Classic Cocktail Classification Depends

East Bay Bartenders are reinventing classic cocktails with interesting twists that make them more appealing than their original iterations.


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Ah, classic cocktails: Sidecars, Sazeracs, Manhattans, Cosmopolitans, Negronis, Martinis, White Russians. Those are a few I saw people sipping when I was a young adult. It’s interesting now to see how few of those gems, so well known to me and so popular in my salad days, pop up in “The Guide: Classic Cocktails Reinvented,” page 40.

Classics for one generation may be forgotten or set aside by another. The twists cocktail maven Elyce Berrigan-Dunlop highlights in the guide come from talented mixologists who work in popular East Bay bars, restaurants, and clubs. She’s a generation behind me, and likely so are the barkeeps she tapped. That may explain why their takes on classics are on a different set of solid faves: Old Fashioneds, Corpse Reviver No. 2s, Gilmets, Gin and Tonics, Mojitos, Bloody Marys, Screwdrivers, Widow’s Kisses, Paper Planes, French 75s, and Zombies.

Gin and Tonics, Bloody Marys, and Screwdrivers have long been quenching thirsts, but re-conceptualized as presented here, they sound far more appealing today than in their original more straightforward iterations.

In other alcohol and spirits news, there’s a cider renaissance underway, and Spirited Away, page 54, explains how a husband-and-wife team, Mike Reis and Olivia Maki, are embracing it in Oakland at their new Redfield Cider Bar & Bottle Shop.

If cocktails and alcohol aren’t your style, perhaps fashion is. Spring seems a natural time to consider how local fashionistas and designers are faring. Nana K. Twumasi introduces three interesting designers, including two Alameda sisters, with a dedicated slow-fashion ethos in their clothing lines, in “Dressed to Thrill,” page 26. Finding inspiration in astounding fashion created for stage and screen, Katie Tandy talks philosophy and more with a few costume designers in “Costumes as Couture,” page 33. And in “Fashion Forward,” page 36, Annie Crawford sits down with Annie Gullingsrud, an international expert on the sustainable circular fashion economy and founder of Oakland’s Design for AllKind, to explore the future of fashion. It’s a world full of quality pieces, reused objects, and repurposed items. Spoiler alert: It’s also stylish — and good for the planet.

One more fashion note: Block Party, page 18, takes a spin on one block of University Avenue in Berkeley where beautiful fabrics abound at Ahlishan Collections and heirloom jewelry awaits at Bombay Jewelry. What’s your style?

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