all hendricksgintasting-1

Published on August 13th, 2011 | by Ruth


Morning Gin Blossoms

I like a good cock­tail as much as the next per­son. Okay, hon­est­ly, prob­a­bly more. Still, ar­riv­ing some­where at 10:30 am to drink on an emp­ty stom­ach feels like a bit of a stretch. (It was all I could do to ar­rive with my eyes open- no pre-event break­fast for me.) Still, the sight of the Hen­drick’s gin cock­tails was ex­cit­ing, even to my grog­gy vi­sion. The event, Gin Blos­soms, part of the fan­tas­tic SF Chefs week­end, was beau­ti­ful­ly or­ga­nized. It brought to­geth­er a col­lec­tion of some of the best bar­tenders the bay area has to of­fer (which is say­ing some­thing) to build in­spir­ing cock­tails around gin. There were plen­ty of oth­er events as part of SF Chefs, as men­tioned in our pre­view cov­er­age, but this one stood out.

Some mem­o­rable drinks in­clud­ed a rose petal cock­tail by Jon San­ter- it was love­ly to look at, gar­nished with a sin­gle deep pink petal. The event’s charm­ing host, Char­lotte Voisey, re­galed us with some of the his­to­ry of ros­es, in­clud­ing leg­end of ros­es left scat­tered around Cleopa­tra’s palace by her suit­or. The wom­en in the room looked a bit en­chant­ed, while a few of the men looked sheep­ish. (Our re­search sug­gests that she did it her­self… Hm­mm…) The rose went well with the na­ture of Hen­drick’s gin in par­tic­u­lar (since it in­cludes rose petal essence)- we’ll def­i­nite­ly be try­ing out some vari­a­tions in­clud­ing it, though Greg was some­what less en­chant­ed.

We both loved Erik Ad­kin’s (of The Slant­ed Door and Heav­en’s Dog) use of ju­niper berry, a nat­u­ral with gin that we some­how don’t en­counter too of­ten. Brooke Arthur’s (of Prospect) cu­cum­ber drink was love­ly and clas­sic with the Hen­drick’s. We re­ceived a book­let on mak­ing cu­cum­ber gar­nish­es that we’re look­ing for­ward to play­ing with at our home bar.

Scott Baird of The Bon Vi­vants pre­pared the most usu­al cock­tail of the morn­ing, em­ploy­ing An­gel­i­ca Root. The cock­tail sport­ed a gar­nish of can­died An­gel­i­ca Root he’d done him­self the night be­fore. He hauled to the front of the room a gan­g­ly, weedy An­gel­i­ca plant that he claimed to have “adopt­ed” from Gold­en Gate Park. (Where, he re­fused to dis­close.) We want­ed to keep drink­ing it de­spite the ear­ly hour, per­haps egged on by his en­ter­tain­ing (and knowl­edge­able) pres­ence.

Next year, we’ll drag our­selves out of bed ear­li­er to grab some food first, but we’re def­i­nite­ly look­ing for­ward to at­tend­ing this event again. We’ll al­so be mak­ing bar-calls to see what else this group of tal­ent­ed bar­tenders has for us. Now to pull out the gin and start see­ing what we can mix and/or shake up.

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About the Author

The ampersand tattoo on her shoulder goes a long way towards explaining Ruth's outlook on life: there's always an "and." With TrulyNet, Ruth enjoys working on social media and writing... and editing... and... Ruth went to the University of Oregon, where she studied music, dance and cognitive psychology (and sleeping very little). While there, she designed classes and taught arts enrichment to talented and gifted grade-school students. After graduation, Ruth spent several years as a Market Analyst at a large law firm in New York. Feeling the pull back to the west coast, Ruth moved to San Francisco and worked for Stanford for a year before deciding to focus on her passion for the arts. Ruth spends more time on Facebook that she cares to admit. When not attached to the computer, working for TrulyNet, or dancing, Ruth rock climbs, knits, swims, obsessively plays Boggle, plays games, plays tennis, cooks, sips beer, wine and whiskey, and travels seeking adventure.

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