The Best New Place To Drink In San Francisco

Share Button

A new cocktail bar has opened in the heart of San Francisco’s financial district. Aptly named, The Treasury boasts a list of drinks sure to impress your next date and potential client. Bar director and restaurant partner, Carlos Yturria crafts housemade highlights like The Standard Oil (Rittenhouse rye whiskey, Dolin rouge vermouth, Drambuie, coffee bitters), Flash (Aviation gin, kiwi, cucumber, lemon) and Rich + Rugged. (Cutty Sark “Prohibition” scotch whiskey, strawberry and black pepper shrub, lemon). The bar chef also boasts a robust sherry program, housemade tinctures, sous vide syrups, and a strong selection of beer and wine. Plenty of beverage options to pair with high roller bar bites like chicken liver mousse, oysters on the half shell and three tiers of traditional caviar service.  When it comes to vibe, The Treasury has it nailed with its 1915 era Beau Arts building transformed into a modern day Parisian bar of yesteryear.  An aesthetic created and executed by local studio, Geremia Design.  This spot is perfect to grab an after work drink or a night cap.

The Treasury is located at 115 Sansome Street, San Francisco, CA.

How to Throw a Hot Summer Kick-Off Party

Share Button

Heat up your summer kick-off party with a refreshingly spicy SVEDKA Grapefruit Jalapeño Vodka cocktail and the perfect playlist.

We’ve been ready to come out of hibernation for a while, and finally the weather is cooperating with our plans for a summer kick-off party. To get things started with rooftop celebrating, BlackBook writers Felicity Sargent and Mark Molle are sharing what it takes to throw the ultimate party, down to the details in playlist and cocktails (like the kick of jalapeño in grapefruit flavored vodka, courtesy of SVEDKA).

There’s nothing like a dresser drink to get things started — you know, the cocktail you make to get in the mood while you’re getting the party ready. Enter the SVEDKA Dog Bite.

Ingredients:
2 parts SVEDKA Grapefruit Jalapeño
4 parts grapefruit juice
1 slice jalapeño
salt

Instructions:
Pour SVEDKA Grapefruit Jalapeño into a salt-rimmed rocks glass filled with ice. Top with grapefruit juice and stir. Garnish with a slice of jalapeño.

svedka_cocktail1_blackbook Svedka_cocktail2_blackbook svedka_cocktail3_blackbook

Next up: Tunes.

“A properly structured party playlist should naturally correspond with the three acts of a properly structured party. Let’s go ahead and pretend that we are spinning somewhere subterranean circa the late aughts,” our hosts say.

  1. The Introduction: “This is when revelers enter and prepare to cross the threshold into the party world.” (Talking Heads through The Drums)
  2. Total party immersion: “When revelers immerse themselves more and more in the party world and the party stakes rise and rise and rise until the party becomes their only world.” (The Pixies through MGMT)
  3. The beginning of the end. (Peter Bjorn and John through M83)

svedka_playlist_blackbook

This next cocktail, Paloma Picante, takes center stage once the playlist is settled and guests start to filter in.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 parts SVEDKA Grapefruit Jalapeño
3/4 part grapefruit juice
1/2 part fresh lime juice
1/2 part simple syrup
1 slice de-seeded jalapeño
lemon-lime soda

Instructions:

Combine ingredients, except lemon-lime soda, in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain into a Collins glass filled with jalapeño infused ice and top with soda. Check out how here:

Hit play, serve cocktails, and make a toast. Here’s to summer!

svedka_party_blackbook

Cointreau Launches Its Creative Class Program

Share Button

For over a century, French liquor brand Cointreau has commissioned famous designers, cinematographers and artists to capture the essence of the spirit through their unique mediums being one of the first companies to work closely with such creative individuals in order to develop advertisings and its timeless aesthetic.

This fall, the iconic house is returning to its roots by forging new relationships with luminary young creatives who are changing their own industries. The curated group includes Kyle DeWoody (co-founder of Grey Area Art Boutique), Athena Calderone (interior designer and Eye-swoon founder), Kate Schelter (illustrator) and Whitney Pozgay (fashion designer) who collaboratively will bring to life a series of highly personal art-and home oriented events that are inspired by the famous liquor — from gallery openings to pétanque lessons. Check back each month to follow their journeys — you might just learn how to mix up a killer Cointreau Rickey. Santé!

Cointreau + BlackBook from BlackBook on Vimeo.

3 Recipes to Help You Celebrate National Margarita Day

Share Button

In celebration of National Margarita Day (Feb. 22 — get those bottles ready!)

The first thing to know about the margarita is that the drink it has been around for well over 100 years. It’s a variation on what the seminal Jerry Thomas book of 1876, The Bartenders Guide or How To Mix Drinks, called a Daisy which is the basic — a sour-citrus cocktail. The original recipe combined brandy, lemon, and chartreuse over ice with a splash of seltzer. This basic temple would later evolve into a Sidecar around WWI, which kept the brandy and lemon, but started using Cointreau and Gran Marnier instead of Chartreuse.

Now is where legends and history collide — there are no fewer than three origin stories for how the margarita came to be.  The earliest one is from 1938, when an aspiring actress by the name of Marjorie King was said to be allergic to all hard alcohol other than tequila –for the record, this is impossible, and she sounds picky/high maintenance. But she must have said something right to the bartender at the Rancho La Gloria. Carlos “Danny” Herrera is said to have created the first Tequila Sidecar in history using tequila, lime, and Cointreau.

So what about the name? The fact is that Anthony Dias Blue, first importer of Jose Cuervo, stared using the advertising tag line “Margarita: it’s more than a girl’s name” in 1945. But the legend is so much better. In 1948 a Dallas Socialite Margarita Sames, was on vacation in  Acapulco, Mexico to celebrate Christmas, and on that day Margarita mixed up the perfect blend of sweet, citrusy, salty tequila that bears her name to this day.

While that part of the story may not be as true as we’d like, Dallas is most definitely a place of margarita innovation, being the genius behind the frozen margarita in 1971.

Cocktails are an ever-evolving thing as history clearly shows, but today’s margarita innovation is all about removing the Triple Sec and adding heat, and taking that Tex-Mex flavor heritage to the next level. We invited three of the top margarita makers in NYC to come by the office and show off their latest concoctions. Their recipes, for you:

Micelle Picollo of Distilled was first up, and even called her cocktail by the old name:

Daisy Mango (Distilled, 211 W Broadway, New York)

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz El Jimador Silver
  • 1/2 oz chipotle honey syrup
  • 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 oz fresh mango juice
  • spicy salt for the rim
  • Seaport salt made in house at Distilled (paprika, dried aleppo pepper, black pepper, Maldon salt and sugar)
  • dried chipotle
  • Maldon salt
  • red pepper flakes
  • garnished with two thinly sliced pieces of jalapeno

salt rimThis was quite refreshing, and I’d say the chipotle pepper was a great call. The smokiness balanced out the sweetness of the mango beautifully. The salt is what makes the drink here. While I might not make this exact concoction at home, it set my mind off in search of finding new salt rims, and for that alone it gets a gold star for creativity.

 

Next we had Jorge Vasquez from Toloache:

Fuego Lento (Toloache, 251 W 50th St, New York)

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Jimador Tequila Blanco
  • 2 oz. pineapple puree
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 3/4 oz. cilantro-infused agave syrup
  • salsa borracha pipette

Garnish with frozen Mezcal soaked pineapple.

Toloache Fuego LentoThis hit close to home in a good way. Mezcal soaked pineapple? Definite fan favorite. The pineapple works well as a triple sec, but it was the cilantro agave that gave the whole drink an earthy undertone that most sweet cocktails lack.  Another thing that made this a big hit was the ability to adjust the amount of heat to your particular taste, by squeezing more or less of the Salsa Borracha viz the pipette. I can guarantee that my first spring party will have Mezcal soaked pineapples, a significant upgrade of the vodka watermelons of old. While including pipettes at home might seem a bit over the top, allowing people to adjust the heat in their drink is something to keep in mind when experimenting with the spicy margarita.

And saving my personal favorite for last, Shannon Dollison from Chavela’s brings us simply enough:

el Jimador Margarita

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz El Jimador Tequila Reposado
  • 1 oz habanero pineapple simple syrup (recipe below)
  • ¾ oz corn juice
  • ½ oz fresh squeezed lime juice

The corn is husked and sliced off the cob and run through a juicer. It is then strained through a colander and again through cheesecloth to remove the solids, leaving a beautiful juice. To make the cocktail, measure each item into a bar shaker.  Add ice and shake. Serve on the rocks in a tumbler.

Habanero Pineapple Simple Syrup

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 cups water
  • 18 dried habanero, bruised open
  • ½ fresh pineapple, cubed

Mix water, sugar and habanero in large cook pot. Bring to a simmer making sure you are in a ventilated area.  Let simmer for 12 minutes. Strain habaneros and return simple syrup to the pot. Add the fresh pineapple and let steep in syrup off flame for 30 minutes. Strain the syrup first through a colander and then again through cheesecloth. Let cool.

Corn MargaritaMixing corn juice into anything might seem a bit strange, but when blended with the habanero simple syrup and citrus accompaniment of lemon, well, it’s immediately familiar to anyone who has had Mexican style corn on the cob. It was fantastic and my favorite of the three. Very innovative. But be warned a few of taste testers said that the heat off of this cocktail was too much for them. The ability to pull from the classic tastes of Tex-Mex cuisine, and remix them in a new way is the height the new mixology’s genius, and no one did it better than this. It was well worth the effort. And yet, the level of effort needed means I’ll be taking the train to Brooklyn to enjoy this cocktail. In other words, do not try this at home. They’re professionals.

Ramones Mania: Marky Ramone Performs Sunday, Johnny’s Tome Comes Out Monday

Share Button

Game of Thrones is just days away. For millions, it will define their Sunday nights. I, alas, will have to TiVo it because I will be swept to The Bell House on a wave of rock and roll nostalgia and friendship. Marky Ramone is in town with his band Blitzkrieg and they will be playing that great Gowanus venue. It will be Ramones’ songs 1-2-3- 4, after each other and it is as close to the real deal as can possibly be. Alas, Joey, Dee Dee, and Johnny have passed on but their legacy will be remembered – Ramone right at this show. Marky is touring and I don’t get to see him much. We are trying to get a dinner in, but it will probably have to wait until he returns from a European tour which will take him and Blitzkrieg to Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, Asia, Spain, Germany, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, and Italy with more dates to be announced. I’m going to catch up with him at the shows and ask him a bunch of questions for Monday’s post.

It’s a very big week for Ramones fans. Johnny Ramone’s posthumous tome Commando: The Autobiography of Johnny Ramone is coming out. Johnny’s wife Linda and pre-Marky drummer and original member Tommy Ramone will be on hand along with John Cafiero (editor and Johnny Ramone autobiography chief-of-staff). It will be at the Tribeca Barnes and Noble (97 Warren Street) on Friday, March 30th where someone, not clear which of them, will be signing books. I will read this book with great interest. Johnny and I were friends for a long while. I got along with Linda just fine when she was Joey’s girlfriend, but things soured (I think) when I was double-dating, with Johnny fixing him up with my friend Lisa. That stuff probably never made the autobiography anyway. It was before I knew about him and Linda. We were hanging at clubs like The Peppermint Lounge. Johnny was very conservative politically and we had many conversations about his right and my left leanings, but we always got along despite that. He was a very sharp guy and, as far as I could tell, the absolute leader of the band. He held them together with his business sense and maniacal devotion to rock and roll.
 
Things got bad when Linda made her shift from Joey to him, but the band played on. The Joey Ramone song "The KKK Took My Baby Away" is thought by some to refer to Johnny stealing Joey’s baby away. I last hung with Johnny a few years ago at the Hudson Hotel Library. He was playing pool with Nicolas Cage, who he had become friends with. Nicolas was really friendly, going out of his way to engage me, but Johnny was quite cold. I questioned him about it as we had never been like that. I was in trouble then and obviously this bothered him, so I bolted. I was surprised when he caught up with me down the long hallway leading to the exit. He wanted to hear my side and I returned with him back to the lounge. We talked frankly, no-holds-barred, as was his norm. It got heated but it was hashed out. We left as friends. I was saddened deeply when he became ill and died. After every show back in the day, I would go backstage and he would turn to me and ask me if it was good and I’d tell him the truth. He knew I would always tell it like it was. He was obsessed with making his fans happy. He was visibly upset when a mistake was made or if he felt one of the other band members had flawed or didn’t share in his enthusiasm. I’m going to pick up a copy of the book but won’t need any signature on it.
 
Domi Dollz
 
In a couple of weeks, on a Thursday before my DJ gig at Hotel Chantelle, I will join the Domi Dollz at the Museum of Sex. They will attempt to teach the sexually needy how to:
create more than just a moment in the bedroom, but an entire experience that will leave your partner begging for more. NYC’s most famed kink experts will explore ideas and techniques from setting the mood, sexy games, and thinking outside the bedroom to the art of the striptease, kinky foreplay, and fantasy scenarios. Enjoy sipping tasty aphrodisiac cocktails while the gorgeous Domi Dollz seduce and inspire you to create your own seduction experience.
OralFix: Aphrodisiac Cafe
Museum of Sex | Lower Level
233 5th Avenue @ 27th St
New York, NY 10016
 
Thurs, April 12th @ 7pm
Admission : $25
Seating is limited
 
The Domi Dollz are simply sexy. They are gorgeous, experienced, intelligent women who talk the talk like they know how to walk the walk. Come, please, please…please.

Time for a Toast: Women, Cast Your Ballots

Share Button

Raise a Prohibition cocktail to Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who drafted Amendment XIX. Enacted today in 1920, it gave American women the right to vote.

In 1878, Anthony and Stanton drafted an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would give American women the right to vote and introduced it to Congress, where it sat in limbo for over four decades.

Finally, on August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment took effect and there was much rejoicing. However, alcohol was illegal at the time, with Prohibition having just gone into effect seven months earlier, so any "legal" celebratiions had to be dry. Of course, we all know that didn’t stop the booze from flowing. And although supporters of suffrage generally endorsed the temperance movement, the right to vote gave rise to a new brand of post-World War I feminists who threw off constricting Victorian corsets to embrace the frisky, fun-loving flapper lifestyle. And that meant cigarettes, the Charleston and fastening a flask to your inner thigh to sneak booze into speakeasies.

LET’S GET DRUNK AND MAKE LOVE

The emerging feminism found a voice in The New Yorker‘s "Tables for Two" column, penned by Lois Long, who Cambridge historian Joshua Zeitz described in his 2007 book Flapper as "one of the most insightful observers of sex and style in Jazz Age America." Looking back at her life in the 1920s, Long later summed up the flappers’ fast-living philosophy: "All we were saying was, ‘Tomorrow we may die, so let’s get drunk and make love.’"

But not all literary ladies of the Roaring Twenties were so keen on the flapper movement. Dorothy Parker (who turned 27 just a few days before the 19th Amendment was enacted) took a jab at the fad in her poem, "The Flapper," saying that their "manners cause a scene." The Algonquin doyenne also expressed a more moderate—and infinitely more sensible—approach to quenching one’s thirst:

“I like to have a martini,
Two at the very most.
After three I’m under the table,
After four I’m under my host.”

So cheers to Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who gave America the 19th Amendment—and an excellent reason to tipple through the Roaring Twenties.

MIX IT UP: THE SOUTH SIDE COCKTAIL

For a perfect Prohibition cocktail during summer’s last gasp, you can’t go wrong with the South Side. Though named after the Chicago district where it was a favorite of mobsters during the dry years, the drink’s exact origin is still contested. New York’s illustrious 21 Club, for example, has laid claim to it. They use the following recipe.

Ingredients

2 oz. vodka, gin or white rum
Juice of one lemon
2 tsp. granulated sugar
1 tbsp. fresh mint leaves

Method

Place ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake well enough to bruise the mint leaves and release the mint oil.

Strain into a chilled collins glass filled with ice.

Garnish with mint leaves.

Enjoy!

BY THE NUMBERS

37 – Number of years the 19th Amendment lay dormant in Congress (a period known as "the doldrums")

31 – Number of votes by which the 19th Amendment won passage in the Senate

51 – Percent of U.S. population that is female

18 – Percent of Congressional seats currently held by women

10 – Amount, in dollars, in 1912, of the budget of the Washington, DC, office of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA)

41,368,000 – Number of Susan B. Anthony one-dollar coins minted

30,000 – Number of speakeasies in New York City during Prohibition

7,304,040 – Number of minutes Prohibition lasted

18,000,000 – Number of U.S. citizens who currently live in a dry county

Jell-O Shots & Ricotta Dumplings: Hill & Dale Opens in LES

Share Button

The specialty at Hill & Dale, new to Allen Street, is a peach and vodka Jell-O shot called the “Dot & Dash.” Our waitress told us it was the house signature, so I suggested we all take one together. She declined, saying she didn’t like the feel of Jell-O in her mouth, and neither do I, so instead of the Jell-O shot, I drank just about everything else, and just about everything else was lovely.

A whole daisy came floating in the “Floozy,” one of eight other cocktails (all $12) fashioned by co-owner Elliott Carlson of Le Bain, which mixed muddled strawberries with Ketel One. Drinks like the Bourbon Negroni and The Berliner (rye, sweet vermouth, cherry, and Ramazzotti bitters) were plenty aromatic, and didn’t mask quality liqueurs with needless sugar. “Flip the Frog,” made with Plymouth Gin and St-Germain, sees its highball glass stacked with half a dozen cucumber slices. I approved.

Décor is themed around early home audio systems: an old brass phonograph rests atop a shelf behind the bar, and kitschy radios line a beam across the dining room. The 1920s-speakeasy thing treads lightly at worst. Beatles tracks played over the PA for a solid hour, with no dips into that “Hello! Ma Baby” schlock. Behind a metal grate in the back, a 30-person lounge with cushy sofas and potted ferns is well suited to quiet sipping.

Hill & Dale calls itself a “gastrolounge,” meaning they serve dinner. Ricotta dumplings are served with a mushroom medley, and a very juicy wild boar sausage wraps around three fantastic cabbage salads. Fried things come in all shapes. One of my housemade chicken nuggets (brown meat) had the form of a heart, while another looked like a man holding a basketball between his legs. For those keeping score in the New York pickle game, Hill & Dale’s current versions are golden baby beets, spring onions, celery, and cucumbers.

The Jell-O shots are not pickled.

Discover the latest openings by visiting BlackBook’s NY City Guides

Not Going To Governors Ball? Then Drink Here

Share Button

When Kanye West, Guns N’ Roses, and Kings of Leon signed on to perform at the three-day, island music party Governors Ball, snagging a general-admission ticket got as hard as grabbing a seat on the 6 train at rush hour. So for all you folks who can’t get the last-remaining tickets or don’t want to pay the lowest-priced $95 stub, there are certain…alternatives. And by alternatives, I do mean very special cocktails made with Governors Ball’s official spirit – SKYY Vodka –  that you can get at two bars in NYC all weekend long: Cowgirl Seahorse and Rockbar.

Cowgirl Seahorse – the nautical spot right by South Street Seaport with mounted fish heads and antler chandeliers – and Rockbar – the grungy West Village gay bar – are doling out these three SKYY cocktails for just this weekend:

Moscato Envy: SKYY Infusions Moscato Grape, tonic, and lime

SKYY Palmer: SKYY Vodka, lemonade, and iced tea

Wild Strawberry Lemonade: SKYY Infusions Wild Strawberry, lemonade, wheels of lemon, and strawberries

Ask the bartender to blast Kanye’s "Stronger," and you’ll feel like you’re on Randall’s Island  – but without the ticket price, face-painted crowds, and nonstop Instagramming.

Get the inside-info on Cowgirl Seahorse and Rockbar, & follow Bonnie on Twitter here

Beer Buckets & Jerk Spice At Battery Harris, NYC’s New Cocktail Yard

Share Button

In keeping with the neighborhood, the former filling station at Frost and Lorimer has switched to a trendier ethanol with the arrival of new cocktail yard Battery Harris. A cavernous sky-lit interior, a la fellow sub-BQE spot The Exley, abets a lovely yard that seats plenty more. From the vantage of a colorful beach chair, the hum of the highway is not unlike the ocean – if you use your imagination and order the right drink, of course.

Head bartender Saul Ranella puts a premium on shaken cocktails for the summer (plus a “frozie,” with chicha morada and passionfruit, once the blender’s in). The Lionheart has lime juice and mint shaken with bourbon and joined by a refreshing slice of cucumber. On the thicker side, the Desert Heat blends 7 Leguas tequila with egg white, agave nectar, and passionfruit. There’s also a jalapeño slice to bite into, at your discretion.

Heat seems to be a theme across the board, with the kitchen putting out a handful of snacks and proper dishes with a jerk spice that really kicks. Smoky slaw, jerk chicken legs, and spicy fries get more dangerous with a few drops of “XXX” hot sauce, or less so with a mug of housemade pickled okra and cauliflower (highly recommended). All orders are plenty substantial—no fear of the “small plates” grift here, even with a bowl of plantain chips, which is another wise remedy for the heat.

As the season comes on, Battery Harris should make a comfy alternative to overcrowded spots like Union Pool. Wallet-friendly pitchers and buckets of beer serve those allergic to swanky cocktails. And if the beach chairs aren’t colorful enough for you, check out the glass ashtrays. Smoke ’em if you got ’em, Billiamsburg.

Know every inch of this city by visting BlackBook’s NY City Guides

Photo: Thrillist.