March 3, 2014
The Blue Moon is a summery drink with a very subtle flavor. It’s one of the top favorites here at Coal Stove Sink Bar. The only tricky bit about a Blue Moon (other than picking out the gin to use) is finding Creme de Violette. BTW, you should use a gin with nice balanced aromatics. Our favorite is Leopold Brothers.
The intense blue/purple color of the drink comes from the Violet Liqueur. Use a fancy glass.
2 oz gin
.5 oz fresh lemon juice
.5 oz creme de violette
shake. strain. serve up with a skinny lemon twist.
The Great Blue Moon Experiment of 2014 involved tasting Blue Moon’s made with either Creme de Violette (thumbs up) or Creme Yvette (thumbs down). We also played with the gin parameter.
Two violet liqueurs.
One dead soldier.
February 27, 2014
Meanwhile back at the Palomar, it was a noplasticshowers birthday. Yeah I know, “one day older, and one day closer to death.” Don’t even ask.
Joe Capalbo, GM of the Hotel Marlowe in Cambridge reached all the way across the country to say happy birthday. Awesome.
February 25, 2014
The Palomar San Francisco is one of my favorite Kimptons. Mostly because the staff is incredibly friendly and fun. They know me. That makes a huge difference when you travel too much, and makes a hotel feel like home away from home. (Thanks in particular to Sara Madanat for help with a tricky breakfast meeting.)
Like all buildings with tons of traffic, maintenance and the occasional facelift are essential. For the next 2-3 weeks, the Palomar lobby is getting a complete makeover. Temporarily, the lobby is located way up in room 902. The Fifth floor restaurant is also being completely redesigned with a new concept and a new bar! Jacques assures me it will be great. I am psyched to see the result. Sadly that means having some patience, which I am not very good at. Now being patient…
But the Palomar is still at the top of its game in my book. I was greeted by name, got my favorite room during a very crowded week, and found this when I walked in.
Room 830 will do me! I like some space when I am here all week for the RSA show. Ahhhh.
The bathroom has a nice glass shower and one of those giant tubs that I never seem to use.
There’s even a fish. I think it may be walter, but nobody said this time.
Not only is this an insanely busy week, it’s also birthday week here in noplasticshowers land.
And a warning. Old favorite Cafe de la Presse has gone to the dogs. Avoid (even if your staying at the Triton).
Annabell’s, right next door to the Palomar remains a stalwart even though they have completely changed up their menu. Their bar is excellent. My favorite cocktail there is the Shift Ender, designed by Scott Campbell.
1.5 oz Jameson
.5 oz Canton
3 dashes of orange bitters
stir in a Collins glass with ice. top with 1.5 oz ginger beer.
float with .5 oz Fernet Branca on top
top the drink with two cherries on a skewer and a generous slice of lemon peel expressed and dropped in
About the only thing that needs work other than the reconstruction is the internet. Too many geeks make the internet suck during this week. That is bad. Kinda like not having oxygen.
Five showerheads to wash off the construction dust and some patience for the SF Palomar. Rock on you guys.
February 24, 2014
Turns out that Saturday was National Margarita Day. Who knew? So we were compelled to adjust the Swiss fondue plans to include some homemade margaritas. Thanks Jacques.
This is a very easy drink to make, but it requires some magical wizardry nonetheless. The ratio MUST be 2:2:4 (and you can’t divide by 2). If you squeeze out all of your limes as a constraint, make sure that counts as 2 and not one! If it only adds up to 1, you have to go back to the store and get more limes.
Never make a margarita with glow in the dark green stuff from Food Dog or triplesec.
2 measures of fresh lime juice
2 measures of cointreau
4 measures of tequila
Stir or very light shake. Serve in a glass rimmed with flake salt.
February 15, 2014
First things first. We left this:
So that was good.
Getting in to DC was going swimmingly until Pennsylvania Avenue was blocked by police just at the wrong time (Whitehurst Freeway doom). Must be a White House thing going on. That debacle cost us 30 minutes and an excruciating crawl through Georgetown. Traffic thereby ate most of the allocated Phillips time.
A quick dash through the Phillips. Bees and Picasso.
Then time for a tea at Soho Cafe just across the street from the DC Palomar. (The Soho is a great find, way better than the Starbucks next door.) There was even time for the tail end of a particularly crowded Kimpton wine hour. 30-year-olds everywhere.
Checkin was chaotic. I do believe the Palomar is full to the gills for the dregs of Valentines Day. At checkin, the computer had a hell of a time time finding us, mostly since newly minted GM Abe Liao had plussed us up to avoid plastic shower despair. Thanks Abe! You rock. (Steph Vogel has moved on to become GM of George. Time for a visit to the George it seems!)
Because of Abe, we’re back in the Presidential Suite at the DC Palomar. Sweet.
But due to a massive shortage of cheese, the amenity we were told about at checkin (as Kristen spoofed Abe to deliver a “personal” message) was not in the room when we walked in. Eventually it arrived, cheese included, and all was well with the universe. Great hotel on valentines weekend? Chaos! Chaos I say!
Chaos tilted our way. Cheese, sparkling water, and cupcakes. Awesome.
Plus the Presidential Suite?! Yay. You should know that we’re here reaping the benefit of staying many nights at various Kimptons all over creation. The Kimpton InTouch program free night thing? Superb. No other hotel chain does it like this. And an quadruple upgrade to boot. As predicted, Kimpton is rocking our little world.
Le Diplomate is excellent. And Baker Bob’s bread is truly out of this world. The only thing we took home in a “doggy bag” was some slices of the gorgeous walnut/cranberry bread.
BTW, their bar is top notch too, though way overcrowded.
Let there be cupcakes!
February 14, 2014
A venerable old drink that some claim may be the first cocktail ever, from the Big Easy, we present the Sazarac. I’m making this one with top shelf unobtainium elixer—Sazarac 18—the best Rye in the world. Note that the Sazarac is great with almost every Rye, though, so get some Old Overholt and make one yourself.
Its worth saying that though this drink seems very simple, making it properly takes real practice. Don’t give up if your first few attempts suck! Measure carefully. You’ll see what I mean when you read the instructions below.
3 oz Rye
1 t simple syrup
4 generous dashes Peychaud’s bitters
while drinking glass is icing down, mix the sugar, rye and bitters in another ice packed container. coat the drinking glass carefully with absinthe (discarding the extra). put in a huge ice cube. stir down the liquid in the mixing glass. strain into the drinking glass. squeeze a generous slice of lemon peel over the glass, wiping the edges. drop in.