DOTW: The Soiree

Posted by Anita on 06.06.08 7:18 AM

(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**Oh, hi — are you still here? Dang, sorry about that. We’ve done the metaphorical equivalent of falling asleep at the WordPress dashboard, and yet you kept coming by. That’s so sweet.

But enough navel-gazing: We’re back! We’ve got a great few posts in the hopper, including a brand new eat-local challenge for the summer. First, though, I think we’re definitely overdue for a drink.

One of the cool things that happened before our spring slump kicked in was Cocktail Week: Seven whole days devoted to well-made libations, visits from cocktail illuminiati, and some of the city’s best restaurants offering multi-course meals with inventive cocktail pairings. (Imagine eight pork dishes — including two delicious desserts — with seven different American-whiskey cocktails: Foodie hotspot Orson hosted this Bourbon & Bacon extravaganza, and I dream of it still.)

Another night, the folks at CUESA hosted a Farmers Market Cocktails tasting in the arcade of the legendary Ferry Building. At the mercy of one of those unseasonably hot days we get each May, a few hundred cocktail fans packed under the archways like a tin of tipsy sardines. Happily, we ran into many of our local blog buddies, which made for fabulous chit-chat as we sampled and sweltered.

Sadly, although I love fresh-fruit cocktails, Cocktail Week falls at possibly the worst time of the year for that sort of thing. Specialty citrus is pretty much gone, stone fruits are weeks away, and there’s not much on hand but some early-season strawberries and underripe cherries. As a result, I was not captivated by many of the drinks we tasted at the event, despite their being created by some of the best bartenders in town.

The best sip of the evening was the official drink of San Francisco Cocktail Week 2008: The Soirée. It features both green Chartreuse and St-Germain elderflower liqueur — two of my favorite ingredients — woven together with the muskiness of silver tequila, a sour punch of lemon, and the whispered spice of a Latin-inspired tincture. It sounds like the sort of crazy mess you might expect from a collaboration of a trio of star bartenders… but it’s actually delicious. (Of course, it didn’t hurt that the version we sampled that night was shaken up by one of our favorite mixologists.)

The chile-cinnamon-cocoa tincture — definitely not optional — requires a little effort, but the ingredients can be found in any decently stocked bulk foods department. With a quick shopping trip, a few minutes of prep, and a little patient steeping, you can throw your own Soirée whenever the mood strikes.

(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**

The Soirée
1.5 ounces silver tequila
1/2 ounce St. Germain elderflower liqueur
1/2 ounce green Chartreuse
1/2 ounce lemon juice
2 dashes mole tincture
Mint, for garnish

Shake all ingredients with ice, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a sprig of mint.

Mole Tincture
1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
3-1/2 T cacao nibs
1/4 red bell pepper, minced
1 dried very hot chile (such as de arbol)
5oz silver tequila

Place all the ingredients into a jelly jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake the jar twice daily for four days then strain the mixture, first through a sieve, then through a coffee filter before bottling.

Drink of the Week, drinks, farmers markets, recipes



Comment by michelle @ TNS

(1) i had no idea that chartreuse was a beverage as well as a color.

(2) i love the word tincture, using it makes me feel like some kind of dark ages barber-surgeon.

(3) i know i am a dork.

(4) i’ll take 2 of these cocktails.

Posted on 06.06.08 at 8:54AM

Comment by cookiecrumb

Mole tincture! That’s all I need. Even those 5 oz. of tequila won’t wreck my diet if I’m just shaking some into filtered water. Wow.
Hats off to Mr. Mole. Mr. Toad would approve!

(ohleavemealone. I know how to pronounce it.)

Posted on 06.06.08 at 12:10PM

Comment by Jennifer Hess

mmmmmm, that sounds wonderful!

Posted on 06.06.08 at 7:23PM

Comment by Laura

That sounds wonderful. So glad you’re back!

Posted on 06.06.08 at 11:02PM

Comment by Eugenia

The mole tincture recipe looks to approximate the Bittermens mole bitters I had at Alembic a few weeks ago. Any relation? If so, I think I’ve just died and gone to heaven.

Posted on 06.07.08 at 3:17PM

Comment by sairuh

One of these days I’ll have to do taste tests of the various liqueurs you mention in your drink recipes. (Other than Grand Marnier and a few homemade fruit liqueurs, I’m a liqueur neophyte.) This drink sounds like a creative alchemical concoction which I’d love to try!

Posted on 06.07.08 at 8:10PM

Comment by Kevin Farnham

This is a wonderful drink and a fantastic tincture. I modified the tincture a bit (with 3 different kinds of hot peppers, quadrupled the ingredients) and let it sit for over a month. I added a bit of simple syrup after straining. Very happy with the results. The additional quantity allowed me to give some away to friends.

Posted on 07.10.08 at 7:46PM

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