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Spirits

TASTE News Service, May 3, 2017 - Margaritas became America's most popular drink in the 1970s, kicking Wall Street martinis to the curb, and we never looked back.
TASTE News Service, February 9, 2017 — Results of the inaugural “Official Drink of Santa Barbara” craft cocktail contest are in, and the winner is “Ginspiration Point” by Alcazar Tapas Bar.
TASTE News Service, December 8, 2016 – This December marks the 20th anniversary of Anchor Distilling Company’s Junípero Gin and the birth of modern-day craft gin in America. Handcrafted in San Francisco beginning in 1996, Junípero is celebrated for its bold, unfiltered flavor and high proof of 98.6, and is the first craft gin distilled in the United States after Prohibition.
The late Stanton Deleplane at the BV By Avital Ungar Irish Coffee seems like a pretty simple drink, right? I mean, who can’t add a slug of whiskey to a cup of hot coffee and top it with some cream?
By Dan Clarke We rarely review spirits. From time-to-time, however, we enjoy drinking them.
Image courtesy of Wines of Portugal TASTE News Service, August 14, 2016 - The art of pairing food with alcoholic drinks, particularly wine, is a well-established and common practice.
Photo: Paul Saad By Marcia “Tablehopper” Gagliardi January 10, 2016 - San Francisco’s bar scene is just as lively as its restaurant scene, with new watering holes opening all the time (hey, we’re a thirsty city). Here are a few recently opened places—with the rest opening soon—that you’ll want to pull up a barstool at. And fans of wine, we have a couple spots for you, too.
by Dan Clarke For three decades I’ve been writing about wine. This has meant a lot of tasting. Not necessarily drinking, mind you, but tasting. It’s not the dream job some might think, but it’s more fun than many I’ve had. And you can’t spend that much time in any endeavor without developing some skill. Tasting and analyzing wine comes naturally at this point.  I like gin. My preferred brand is Beefeater. In the summer I drink it with tonic and a lime. I also drink gin in a Martini. While I enjoy gin and other hard liquors, I don’t…
TASTE News Service July 23, 2015 - The new Griffo Distillery creates small-batch, grain-to-glass spirits, hand-distilling them in a 250-gallon American-made copper pot still in the Sonoma County riverside town of Petaluma. A light, crisp, and fresh twist on the traditional English Gin, Scott Street Gin is the distillery's initial offering. Made in the London style, it's mixed with the balance of botanicals inside the pot still and distilled in a single run. The process requires intensive preparation and attention to detail. Griffo's bourbon and rye whiskeys are distilled and aged in brand new, locally coopered, charred barrels. The grains…
By Adrian Spinelli February 24, 2015 - There’s a world-class craft spirits scene in San Francisco and the Bay Area, one founded on both tradition and innovation. On one end of the spectrum, there’s a traditional distiller who’s been in the business for more than 30 years and on the other, there’s a young company making whiskey distilled from beer. The grain-to-glass movement is picking up steam and there’s much to discover throughout the region.While only a few of these distilleries have an operating tour and tasting room, their bottles are available at hundreds of bottle shops and bars throughout…
TASTE News Service July 25, 2014 - In a city that is steeped in new technology, San Franciscans are still traditionalists at heart. They love their bars with a sense of history. The San Francisco Travel Association, marketing arm of the City and Country of San Francisco, has forwarded some of their favorite bars from this category. These spots preserve the city’s history, cultural identity and make some darn good drinks. SF Heritage, which works preserve and enhance San Francisco’s unique architectural and cultural identity, has compiled a guide to more than 130 “heritage bars and restaurants” throughout San Francisco.…
TASTE News Service May 30, 2014 - Belgium’s image abroad is one of a country full of bars and expressing a very tolerant view towards alcohol. Today, the legal age for being served alcohol in Belgium is 16 years and, public alcohol consumption is also permitted, though public intoxication is prohibited. These tolerant policies are fairly recent; during the course of the 19th century, the government declared open season on genever, the country’s traditional spirit. Distilled from grain nurtured in the soil of Belgium and the Netherlands, genever embodies the spirit, creativity, and resiliency of the culture that created it.…
Vieux Cognac Grande Champagne Fine ‘Clos de Griffier’ Café Anglais 1788 PHOTO © 2012 Christies The oldest cognacs from the cellars of the Parisian restaurant La Tour d’Argent, on auction at Christies in London, were snatched away in the blink of an eye by Dutch collector Bay van der Bunt in December. In spite of his recent announcement to sell his world’s largest collection of Old Liquors, the experienced bidder was quick to raise his paddle and call for ‘all lots’ when the 6 bottles of the prized pre-Revolutionary Vieux Cognac Grande Champagne Fine ‘Clos de Griffier’ Café Anglais 1788…
By Dan Clarke   A very special whisky.Spending $7000 for a bottle of whisky seemed preposterous to me. Accepting an invitation to taste from that bottle was a different matter. Some years ago I joined a small group of wine and food writers and restaurateurs to sample a number of single-malt Scotch whiskies, among them a 40-year-old Bowmore which was indeed retailing for $7,000. That its bottle was cut-glass and came in its own handsome wooden cabinetry (with brass lock), mitigates the price somewhat. Oh, and the purchaser received an invitation for an overnight stay at the distillery. However, the…