Tag Archives: Cocktails

Summer Cocktail Sessions: Vermouth

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Jacques Bezuidenhout’s collection of Vermouth. Photo Credit Antoinette Bruno for Star Chef’s piece on Vermouth.

Got Vermouth? Wildhawk, located in the heart of San Francisco’s Mission District, knows what it takes to produce seriously tasty cocktails using this sweet aperitif.

So what exactly is Vermouth, you ask? Vermouth is fortified wine flavored with various botanicals to add color and flavor. A few key ingredients you may taste include chamomile, coriander, juniper, gentian, saffron and wormwood. Traditionally white wine is used as the

base to produce a dry liquor native to France. The Italians are known for sweet vermouth, made with red wine.
More of a potion than a drink, vermouth was originally used as a medicinal tonic because of the spices and botanicals. Today, it is an awesome tool for any barman and with the right compliments can become your quintessential summer sidekick. While it has a longer shelf life than wine, it will start to oxidize after a month, so it is best to store your favorite bottle in the fridge.

How do I enjoy Vermouth?
Vermouth is diverse, delicious served neat or chilled, or as the ultimate summer cocktail base. Find one you like, add a splash of soda and enjoy with a twist of citrus.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can tackle the vermouth cocktail. Wildhawk favorite, Hip Hops, incorporates grapefruit, pineapple and hops for a refreshing summer libation. Check out the recipe below and make it yourself at home!
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Hip Hops

2 ¼ oz Martini Ambrato
½ oz Grapefruit
½ oz Pineapple Gum
¼ oz Hops Tincture
Shake / D/Strain / Tall Sours
Garnish: Grapefruit Spiral

Can’t get enough vermouth? Visit Wildhawk in San Francisco and try their full menu of vermouth-based cocktails.

 

Vermouth Resources
At Wildhawk, vermouth is taken very seriously and veteran Bartender Jacques Bezuidenhout knows what he’s talking about when it comes to this underrated spirit:
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“There are so many wonderful vermouths that are still undiscovered by many people, or are limited to consuming in Manhattans or Negronis. While classics are always loveable, sipping vermouth as a standalone drink is widely underrated. This is why we’ve implemented our vermouth program at Wildhawk – to give guests the opportunity to explore and learn more about the different styles of rosso, bianco and ambre. Vermouths are complex and chock full of aromas – chamomile, coriander, juniper, gentian, saffron and wormwood, to name a few. It’s great to play around with the different styles when developing cocktails! We feature an array of vermouths to be enjoyed neat or on the rocks and a curated selection of cocktails that are vermouth-forward. It’s also an aromatized and fortified wine, which means it’s low in alcohol content so guests can easily throw a couple back!”Jacques Bezuidenhout, partner, Wildhawk & Forgery in San Francisco

For more tips on how to drink and mix vermouth, check out his handy User’s Guide on Star Chefs!

Jacques Bezuidenhout’s Favorite Classic Cocktails & Bar Essentials

In anticipation for the April opening of Wildhawk Bar, partner Jacques Bezuidenhout reveals his favorite classic cocktails and his essentials for his at-home bar.

What is your favorite cocktail to order at the bar when you go out?
I have three that I order regularly depending on what kind of bar I’m walking into. I cannot just have one. Generally a Negroni is one of my favorites, followed by a Margarita and a good Martini. For me, these three classics, if made well, will always put a smile on my face and make the days’ stresses disappear. They are timeless and very tasty!

Why are these your favorites when you’re out?
Most bars can make a Negroni, even if they don’t, they can be helped with a little direction. Then I love a great Margarita, but that really depends if the bar does fresh squeezed lime juice and if they carry quality Tequila. If that is the case, I will thoroughly enjoy a Margarita or two. Then lastly, I love a well-made Martini, I am very careful when ordering this cocktail. Most bars can make a good Martini, but few can make a great Martini. It is one of those drinks that require some passion and attention to detail. It can truly set the good bartenders from the great bartenders.

Jacques Bezuidenhout and Kenny Luciano of Forgery and upcoming Wildhawk Bar

Jacques Bezuidenhout and Kenny Luciano, partners in Forgery and upcoming Wildhawk Bar

What two things do you stock at your bar at home, that people don’t necessarily think to have or generally own?
A couple of things every home bar should have is a mixing glass and a home juicer. Get a nice mixing glass (Cocktail Kingdom), this will help you stir all sorts of great drinks from Martini’s to Manhattan’s. It is a great piece of equipment to have and looks great on your bar. Then always have a hand juicer for juicing limes, lemons or grapefruits. Do not ever, ever, ever buy pre-mixed citrus. The hand juicer ensures delightful fresh-squeezed juice, which makes for a much better cocktail experience. It takes a little extra effort but the pay-off is well worth it.

What do you think would make someone’s home bar a bit extra special?
For me it is not really a specific ingredient – I believe that is a very personal thing. If you love Gin then stock a great selection. Although, it is always handy to have a small selection of bitters and at the very least Angostura.

Father’s Day Gifts that Will Prompt High Fives


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No more boring ties, bbq tools or golf balls, here are five gifts that will put a smile on dad’s face. He’s your go to guy, someone you can always count on to have your back. This Fathers Day PlumpJack can help you show Dad you care, because your dad deserves something awesome.
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1. Whisky, Wine & Beer, OH My!
Choose from so many great PlumpJack Wine & Spirits clubs, like our American Whisky Club, Gin Club, or Beer Club.  It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
VIEW CLUBS
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2. Fly Fishing in Tahoe
Spoil dad with something relaxing and outdoorsy. Book the Fly Fishing Package at PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn that includes private casting lessons and guided fishing on private, stocked ponds with famed fly fisherman, Matt Heron. Plus welcome snacks and wine in your guest room.
BOOK THIS PACKAGE
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3. Forego Brunch and Opt for Cocktails
Spend a night sipping manly cocktails, at one of San Francisco’s Hottest New Bars in mid-market.
VIEW MENU
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4. Gift Kits with a Kick
Choose from a number of great Cocktail Kit choices, including some classics like the Manhattan, Old Fashioned or a Sazerac.
ORDER A KIT
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5. Burger & Wine: A Perfect Pairing
Indulge in two balboa burgers with the suggested toppings of blue cheese, bacon, and sauteed mushrooms, perfectly paired with a bottle of 2012 Adaptation Petite Sirah for $100.00
BALBOA CAFE SF


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6. PlumpJack Gift Baskets
Gift baskets don’t have to be a drag to receive, PlumpJack Wine & Spirits has gift baskets that will be sure to please Dad. From the Build a Better Bar Basket to the Three Cheers for Beer in a Bucket, our hand crafted baskets are loaded up with premium items.
PURCHASE ONE 

Paul’s Three Favorite Gin Cocktails for Spring

If spring is the season when flowers bloom, filling the air with fragrance, then gin is the springtime of spirits filling a glass. Paul Birman from PlumpJack Wine & Spirits’ Fillmore location, shares his three  favorite gin cocktails for spring.nike free sneakers

Every gin is different with its own unique recipe of botanicals, just as every flower has its distinctive aroma. Juniper, citrus, chamomile, bergamot, and a million other aromas can all be part of a gin’s bouquet. For me, a gin and tonic can’t help but evoke images of lounging on a warm sunny day with a cool, refreshing, cocktail in hand. So grab your cocktail shaker and a bottle of gin and make these delicious drinks. steven curry shoes

Bombay Sapphire Martini served up with olives
A daily requirement to keep my sanity. Sapphire is my go to for it’s classic,
London dry style. Smooth and round, it’s hard to just have one.new balance shoe store

Perfect Negroni with Tanqueray 10 served up with an orange twistnike free 5.0 run

What makes this perfect isn’t just its potency, but the addition of
dry vermouth and sweet vermouth. I cut back a little on the Campari to make it
less sweet as well. I had this with foie gras on New Year’s Eve and the citrus and lightness
of this cocktail made for the perfect pairing.

Ramos Gin Fizz
This New Orleans classic cocktail is a true test of your bartending skills. It’s the
adult version of a dreamsicle. This drink was originally made-to-order using a long
line-up of “shaker boys,” who would shake the drink for 30 seconds each and pass it
down the line. It was said to have taken 12 minutes to properly shake a Ramos
to perfection. It’s not an everyday drink, but worth the effort once it’s made.air jordan shoes by year

If you love gin or are new to the spirit and want to enhance your knowledge, join our
Gin Club at PlumpJack Wine & Spirits. The Club explores modern dry gins, that tone down
the juniper and turn up the intensity of other botanicals for a creative mix of flavors.
Offerings will include gins with different botanicals, garnishes and alcohol content.
You will receive cocktail recipes along with a detailed write up.new balance running

Irish Things to Drink This St. Patrick’s Day

Here are Irish things to drink this St. Patrick’s Day. Why not ditch the sweet artificially colored nonsense and drink something a real Irish person wouldn’t be ashamed of? Might suggest a couple of cocktails and a duo of Irish whiskeys to inspire you this year?all white air max 90

The Emerald is a simple concoction of Irish whiskey, sweet vermouth, and orange bitters. It’s basically an Irish whiskey Manhattan but nonetheless it’s still a very tasty cocktail!steph curry basketball shoes

Emerald
2 oz Irish Whiskey
1 oz Sweet Vermouth
1 dash Orange Bitters
Garnish: Orange Twist
Stir over ice until well chilled. Strain into a cocktail glass and add garnish.nikes air max

As soon as someone adds whiskey to their coffee it instantly becomes “Irish” in the eyes of some people. However, the original Irish coffee was created by a wise bartender at the Foynes airbase, where today’s Shannon International Airport stands. In 1942, a group of Americans on a Pan Am flight back home were forced to return back to the airport due to bad weather. Chef and bartender Joe Sheridan added whiskey to their coffee to “warm their spirits” and topped it with rich whipped cream. A writer for the San Francisco Chronicle sampled the beverage and loved it. He wrote about it in his columns and helped popularize the drink, even going so far as to start collaborating with San Francisco’s Buena Vista Cafe on how to make an authentic version on American soil.
Irish Coffee
1.5 oz Irish Whiskey
3-4 oz Hot Coffee
1 tsp demerara or turbinado sugar
.5 cup Organic Heavy Cream (for topping)
Whip cream by whisking it in a bowl or vigorously shaking in an empty cocktail shaker.
Put 1 tsp of sugar in an Irish coffee mug or a wine glass. Add 3 to 4 oz hot black coffee and stir to dissolve sugar. Add Irish whiskey and stir again. Top with a one-inch layer of cream.new balance 470

Redbreast 12
Made at Middleton Distillery in County Cork, Ireland, Redbreast 12 is an exquisite example of single pot still Irish Whiskey. A mash of malted and unmalted barley are used and distilled three times in copper pot stills. Nutty and rich on the nose, the whiskey opens with spicy notes of dried citrus and vanilla. Nutty undertones and marzipan finish out the whiskey with a finish reminiscent of amontillado sherry.


Green
Spot
Green Spot is one of those great spirits that people often talk about but few have ever really tried. Produced in very small quantities at the Midleton Distillery, Green Spot Irish Whiskey used to only be available in Ireland and United Kingdom and often very difficult to find. Floral notes meat orchard fruit like apricot and pear on the nose. Toasted grain, honey, caramel, and oak follow with more pear, apple, and apricot finishing with slightly spicy clove and a soft finish.air max plus

From our own PlumpJack Wine & Spirits store in Noe Valley, Kelly shares his own concoction for St Patty’s Day.air jordan 15

Kelly’s Concoction
1.5 oz Irish Whiskey
.5 oz Green Chartreuse
3 dashes Bitter Queens Eucalyptus Bitters
Mint

Holiday Cocktail Creations & Recipes

The holidays are officially here. There is a chill in the air and holiday music on air. What better way to celebrate, and get through, the holidays than to try some new cocktails. Whether entertaining guests or cozying up to the fire with a loved one, we found some creative and festive drink options for you to imbibe in this season. Tell us in the comments what your favorite cocktails are to celebrate this time of year, and we may just choose yours to feature in one of our cocktail lists at one of PlumpJack’s restaurants and bars.
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All of the spirits and liquors featured in this post are available for purchase at both PlumpJack Wine & Spirits stores. Delivery is free on orders of $100 or more in San Francisco or stop in to peruse our selections. Happy Drinking!
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English Harvest 
Contributed by Food & Wine



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In a pitcher, combine the apples with the orange, apple juice, lemon juice and brandy. Just before serving, add the hard cider. Serve over ice.
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Ingredients
Ice
1 ounce London dry Gin
3/4 ounce bounded apple brandy
3/4 ounce dry vermouth
3/4 ounce unfiltered apple juice
1/4 ounce oregeat (almond flavored syrup)
3 dashes of Angostura bitters
1 spiral-cut orange twist for garnish
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Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add all of the remaining ingredients expect the garnish and shake well. Strain into a small chilled coupe or snifter and garnish with the orange twist.

Cranberry Gimlet
Contributed by Genna’s Lounge
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Combine the vodka, lime juice, cranberry juice and agave nectar in a shaker over ice. After you shake, pour into a chilled martini glass. Add garnish with fresh cranberries or a lemon twist. This twist on a Cosmopolitan, delivers a perfect balance of sweet and tart.
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Ingredients:
Serving size 1
2 oz. citrus vodka
¾ oz. fresh lime juice
¾ oz. unsweetened cranberry juice
½ oz/ agave nectar
Lemon twist or fresh cranberries, for garnish (optional)
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Apple Barrel
Contributed by Saveur.com

 

 

 

 

 
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Cognac, apple brandy, and an apple-mint vermouth are combined for a decidedly autumnal cocktail.

Ingredients:
1 oz. vermouth, preferably Uncouth Vermouth Apple Mint
¾ oz. apple brandy
¾ oz. cognac
¼ oz. Becherovka liqueur
2 dashes apple bitters

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Strain into an old-fashioned glass with a large ice cube. Twist a 1″ strip orange peel over cocktail; drop peel into glass.

Fig Thyme
Contributed by Honestly Yum
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First make the thyme simple syrup. Add sugar and water to a small saucepan and stir on medium, heat until the sugar dissolves. Then add the thyme and let simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the thyme and pour into a heat-safe glass jar. Let cool before using in your cocktail. Label your jar with the date and refrigerate for up to two weeks.

 

 

Ingredients
1 ½ oz. Pisco
¼ oz. Cointreau
½ oz. thyme simple syrup
½ oz. lime juice
1 fig (quartered)
Thyme Simple Syrup
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
5 sprigs of thyme

Coquito
Contributed by Liquor.com

 

 

 

 

 

This rich and creamy rum-spiked Coquito is a classic Puerto Rican holiday cocktail recipe. Combine all the ingredients except the rum in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat, let cool and stir in the rum. Transfer to bottles (making sure that at least one cinnamon stick goes into each bottle), seal and store in the refrigerator. Serve over ice in rocks glasses and garnish with cinnamon sticks.

Ingredients
2 (15-oz) cans Unsweetened coconut cream
2 (15-oz) cans Cream of coconut (such as Coco Lopez)
1 Vanilla bean (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
3 tsp Ground nutmeg
8 Cinnamon sticks
1 (750-mL) bottle Añejo or spiced rum
Garnish with a Cinnamon stick

Try these at home or come into one of PlumpJack’s Restaurants and Bars for our own take on the holiday classic cocktails.