Friday, April 4, 2014

Announcing a New Series — Three-Word Reviews! Beginning with Greenall's London Dry Gin

Things are getting a little crazy up in here, and we are excited to introduce a new videos series to mix things up: Three-Word Reviews!

That's because we love trying new ingredients and have been wanting to share our general impressions in a really simple, fast, fun way. It's actually a series we first thought of about a year ago, and now we're happy to finally test it out in the world. Go, young grasshopper, go.

To mark our very first Three-Word Review, we made two versions (a long version and a short version), and we'd love to hear from you guys which one you like better. We're still shaping this series and want your input.



A Note on Greenall's

Greenall's Gin is something we picked up at our favorite spirits store at the recommendation of one of the trusty employees. As the name suggests, it is a London-style gin, meaning that it tends to be bold (at least 70% alcohol and often higher) and "dry" (a mere smidgen of sugar allowed after the distillation process allowed, in order for it to qualify as London). This puts the pot-distilled spirit in the same category as the very popular Beefeater, Tanqueray, and Bombay Sapphire gins.

The spirit itself is defined predominately by high notes, more aromatic than flavorful. Lovers of bold gins like Beefeater might think this spirit thin, lacking the rich botanicals of many others on the market. Because the flavor is so dry, those who prefer the shy profile of vodka in their martinis might find Greenall's a bridgeable option for their cocktails. At around $25 a bottle, Greenall's is affordable—though it's easy to find a gin with more character at that same price point.

Don't forget to tell us which video you like better please! Cheers!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

New Spirit: Barsol Perfecto Amor


Earlier this year, Anchor Distilling Company brought a new product to the U.S. market, Barsol Perfecto Amor, a Peruvian aperitif.

Josh and I were both excited to try it. Funnily, Josh kept referring to it That Pisco, and I kept referring to it as That Wine, and when we both tried it, we found that we were both terribly right and terribly wrong!

Barsol Perfecto Amor is a fun blend of both pisco and aperitif—pisco is added to the fermenting grapes. Sweet like a dessert wine and savory like a sherry, the aperitif wine pleasantly balanced the two.

According to the distributor, the spirit has some old ties. It's produced in Peru's Ica Valley, where pisco is famously made, and distilled in Peru, Bodega San Isidro, an old spot that dates back to the 1800s.

With sherry on the rise, we felt that Barsol Perfecto Amor offers a very accessible option for drinkers still getting used to fortified wines. At 17% alcohol, it's stronger than the majority of wines, but much gentler than a spirit or liqueur. It's bright like raisins but still a little nutty and not too sweet or syrupy. Every note is soft and round. It's easy to drink on its own or as part of a cocktail.

At many places you can find a bottle for under $20, too—which makes it really affordable, more so than most good sherries. It's a fun bottle to keep in the fridge as a sip for guests or a small glass before or after dinner.

Recent Opening: The Square


It's so inspiring to see spaces reinvented.

New restaurant, The Square, is a great example of it. Formerly inhabited by Bottle Cap, the North Beach spot has been retouched and reopened by Teague Moriarty and Matt McNamara, the team behind the Michelin-starred Sons and Daughters and Sweet Woodruff. Their goal: To bring a classy food experience to San Francisco that's still delicious but less complex than their sister restaurants.

What used to be a neon mishmash of neon wall paint, rich food, and strong, cask-aged cocktails has now been turned into a comfortably muted, refined, tavern-like interior.


The cocktail menu is still being matured with an expected rollout of a customized program in the coming months. In the meantime, guests are being treated to reliable classics, sometimes made by guest appearances by bartenders from neighboring bars like Tosca.

We did get a great taste of what some of the food will be like. Like Sons and Daughters, the team is brining some perfectly executed dishes with down-to-earth flavors—but with more straight-forward flourish.




Dry rub baby back ribs.


The Square415-525-3579
1707 Powell
Open every night 6pm-1am, food all night.