Several of these suggestions are a bit more food-centric than booze-centric, but the sight of a billion Santas tomorrow is going to make you think about escape no matter what. Here are the best things we found for the rest of December.
Thirtsty Thursday Toy Drive at Sea Star (2289 Third St., Thursday, Dec. 15, 6-9 p.m.) Black Cow Vodka, made from cows in West Dorset, England, is the world’s only pure milk vodka. Sea Star will use it in eggnog, Sherries Jubilee, a Fireside punch, and other drinks, and if you bring in a new toy for the toy drive next Thursday evening, it’s $2 off.
Junju @ Nightbird (330 Gough. Sunday and Monday, Dec. 18-19). Robin Song’s forthcoming Junju will take over Kim Alter’s Nightbird in Hayes Valley for a seven-course pop-up featuring Korean dishes made with local ingredients and paired with outstanding natural wine. For $95, plus optional wine pairing available the day of, you’ll get some tasty items, like fluke crudo, young hen with koshikari rice and sprouted soybean, and Wagyu shortrib.
Bottled Punch from Novela (your house). Novela (622 Mission) is selling its beautiful, just-add-booze-and-water punch by the bottle, $20 with 48 hours’ notice and available for pickup after 4 p.m. daily. It’s great for a gift and equally lovely if you’re just boozing it up at home, real classy-like. Every bottle comes with instructions and suggestions for spirits.
Sunday brunch at Bar Agricole (355 11th St.) The always-wonderful craft-cocktail-centric SoMa restaurant has launched Sunday brunch, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., for walk-ins and by reservation. You can get a slab of house-made bacon with sea salt, slow-cooked brisket with grits and grilled escarole, and poached yellowtail with citrus, punterelles, and mint.
Happy Hour at Jersey (145 Second St.) One of America’s most culinarily underrated states gets its due with a brand-new happy hour menu at this SoMa Italian-Mediterranean restaurant from the team behind Salt House, Town Hall, and Anchor & Hope. Beer and wine is $3 to $5, and there’s a meatball on sourdough crostini that can’t be improved upon. Don’t know what a Taylor Pork Roll is? Educate yourself with a Taylor Pork Roll pizza made from Jersey sauce, mozzarella, provolone, and a fried egg. And if you order anything with prosciutto, remember, it’s “pruh-ZHOOT.”
My Sherry Amour at The Front Porch (65 29th St.) We can’t resist a holiday cocktail that puns on Stevie Wonder. Made with Lo-Fi Sweet Vermouth, Yuste Amontillado Sherry, Seven Stills Cannela Cinnamon liqueur, clarified lemon and house-made bergamot bitters) this low-ABV drink is basically December incarnate. It’s available at the perennially lovely La Lengua Southern restaurant all month,$1 from every drink goes to the SF-Marin Food Bank, and oh yeah, it comes with a “decorative ice sphere” adorned with gold flakes and orange peel.
El Techo’s Winter Solstice Party (2516 Mission St. Wednesday, Dec. 21, 4-10:30 p.m.) There is so little warmth and light on the winter solstice, so the Mission restaurant and bar will host a party on its covered, heated rooftop, with $5 cocktails, hot agua quemada (black tea-infused mescal, aged cachaça, all-spice, lemon, molasses, hot water) and more.
The 20th Anniversary of Anchor Distilling’s Junipero Gin (various locations). In honor of the U.S.’s first craft gin since Prohibition, a bunch of bars have made seasonal Junipero Gin cocktails. The full list:
Pacific Cocktail Haven