Spiked Juice

I have fondest memories of drinking Sturm at  Raschhofer Rossbräu, a bar/restaurant I frequented while living in Austria a decade ago, give or take a month.  It’s an effervescent,  not fully fermented red wine, which is cloudy and available only in the autumn.  Federweisser is the general term for this category of quick-fermented grape juice, …

Throwback: The Frozen Piña Colada

Last night, we were checking out the Blackbird, a new bar on Market Street between Home and Lucky 13, and encountered the unexpected.  They have a frozen piña colada on the menu, and despite the cool weather and heightened kitsch factor, it was really good. Tip: the quickest way to end a brain freeze is …

Firewater and the Too Bloody Hot

One Saturday last spring,  there was little new or unique, let alone thrilling, at the Ferry Building farmer’s market,  while dodging strollers and tourists was beginning to try my patience, so I settled on a packet of dried spicy peppers to macerate in vodka. The cellophane bag held a mix of habanero, Thai, cayenne and …

Rock and Rye vs. Swine Flu (We Get X-Rated in Round 2)

The bitterness of the first batch of Rock and Rye could stand to be tempered with more sweet and fruit flavors, so I took a different tack the second time around. I used X-Rated, a tropical liqueur with blood orange, mango and passion fruit flavors,I zested the lemon in larger pieces, and left out sliced …

Bathtub Gin and My First Hangover

Despite the impression given by running a website about booze, I’m not the hard-drinking type.  I drank little before I came of age, although I did celebrate my 21st birthday week with 3 trips to Oktoberfest in Munich.  However, I recall (or don’t) having a number of indulgent nights in the decade since, and I’ve …

Gifts for Drinkers

Holiday season is approaching, so I put together a list of things any beverage enthusiast would enjoy. Bundaberg Ginger Beer ($5.99) Munktiki Mugs (varies) Vacuum Coffee Siphon ($110) Japanese Barware (varies) Flask Playing Cards ($29.98) Subscription to Imbibe ($20) Artisanal Cocktails ($24.95) Happy Hour Glasses ($20) iSi Soda Siphon ($62.99) Lillet Blanc ($15) Buffalo Trace …