Fall Sips: Cider, Sake, Tea & Cocktails

Scott Baird's Gulf Stream Express at mixology competition

Scott Baird’s Gulf Stream Express


•  At 7×7’s Mixology Madness final competition for Best Neighborhood Bartender on 9/8 at RN74, Scott Baird of 15 Romolo, created the drink of the night, Gulf Stream Express… and rightly won. Though required to use sponsor, Skyy Vodka (their Infusions Pineapple, in this case), Scott wisely added Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon and a splash of Racer 5 IPA, then layered this nuanced drink with lemon, egg white, caramelized pineapple syrup, dash of Fee Bros. whiskey barrel-aged bitters, cayenne, topped with fresh grated cinnamon and a sprinkling of Peychaud’s.

Truffle Gougeres

Truffle Gougeres & a Midleton at La Folie Lounge

•  It’s a happy night at 15 Romolo when Chartreuse Karaoke Gong Show is in effect (with a free shot of Chartreuse to start)… but when Scott Beattie guests bartends, it’s even better. Highlighting the aforementioned Chartreuse, his Chartreuse Swizzle was topped with a bruleed (torched on top) pineapple; his version of The Last Word is the best I’ve tasted, the chartreuse, maraschino and gin accented with a candied lemon slice.

•  La Folie Lounge does a nice twist on a champagne cocktail by mixing champagne with Jameson Irish Whiskey, fresh muddled nectarine and lemon in the Midleton ($10). It’s a tribute to the last days of Summer.


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Sake tasting room at Yoshi's SF

Sake tasting room at Yoshi’s SF

Joy of Sake on September 10 at Yoshi’s SF, was an over-crowded, fight-for-a-bite-of-food event. Too bad as many of those gorgeous sakes were left without lines while the hungry crowd tried not to drink on an empty stomach. More for me, I guess. I could only get so far in the list of 100 strong. Out of the 30 or so sakes I sampled, an immediate stand-out was a smooth Daiginjo B sake from Kyoto, brewed by Masuda Tokubee Shoten: Tsuki no Katsura “Heiankyo Munouyaku Iwaimai”.


Two Rivers Cider is a Sactown-based cider company, selling ciders from bars throughout Nor Cal. I enjoyed their tart, dry Pomegranate Cider ($4.50; $3.50  during happy hour) on draft at Toronado, but you can also order at Alembic and 21st Amendment.


• Either the Green Tea Matcha Shake or Island Spice Chai ($3 each) at Poleng Lounge during its new lunch/take-out hours (not particularly memorable though cheap noodle & rice lunches) are colorful, flavor-packed iced alternatives to anything Starbucks does up the block.

Scott Baird from 15 Romolo mixes for the win Mixology Madness

Scott Baird from 15 Romolo mixes for the win at Mixology Madness