!

Eater has more details on ~EL AMIGO~, the Bernal Heights bar connected to Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack that I mentioned was going through some changes. Ends up the new owner, Joe Kaplan, was a bartender at neighboring The Royal Cuckoo, and is serving a house margarita (made with Cabrito Blanco tequila) for just $5. There’s a list of 30 blue agave tequilas, and look for more Latin-inspired cocktails coming down the pike. 3355 Mission St. at Virginia.

Here’s more on who is moving into the Socha Cafe space which I reported was all covered up last week: Grub Street notes it will be a second location of North Beach’s wine bar, ~DELL’UVA~. Owners Jason Marcucci and Juri McCorkle are aiming for an opening in early June. 3235 Mission St. at Valencia.


Photo from CUESA website.

Sounds like drinks are gonna flow like lava at the Ferry Building when CUESA and the Northern California Chapter of the United States Bartenders Guild hold their next (bigger and badder) ~FARMERS MARKET HAPPY HOUR~ on Wednesday May 25th. The event’s theme is “Pacific coast produce meets Pacific Rim cocktails,” and highlights cocktails made with spring produce (from strawberries and cherries to guavas, cucumbers, and pea pod juice), including an erupting volcano cocktail from local watering hole Smuggler’s Cove.

Guests will enjoy three full-sized signature cocktails made with El Tesoro Tequila, Cruzan Single Barrel Estate Rum, and Laphroaig Islay Malt Whisky. They’ll also taste 12 distinct, sample-sized drinks that will combine farmers’ market ingredients with FAIR. Quinoa Fair Trade Vodka, Moon Mountain Vodka, Michael Collins Irish Whiskey, Oxley Dry Gin, No.3 Gin, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, Combier Original Orange, Herradura Tequila, Casa Noble Tequila, Siete Leguas Tequila, St. George Absinthe Verte, and VeeV Açaí Spirit.

Using the best market-fresh ingredients, the bartending stars who will be making original cocktails for you include Erik Adkins from The Slanted Door and Heaven’s Dog, Martin Cate and Steven Liles from Smuggler’s Cove, Brandon Josie from 15 Romolo, Michael Callahan from Azul, Kristin Almy from Bar Adagio, Tony Devencenzi from Bourbon & Branch, Kevin Diedrich from Burritt Room, Matt Harrison from Delarosa, Alicia Walton from Elixir, Keli Rivers from Hotsy Totsy Club, Kate Bolton from MICHAEL MINA, David Ruiz from Mr. Smith’s and That’s My Jam, Peter Vestinos from Prospect, and Jeff Lyon and Ken Furusawa from Range.

Expect tasty bites too: hors d’oeuvres will be provided by 15 Romolo, Beretta, Delarosa, Ozumo, Revival, Sutro’s at the Cliff House, and Venus. Guests are encouraged to vote for their favorite drink and hors d’oeuvre, and five winners will be selected to receive bartending and farmers’ market prizes. Tickets are $40 online. All proceeds benefit CUESA and the USBG equally.

Cocktail expert Scott Beattie and CUESA are putting on yet another hands-on class, this time focusing on vodka’s classy cousin, gin. The ~SHAKEN OR STIRRED? D.I.Y COCKTAILS FEATURING GIN AKA “MOTHER’S RUIN”~ class will consist of a brief history of gin distillation, a discussion of current gin making methods, gin tasting, and hands-on cocktail instruction, and takes place Saturday May 28th, 2pm-4pm in the CUESA Kitchen at the Ferry Building.

Students will make classic drinks The Last Word, The Aviation, a Corpse Reviver, and a martini, and conduct some experimentation. Plus, Davorin Kuchan, third-generation distiller and proprietor of Belmont’s Old World Spirits, will talk about his Blade gin and other upcoming brands. Kuchan will also have Old World’s exceptional absinthe, eau de vie, and brandy available for tasting. The class costs $50; tickets online.

This class is part of a six-part series taught by Scott Beattie. All classes include a short “Cocktails 101” demo that will include proper shaking and stirring techniques (and the reasons why you would do either), precise measurement, ice, glassware selection, and several other helpful tips that will insure better home bartending. In addition to hearing from the guest speaker, all attendees will also receive printed information about additional spirits. Classes are limited to 40 students, and are mostly DIY. Time permitting, Scott will present and sign copies of his book Artisanal Cocktails, available for $28 (cash/check only).


The 2010 tasting; photo from eventbrite listing.

On Sunday June 5th at the Herbst Pavilion at Fort Mason, the Tempranillo Advocates, Producers and Amigos Society is hosting their ~TAPAS GRAND WINE TASTING~, the most extensive annual tasting of domestically produced Spanish and Portuguese varietal wines in North America.

Trade and general consumers will be able to sample wines from over 30 participating wineries and learn about the largely unknown yet unique domestic versions of indigenous Iberian grape varieties like tempranillo, albariño, garnacha, graciano, mourvedre, touriga, verdelho, bastardo, and more. Many limited-production, family-owned wineries will be pouring hard-to-find small lot wines from Arizona, California, Texas, Oregon, and Washington. Also, Chef Marco Rauch will serve paella to accompany the wines, and there will be samples from chef James Campbell Caruso from La Boca Restaurant, Santa Fe, and from local restaurants, caterers, and food purveyors.

Qualified members of the wine trade and media may apply for complimentary admission to the Trade/Media Tasting to be held from noon-2pm. The Consumer Tasting will take place from 2pm-5pm: tickets are $60 at the door, or $40 in advance.

The event auction benefits the Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation, and features special wines, crystal decanters, and other great items. Tempranillo Advocates, Producers and Amigos Society (TAPAS) is a trade association comprised of over one hundred members, whose mission is “to promote Tempranillo and other varietal wine grapes native to the Iberian Peninsula and wines produced from them in North America.”

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