July 19, 2011

July 19, 2011
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Thirsty? A lineup of the American BBQ cocktail (at Bluestem Brasserie).

Here’s some happy hour action for ya. First up, ~TXOKO~ in North Beach is launching a new happy hour tonight, with free Spanish bar bites (while at the bar) from 5pm-6pm. Things kick off tonight with complimentary tortilla and fries. (No discounts on beer or cocktails at this moment.) Every Tue-Sat 5pm-6pm. Yay, Saturday happy hour! Love those.

~GREENS~ has launched HH at Greens to Go, a happy hour from 5pm-7pm, featuring some new bites like mini empanadas with tomatillo and fire-roasted salsas, corn griddle cakes with romesco and crème fraîche, and a pizzetta of the week, all at special prices ($3.50-$12). You can dine on these items at the restaurant over a glass of wine (each month, a glass of red and white wine will be available for $5), or opt to take them home. And you can get that wine to go as well since all wines are available to purchase by the bottle for takeout. Mon-Fri 5pm-7pm.

In Hayes Valley, ~STRAW~ has launched Hopscotch Happy Hour, Mon-Fri 5pm-6pm. Enjoy $2 beer, $3 wine, $4 “cocktails,” and $5 appetizers.

Perhaps following a cue from adesso, the downstairs ~OLIVETO~ Cafe just started a late-night happy hour: Tue-Sat from 9pm-10pm, with free small bites.

And this isn’t really happy hour, but it is a killer deal: don’t forget every Wednesday evening, ~JARDINIÈRE~ offers select bottles of wine for half-off from 8pm-10pm in the J Lounge and restaurant.

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The Burritt Room. Photo from Alcademics.com.

With the departure of bar manager Kevin Diedrich from ~THE BURRITT ROOM~ to the upcoming Jasper’s Corner Tap, local boozehounds wondered about the fate of the fantastic bar program there. SFoodie reports that Joel Baker—previously a bar manager at Bourbon & Branch—is taking the reins. Here’s more: “He has been working on cocktail recipes and will feature five shaken and five stirred drinks. The plan is to keep it small and focused, and change the cocktail list about every six weeks.” I look forward to seeing what he puts together (some of my favorite field research). 417 Stockton St. at Sutter, 415-400-0500.

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Interior photo of Koko Cocktails from Facebook.

Bummer: the closing date of ~KOKO COCKTAILS~ has been set. The Tender reports Koko is serving its final cocktail in its current location on Saturday July 30th. The bar is trying to reopen on Polk Street (it had to move since the California Pacific Medical Center has started the transformation of the nearby Cathedral Hill Hotel into a hospital, and there is going to be mega-construction and demolition of buildings on that stretch of Geary). Stand by for updates on their (hopeful) reopening in the Hi Lo Club at 1423 Polk Street, NIMBY be damned.

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Photo from Tres.

Looks like the weather might actually be nice this week, which makes it a good time to check out the Tailgating Mixer at ~TRES~ this Thursday July 21st, starting with cocktail hour at 6pm. They’re making it more than a tailgate party: they’re celebrating Milagro Distillery, their distillery of the month known for their triple distillation process. There will be Milagro cocktails, bottomless margaritas, and tailgating food Mexican-style, i.e. rotisserie pig, taco carts, and chef Kelvin Ott’s award-winning tequila and passion fruit-injected sausage recipe. Food starts at 7pm. Eat and drink all you want for $75, inclusive of tax and gratuity. RSVP by email. Heaters and fire-pits will be on hand in case the weather doesn’t want to comply. 130 Townsend St. at 2nd St., 415-227-0500.

Also, on Sunday July 24th, Tres is hosting a celebration of National Tequila Day with a prix-fixe menu of tequila-infused entrées and appetizers, plus margarita-making classes at 6pm, 7pm, and 8pm.

Take a new look at some familiar spirits this weekend with two cocktail-making classes. On Saturday July 30th, CUESA and Eye on the Bay are presenting yet another Preview to SF Chefs event, this one with tequila experts Scott Beattie (Spoonbar) and Eric Rubin (Tres Agaves). Agave Spirits, Tequila Cocktails, and Other Mexican Mayhem is a DIY cocktail class intended to reintroduce people to an often misunderstood spirit.

On the syllabus: tequila’s complex aging process, the difference between average and great tequila, and how to make new and familiar tequila cocktails. Class will start with a short introduction to cocktail making, covering proper shaking and stirring techniques (and the reasons why you would do either), precise measurement, ice, glassware selection, and other helpful tips for better home bartending. The class includes hands-on cocktail experience with the shakers and strainers, tastings, and a take-home booklet. Time permitting, Scott will present and sign copies of his book Artisanal Cocktails. Tickets are $50, and limited to 40 students. 2pm-4pm, CUESA Kitchen at the Ferry Building.

Follow up tequila lessons with Bloody Mary Magic on Sunday at 18 Reasons, another DIY event, this time with a focus on the bloody Mary. Sean Timberlake of Punk Domestics will lead students through three versions of the tomato-based and vodka-laced drink. Students also get a chance to gaze upon the one-day exhibition of Kelly Waters’ watercolors of the same theme. Liquid brunch plus art, not a bad way to spend your Sunday. Tickets are $40 for 18 Reasons members, $50 for the general public. 11am-1pm, 593 Guerrero St. at 18th St.

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