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    San Francisco Bay Area
  1. Vermouth

    Vya is so good you really should try it for yourself and decide whether it's worth the premium. Me, I'd get the Vya (even though, like I said upthread, I like Boissiere a lot) because for whatever reason I don't mind paying a premium on things I go through relatively slowly. The dry, that is. Haven't had the sweet Boissiere. -- Ben
  2. real grenadine

    I use Carlo pomegranate molasses. It turns up sometimes in specialty grocery stores. Picture: http://www.farawayfoods.com/pommolasses.html I use it, by the way, to make Scofflaws, a fantastic overlooked drink that everyone should try. -- Ben
  3. What's Your Favorite Cocktail?

    Well, I have you guys to thank for putting me onto the Aviation and the Last Word, and the Orbit Room (and Gary Regan) for putting me onto the Stiletto. Those are magnificent drinks I like almost as much as: - Sazerac - Pegu - French 75 - Scofflaw (rye or bourbon, dry vermouth, lemon juice, grenadine (or better yet, pom molasses), 8:4:2:1) This last I dug out of Regan's _Joy_ when I wanted to use up a lemon half and didn't feel like an Aviation. -- Ben
  4. Seattle Cocktail Spots

    The place I can't leave Seattle without going to is Jager: http://www.jagerrestaurant.com/hipdrinks.htm I particularly direct your attention to the "Health". -- Ben
  5. Blueberry Cocktails

    When the Pom Wonderful variations came out (pomegranate-tangerine, -blueberry, -mango, -cherry) I fooled around with them a bit. I don't like the mango one much at all, and I didn't really think of anything for the tangerine (possibly because it's so good it's hard to resist long enough to mix). But the cherry one makes a pretty good cosmo and the blueberry one (which tastes a lot more like blueberry than pom) makes a *superb* margarita. -- Ben
  6. The Aviation

    Well, as long as you guys already necro'd this thread... I need to thank you. Aviations, Last Words and Pegu Clubs were the hits of my party a couple months ago. Now onward, to even more bizarre drinks! I tried a Tailspin last night but my hand must have jerked when I was pouring the Chartreuse; it was too sweet. Or maybe Vya is too heavy for the drink and needs to be scaled back a tad. Anyway, I'll keep trying. Now to pick up a bottle of Herbsaint or something to get to work on the Monkey Glands and Sazeracs! -- Ben
  7. Damn, dude, you beat me to it by just over an hour... ("Oh, *that* Starlight Room.") -- Ben
  8. Aquavit Cocktails

    I found this in a book at a friend's place one New Years': Aurora Borealis aquavit blueberry schnapps grapefruit juice Shake & strain, garnish with skewered blueberries. I've forgotten the proportions (I'll bug my friend someday) but considering the Regan Florida Highball Formula, I'd start with 1.5/.5/3 and adjust from there. I know, it sounds weird but it's one of those bizarrely powerful harmonies. Provided, of course, that you like a caraway-flavored drink in the first place. -- Ben
  9. Jagermeister – any fans?

    "We discovered this drink on the Internet, where we saw many variations on the recipe and experimented with all of them." -- Gary Regan & Mardee Haidin Regan, _New Classic Cocktails_ The Oatmeal Cookie 1 oz. Bailey's 1 oz. Jagermeister 1 oz. butterscotch schnapps 1/2 oz. cinnamon schnapps Shake and strain into ice-filled tumbler. Garnish with skewered raisins.
  10. The Orbit Room does indeed have exactly the kind of cocktail menu that would appeal to habitues of this forum -- and if you go on Friday you can even get an Alberta Straub creation -- but it's kind of a one-butt bar and even on weeknights the place is choked, so I find it kind of hectic. I'm so unhip I don't even know what sort of crowd "the Starlight lounge" connotes, but I have run across a couple of restaurants with good bars lately: Oola on Folsom near 4th, and Circolo on Florida at Mariposa. Both are kind of smoked-glass stylish, but don't seem overly attitudinal; not really sure what kind of place you're trying to rule out. Both are, of course, excellent restaurants. -- Ben
  11. Vermouth

    Dang, I was looking forward to weighing in, then everyone else said everything I was going to. Boissiere is the best dry vermouth I've tried, but NP is the best one I can get in half bottles, so it's the one I buy, because it turns before I can finish it. I have Vya sweet but haven't had occasion to get the dry yet, though you can bet I'm going to now. In my experience dry isn't good for more than a month or two, even refrigerated, but I've never noticed sweet turning bad at all. -- Ben
  12. What to do with passionfruit?

    <- jealous! I had this drink on a cruise ship, and now I'm looking all over for something like that. I've tried passionfruit juice, and it's ok. Now on the lookout for any local (SF Bay Area) sources for Monin syrups. Anyway, the drink: the "Island Breeze", just a seabreeze with passionfruit goo. I was running my finger down the menu looking for something without pineapple juice (too sweet), and stopped on this one: vodka, cranberry juice, grapefruit juice, "passionfruit compound". Which, when I ordered the drink, turned out to be something the approximate consistency of spackle which they dug out of a tub with a spoon. Anyway, the drink was fantastic and I drank them all week. Then I got home and discovered to my embarrassment that it was a seabreeze variant (I'd been neglecting juice drinks in favor of martinis and manhattans). -- Ben