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Beer Wine & Spirits

Nosh Box: Tasting Cuba Libre

If there’s a national Cuban dish it’s clearly ropa vieja. This is shredded flank steak that has been brazed in a zesty tomato-paste and beef-broth sauce. Throw in onions, bell pepper and garlic, then season with cumin and cilantro. Finally, a dash of olive oil and vinegar are added for mouth-feel and balance. But ironically, most Cubans don’t eat it, because beef is controlled by the state in Cuba, and is too expensive for the natives.
March 1, 2019

Phosphate Drinks Are Back in Favor at Benchmark

The bygone quack elixir with a toxic-sounding name is making an unexpected comeback as an avant-garde cocktail ingredient.
February 22, 2019

East Bay Whiskey Arrives From Home Base Spirits and Wright & Brown Distilling Co.

Two local distillers with similar stories take their time getting their whiskies to the people.
January 25, 2019

Wildcard Brings Ale Storms to Albany

A new craft brewer expands its Redding footprint to a hub in the East Bay.
January 4, 2019

Galeto Makes a Mean Caipirinha

Made from cachaça, it’s both ancient and new and may start popping up more frequently since it has been add to the International Bartenders Association’s list of standard cocktails.
December 28, 2018

Nosh Box: Better to Give than to Receive

If it’s better to give than to receive, why is gift selection often such a predicament? Sometimes difficulty is inevitable. But in many instances it’s avoidable, especially when gifts are food and beverage related, where size, style, and fashion preferences aren’t part of the equation.
December 1, 2018

Slushie is Just Another Word for Alcohol-Infused Goodness

While the adult slushie may be a bit elusive today in the Bay Area, bartenders say it’s a moneymaker that pleases the masses and may become a mainstay.
November 13, 2018

Butterfly Pea Blossom Astounds in Bear’s Lair Tavern Cocktail

Watch this vodka-soda concoction turn colors before your eyes.
November 6, 2018

Nosh Box: Tiny Bubbles in November

TAll that glitters is not gold. And all that bubbles is not Champagne. November revolves around Thanksgiving, fall’s centerpiece holiday. And now is the time to commissary for December’s feasts and celebrations. This advice applies especially to holiday wines, because many low-production varietals are likely to be available now. As time progresses, supplies have nowhere to go but down.
November 1, 2018

How to Recreate Brennan’s Irish Coffee at Home

The just-closed West Berkeley stalwart may not have invented Irish coffee, but it certainly perfected it.
October 17, 2018