Mixology. Have you heard this term yet? I must be living in the dark ages because, until recently, the only mixed-drink terms I used on a regular basis were “bartender” and “blender”. Anyway, since coming to America, I’ve learned a thing or two about mixology. For example, people on this side of the Atlantic host “mixology-themed” book club nights and mixology parties whereby a drink specialist is hired to craft new and exotic beverages and push out the limits on classic bartending. It’s a real American fascination. Given that the Irish aren’t famous for their cocktails, I decided to jump taste buds first into the unknown whilst visiting San Francisco. Our libation exploration lead us to The Slanted Door, a famous Vietnamese-inspired restaurant located in the Ferry Building Marketplace. From the first sip I was quite literally hooked!
I like Mojitos (yes, it’s so yesterday, but, hey, I’ve been living in Ireland for 20+ years – give this girl a break!) so that’s what I ordered first. It was not sickening sweet nor was it gritty from the sugar. I believe our bartender used guarapo, sugar cane juice, which imparted a natural, less sweet, flavour. The mint was cool and refreshing and reminded me of the long, fresh stalks of mint growing in our organic garden back in Ireland. The muddling and stirring, both done at lighting speed, made the short wait from ordering to sipping a pleasurable experience.
My next drink was a Panama Orange Caipirinha (pronounced Kye-puh-reen-ah). It’s made with pixie tangerines, organic sugar, and Mae de Ouro Cachaca (a super-premium Brazilian white rum made in pots still using a 400 year old process and then laid down in oak barrels for at least one year before being bottled). It was simply amazing. Seriously. I’m not a big drinker. In fact, I’m not much of drinker at all these days so to enjoy not one but two alcoholic beverages in the same place in the same night is remarkable.
I tried to get the recipe for both drinks from our bartender but was unsuccessful. My advice is thus…the next time you’re visiting San Francisco call into The Slanted Door and don’t bother asking for a table but rather sit at the bar and enjoy the mixology and tasting experience for yourself. You won’t be disappointed!
The Slanted Door is located at 1 Ferry Building, San Francisco, CA. The phone number is 415-861-8032. Their website is www.slanteddoor.com
Photo credit belongs to Mastermaq’s Photostream on Flickr – Thank you!