Nitrogen is the most abundant element in the Earth’s atmosphere, but while we draw it in with every breath, we don’t necessarily ingest it. La Mar Cebicheria Peruana, a short jog north of the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero, aims to remedy that with some a couple new cocktails created with the good stuff, in liquid form, cooled to below -320 degrees Fahrenheit.
It’s slightly science-y, but not in a molecular-gastronomy sort of way. (Aside from the tanks of compressed gas, it’s more like dry ice, really.) But as with Smitten Ice Cream, the results are unmistakable: summery drinks with the smooth texture an extra-fine slushy that proceed to melt as you drink them. Of the two, the Froze Rosé is the more straightforward, a surprisingly wine-free combination of Plymouth gin, Aperol, Lillet Rose, and strawberry ($16). It’s lovely, but the Spiked Punch (Absolut Elyx vodka, Fernet Branca, orange, passion fruit, mint, Crème de Noyaux, and soda $16) is even better. In spite of all the tropical flavors and the liqueur made from stone-fruit pits, the ironizing effect of the Fernet holds in all in like a cinching belt.
Each is available in the Cebiche Lounge for lunch and dinner, a light-filled space with the proportions of a classic train station. And nitrogen may be nearly inert, but something in the atmosphere is making La Mar’s plants grow to mammoth proportions.
La Mar Cebicheria Peruana, Pier 1 1/2 The Embarcadero, 415-397-8880 or lamarsf.com