Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Monday, May 18, 2009

Fancy a Rhubarbella? Tonight's Jardiniere Gala Marks the End of Cocktail Week

Posted By on Mon, May 18, 2009 at 1:55 PM

click to enlarge San Francisco's third annual mixology fest wraps up tonight - KENN WILSON VIA FLICKR
  • Kenn Wilson via Flickr
  • San Francisco's third annual mixology fest wraps up tonight
Starting last Monday, the third annual SF Cocktail Week stirred, shook, and muddled its way through the city. It closes tonight with a gala at Jardiniere, 6-9 p.m. Forty-five bucks gets you all-you-can-eat Traci Des Jardins appetizers, drinks, and a gift bag, along with the chance to chat up the mixologists behind seven satellite bars, including Brian MacGregor (Jardiniere), Scott Baird (Coco 500), and Steve Liles (Boulevard).

Part cocktail-making seminar, part celebration of local drink, the weeklong event once again sought to spotlight local saloon culture, source of such homegrown as Pisco Punch and Irish Coffee. The latest trends skew locavore. Jon Santer, who runs the Bourbon and Branch classroom, said current flavors tend toward the savory -- cloying fruit bombs are a thing of the past, at least for now. The hot ingredients? Açai berry, egg, and jalapeño. Brooke Arthur, bartender at Range, came up with a drink for this year's event that included sea beans. The Rhubarbarella combined vodka with shiso and rhubarb syrup.

Mass-market spirits are out. Small-production bottlings such as artisanal genever (Dutch gin) are in. Mixing techniques are morphing into don't-try-this-at-home exercises in alchemy. Eben Freeman, the molecular mixologist who ratcheted up bartending at wd-50 in New York, appeared this week in SF. His tinctures, foams, powders, and emulsions transform simple ingredients into mysterious new flavors, often aided by xanthan gum, liquid nitrogen, and gelatin. A Freeman signature is The Waylon, with bourbon and smoked Coke.

The official drink of Cocktail Week 2009 is The Barbary Flip, made with cachaça, pineapple-infused vodka, Benedictine, and bitters -- taste it at Absinthe, Cantina, and Elixir. And the local winner of this year's US Bartenders Guild Competition? Ronaldo Colli, who works the bar at Americano. We can't wait to taste what he does with his crown.

  • Pin It

Tags: ,

About The Author

Kim Westerman


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • U2 @ SAP Center in San Jose
    Last night U2 performed the first U.S. date of it’s Innocence + Experience tour at SAP Center in San Jose. All four band members were present despite recent injuries sustained by both Bono and Edge. The sold out show took audience members on a walk down memory lane as the band revisited their roots. The innovative stage and lighting used gave the arena show an intimate feel, and engaged audience members in all sections of the venue. Photographs by Sugarwolf.
  • Bay to Breakers 2015 - NSFW
    The 103rd annual Bay to Breakers 12K race was packed on Sunday despite the cold weather. With a starting point a few blocks from The Embarcadero, people dressed as bananas, Elvis and everything in between ran west through the city and finished at the Great Highway where breakers crash onto Ocean Beach.

    Photographs by Christopher Victorio.