Update: We tried making a black and tan again with much more success this time. Learn how to pour the perfect black and tan.This was supposed to be a tale about how easy it is to make the glorious drink that is the black and tan. But, instead it is a recount of my struggle and ultimate defeat of the classic beer cocktail. You see, on Wednesday afternoon I had the brilliant idea of making myself a black and tan.
A black and tan is equal parts pale ale and stout. The pale ale is poured into a glass first, and the stout is slowly added over the back of a spoon to create a layer of tan and a layer of black. Although I've never made one before, I assumed it would be simple enough.
Instead of purchasing Bass, like the recipe recommended, I bought Harps. I tried over and over again and was, each time, unsuccessful. Thus, I turned to the pros. I called up my friend Aaron, one of the owners of 15 Romolo, and he informed me that I had to use Bass or another ale with a specific gravity higher than Guinness.
A trip to the store later and I was ready to try again. Unfortunately, I couldn't get the Guinness to layer even with the Bass, so after wasting six beers, I gave up. If you wish to make the black and tan, best of luck to you; here's the recipe.
Recently, I was invited to a seminar hosted at the brand's loft, here in San Francisco. The event was put on by Nirvino, the awesome social-drinking website that let's you rate cocktails and wine, and led by bad-boy bartender Josh Harris of 15 Romolo. Harris discussed the essentials to building a home bar and walked us through a blind gin-tasting.
To find out more about the tasting and check out all my images from the event, keep reading
On Monday night I headed over to my favorite bar, 15 Romolo, to be a guest judge for a Gong-Show Karaoke competition. The event was sponsored by Chartreuse, an aromatic French liquor with a vibrant green color. It just so happens that my current favorite cocktail — The Last Word — uses Chartreuse. I ordered one and asked my bartending buddy, Aaron how to make it.
The Last Word is a classic concoction that dates back to prohibition. It's an expertly created cocktail with four simple ingredients that mix perfectly. The Last Word is not sweet or bitter, but wonderfully balanced and smooth. Don't be intimidated by the gin, because the portions are equal, you won't even know it's there! A last word of warning though, drink too many of these and you may end up hungover. To look at the simple recipe, read more
My favorite bar in San Francisco, 15 Romolo, recently got a makeover where they installed a kitchen. Now, they not only offer innovative cocktails, but they're making scrumptious bar snacks as well. The best dish on the menu are the crispy dogs.
They take a hot dog, stuff it with cheese, wrap a tortilla around it, deep fry it, and serve it with a spicy chili sauce. The result is insanely tasty. It's spicy, crunchy, salty, and porky — everything you need in bar food. After taking one bite, I knew I could chow down multiple crispy dogs in minutes, especially when paired with a Rio Grande cocktail. How about you? Do these dogs sound delicious or disgusting?
Although we are almost at the end of December, I highly recommend you wannabe mixologists make a cocktail entitled November. Created by Scott Baird, a dear friend, owner of 15 Romolo, and one of San Francisco's foremost bartenders, this concoction won the Nirvino Navan cocktail competition at Swig.
If you've never tried Navan, a natural vanilla liqueur, get your hands on a bottle stat! It's a great mixing liquor that can be used in both sweet and savory applications. This well-balanced, delicious cocktail balances out the Navan with a smoky scotch, while apple juice adds freshness.
To look at the recipe and check out a fabulous exclusive video of the bearded Baird making the cocktail, read more
A couple of weekends ago, I attended a deep-fry party at my favorite bar in San Francisco, 15 Romolo. The fiesta was celebrating the inauguration of their new deep fryer and everyone was asked to bring an ingredient to fry. There was a delicious assortment of crispy goodness including Snickers, game hens, cheesecake, bacon (my contribution!), arancini, and crab cakes.
There was also a selection of more outlandish items like fried durian, oranges, squab, and mealworms. Typically used for fishing bait, mealworms are the larvae of a beetle. They are perfectly OK to consume, so being an adventurous eater, I popped a few in my mouth. They tasted earthy, with a chewy texture similar to calamari. If you had been attending the party, do you think you could have stomached them?
Now that Fall is here we can start to think about cold-weather cocktails, especially the warming toddy. With its burnt orange color, caramelized sugar rim, and creative name, this modern variation of the classic drink is not your grandmother's nightcap. Made with rum and Canton Ginger Liquor, it's delicious and surprisingly easy to drink.
Created especially for my birthday party, by superstar bartender Aaron Smith, of 15 Romolo, the Sweeney (Hottie) Toddy is also a wonderful concoction for a Halloween party. Lighting the glass on fire to caramelize the rim makes for a fabulous party trick! Learn how it's done and read more