On Tuesday night I was lucky enough to be among a select group of Nirvino users to attend a special tasting at San Francisco's Fifth Floor. The restaurant recently launched an old-fashioned tableside bar service in which the bartender, spirits extraordinaire and all-around amazing guy Steven Liles, prepares drinks at your table. The 1950s-style wooden cart is stocked with all the necessary tools to create beautiful and delicious cocktails. While at our table, Liles stirred classic gin martinis and chatted about the history of the cart. He's a seasoned pro who can tell when the concoction is ready simply by touch, but for home bartenders, he recommends 20 stirs to the right and 20 stirs to the left. Since my preferred gin for a martini is Plymouth, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the Beefeater one — it was perfectly balanced. To get his recipe for the classic cocktail, read more
If you're a fan of Beefeater, you should definitely get your hands on the brand's latest release, Beefeater 24. The artisan gin, that's made in London, features 12 specially selected botanicals, including a rare Japanese tea and Chinese green tea. The spirit is brewed for 24 hours, hence the name. Unlike classic Beefeater, the 24 is distinctly smoother and more complex with a slightly floral aroma. It makes an excellently drinkable gin and tonic and an elegant rickey.
I recently enjoyed Beefeater 24 in a cocktail named for its creator, master distiller Desmond Payne, at Clock Bar in San Francisco. Crafted by one of my favorite bartenders, Steven Liles, this drink is full of tart citrus flavor. The combination of elderflower liqueur, lemon juice, bitter lemon soda, and Pimm's does not overshadow the Beefeater 24. Instead, it enhances and balances out the gin, resulting in a drink that is intricate and refreshing.
To look at Steven's recipe, read more