Wednesday, May 21, 2008

SF Cocktail Week and the Debut of the Fallen Mixeur

Today Le Mixeur is graced with a guest contribution from Paula Fallen Star “Ajeticha” Nicole Jenkins, also known in this space as Fallen Mixeur. Fallen Mixeur is a cocktail enthusiast from San Francisco, freedom fighter for the repressed and oppressed peoples of the world, sometimes cocktail muse to T.Mixeur, dear old friend of T.Mixeur, consultant to Munat Bros, and now contributing columnist to Le Mixeur. Fallen Mixeur will accompany the Munat Bros contingency to Tales of the Cocktail this summer, where she says she will add yet another title to her already impressive resume, that of “Festival Wench.” (C. Mixeur, if you are reading, she will need business cards reflecting this daring new venture).

Fallen Mixeur has been kind enough to provide us with an inside view of the recently completed Cocktail Week in San Francisco. Take it away, Fallen Mixeur...

5:30 P.M. – 7:30 P.M.
CUESA Kitchen at the San Francisco Ferry Building

The Farmers' Market tasting event was fabulous and my favorite experience of the week. It was SUCH a beautiful day and 18-20 of the city's best bartenders and mixologists lined up (they did a rotating shift, so 10 or so first hour and last 10 the latter one), and set up their presentation booths. We each were given two drink tickets for full-sized drinks, and you could also walk along and taste little sample cups of as many of the drinks as you wanted. Each booth/bartender had one specialty drink they created just for the event, which were inspired by summer and what the farmers' market has to offer. Amazing strawberries flavored many of these drinks. Blueberries, cucumbers, apples and cherries also added to several of the very refreshing concoctions. Some ingredients that really stood out for me and assisted in the creation of phenomenally unique drinks were roasted jalapeño pepper simple syrup, balsamic simple syrup, and Numi tea-infused bourbon.

The event sold out and for good reason. It was so great to meet all these artists in one place, while they showed us the process of making these amazing drinks, and gave us typed recipe sheets for them. It truly produced the feeling of embracing one's community, sharing this art, and supporting local farmers and bars.

Many drinks stood out but I will type up two of my favorites, if you can I would encourage you to try to recreate them to understand the feeling it created within me.

Blue Bonnet

From Joel Baker of Bourbon and Branch

2 oz. Plymouth Gin
¾ oz. Fresh pressed meyer lemon juice
½ oz. honey
10 blueberries

Muddle blueberries and tarragon with honey. Add gin and lemon juice. Shake and pour over ice.

Spring Fever

From Victoria D'amato Moran of Cent' Anni Cocktail Catering

2oz. Partida Anejo Tequila
*2oz. Roasted Jalapeño Agave Syrup
*1 oz. Rhubarb juice
Squeeze lemon
3 oz. strawberry juice

Shake and strain over cracked ice
Garnish with a nice strawberry and a jalapeño wheel

*Roasted Jalapeño syrup:

Roast 3 jalapeños over an open flame until charred on all sides.
wrap peppers in a paper towel, let sweat for 15 minutes
using same towel, removed blackened skin
Chop peppers into small pieces, discarding the membrane and some, not all, seeds.
heat 1 cup agave nectar and 1 cup water until agave dissipates
add peppers, simmer for 45 minutes on low heat
remove, pour syrup into sterilized glass jar. May store up to 2 weeks.

*Rhubarb juice

Take 4 rhubarb stalks and wash thoroughly. Discard any green. Chop into 1/2 inch pieces.
Add to pot with 2 cups water.
Cook on low until the rhubarb has become a pulp
Strain to extract all the juice

Visit renowned guest bartenders from around the U.S. mixing and serving drinks at participating bars throughout the city.

Alembic – Daniel Nelson (Providence in Los Angeles)
Bourbon & Branch – Josh Durr (Molecular Bartending)
Cantina - Gina Chersavani (EatBar in VA) and Rico Wisner (Poste Brasserie in DC)
Elixir - Tal Nadari (Fabulous Shaker Boys, Holland)
Rye - Marcos Tello (Seven Grand and The Doheny, Los Angeles)

I really enjoyed meeting Josh Durr from Kentucky, who was Bourbon and Branch's guest bartender. He was a quirky, humorous guy who created fun drinks with surprising flavors,, including one with a fig simple syrup, and another which was a red pepper, cilantro, chipotle margarita. He made a few others but those were my favorites. He had a burn on his hand, not just a small one but a seriously bubbled up burn (from making his syrups that morning on a small stove) and yet he still worked some magic and was fun and charming as could be. I had a bit of time where I thought I was going to suffocate and pass out from being in the library at B&B and it being a million degrees. I got through it though and survived which I didn't think I would for bit.

FRIDAY, MAY 16, 2008
3:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M.

I joined my friends Sanaz and Leila at the Elixir to celebrate its 150th year anniversary AND the Save the Sazerac event, where the proceeds of all Sazerac and Shirazeracs go to Tales of the Cocktail. It was MADNESS. Being a local frequenter of the Elixir (it's in the Mission just blocks up from where I work), I have never seen it so packed full of such a mix and match of people. Nor have I seen it with the absolutely overwhelming energy that flooded the place with excitement. I waited to order our first round of drinks for nearly 25 minutes, and this was not due to a lack of hard work or diligence by the bartenders. They lined cups up and created 20+ Sazeracs at a time. The number of people just overwhelmed the number of bartenders and space available. It also happened to be one of the days of the intense heat wave that hit SF, and with an old bar like the Elixir you can only depend on the open windows. HoT!! So sweating their asses off, the bartenders made exquisite Sazeracs. It was beautiful. It was the first tasting of Sazeracs and Shirazeracs for my friends and they both were sold on them by the time we left.

In summary of the week, I must highlight Bourbon and Branch. Not because that is where I spend quite a bit of my time or that I enjoy the friendliness of the staff, but because I so respect this very distinct, energetic, humble, creative art that these young mixologists are creating. I am not sure if the world knows what they are doing in that dark little spot in the Tenderloin, but it is truly special. I must say that Joel, Kevin and Yanni really bring something new to the scene and it NEVER gets boring because of their constant curiosity and passion for this art. It is really impressive.

Merci, Fallen Mixeur. Venez de nouveau!


CounterCorp said...

Great guest post! We want to hear more from Fallen Mixeur ...

T. Mixeur said...

That's great! We can oblige you on that.

(Incidentally, how much did she pay you to say that?)