I stand corrected. Yesterday was not a heatwave. TODAY is a heatwave. The official thermometer broke 98 degrees in San Francisco, with “unofficial” temps in the triple digits. Sitting here in Oakland at this time of the evening, a cool, relaxing breeze should be blowing in to provide the natural air conditioning we like to brag about. It’s instead the kind of sticky August night I almost forgot about from a decade spent in Boston. Except we don’t have any electric fans to get the air moving. (see aforementioned “where is the natural air conditioning?”) Thankfully, by the end of the week, Alaska is sending us some frozen air and we are projected to go from 100 degrees to 60 degrees. Crazy? Definitely. Welcome to California – please leave reason at the border.
In the meantime, its best just to enjoy the weather. Preferably with a seasonal, market-driven tall drink in hand. The West Coast cocktail scene, drawing inspiration from the agricultural bounty of a year-round growing season combined with a food-obsessed population, is becoming defined by this style of drinking. If New York is all about the brown liquours, then San Francisco (and increasingly L.A., Portland, and Seattle) is all about taking the farmer’s market and putting it in a glass. For this tipple, the combination of sage, raspberry and ginger in a column of ice will have you mixing a second (or third) before you’ve even finished your first sip.
6 fresh raspberries
4 fresh sage leaves
3/4 oz. lemon juice
3/4 oz. agave syrup*
2 oz. gin
Muddle raspberries and sage leaves. Add rest of ingredients except ginger beer. Shake & strain into ice filled collins glass. Top with ginger beer.
* Mix 1 part agave nectar to 1 part water
Recipe courtesy of Matthew Biancaniello, Library Bar at the Roosevelt Hotel