Man, the cold front really hit San Francisco hard last week. Temperatures dove down to the 30s and sent me diving for my gloves, scarves, and heavy coats. Luckily, one of my very favorite cold-day cocktails is still in town: Hot Buttered Rhum Cider at the gorgeous Slanted Door in the Ferry Building on the Bay.
The Ferry Building was in full glory that night. It was empty, mostly—the cold had probably driven everyone away.
We sidled up to the bar, and I quickly ordered my Hot Buttered Rhum Cider. Jennifer, the bartender, slid the steaming drink across. Straus compound butter, rhum, hot cider, with a cinnamon stick and clove? Oh, glory. I've become accustomed to finding the drink on the menu during Christmastime, and when holiday lights come out, I now look forward to warming my hands around a cup of the stuff. Given the cold night, I was so happy that the drink was still on the menu. It warms you up real quick.
Josh had a Green Point, a Manhattan variation of rye, yellow chartreuse, sweet vermouth, angostura bitters, and orange bitters, which Jennifer just killed. The chartreuse adds an herbaceous quality to the classic. So delicious.
And then we ended the night with Capsaicin Rum and Honey—a warm riff on the old fashioned. Perfectly viscous over a large, pure, perfectly clear block of ice.
Even Ricardo, one of the bar backs/bartenders, came over to admire the ice. "Now that's a good one," he said, smiling. He and his brothers help the Slanted Door create the ice during the day—difficult work that produces amazing ice that's cold, dense, and slower melting. We lifted the glass to peer at it in light, and it was so completely airless that we could barely even make out that it was there.
We had to keep our drinks company with something—so we decided to order a chocolate soufflé cake. And what a good idea that it was! It was soft, dense, and not too sweet.
I suppose there is always a silver lining to these cold days!
The Slanted Door
1 Ferry Bldg
San Francisco, CA 94111