Anchor Distilling Company's Junipero Gin
(1 of 7)
Small Hand Foods' Tonic Syrup
(2 of 7)
St. George Spirits' California Agricole Rum
(3 of 7)
Bar Jars' Rhubarb Vanilla Shrub
(4 of 7)
William C. Paige's Apricot, Mango, and Raspberry Syrup
(5 of 7)
Ripe Heirloom Tomatoes
(6 of 7)
Charbay's Ruby Red Grapefruit Vodka
(7 of 7)
Welcome to your crash course in warm-weather cocktails. And for extra credit, these essential ingredients are Bay Area-made:
1) Anchor Distilling Company’s Junipero Gin
Why buy? Because—unlike the Bombay Sapphire and Beefeater you’re used to—this is an elegant gin with subtle spice, distilled in a small copper pot on Potrero Hill.
How to: Show it off in a Tom Collins. Shake 2 ounces gin with ¾ ounce each lemon juice and simple syrup in an ice-filled mixing glass. Add 1 ounce soda water. Pour into a Collins glass garnished with a lemon wedge. $29.00
2) Small Hand Foods’ Tonic Syrup
Why buy? Because you’re over quinine forward supermarket tonic, and this newly developed syrup is based on an original 1800s-era recipe with red cinchona bark.
How to: Make a gin and tonic. Mix ½ ounce syrup with 1½ ounces gin, 2½ ounces soda water, and a squeeze of lime. $12
3) St. George Spirits’ California Agricole Rum
Why buy? Because this rum’s savory black olive notes and funky grassiness balance fruity, summery mixers with style.
How to: Make a Cuba libre or a daiquiri. Mix 2 ounces rum with one bottle Mexican Coke and a squeeze of lime. Or massage lime juice into a spoonful of simple syrup in a cocktail glass. Add 1½ ounces rum with ice. Stir and serve. $49.99
4) Bar Jars’ Rhubarb Vanilla Shrub
Why buy? Because the Alembic and Rye stock Bar Jars’ new shrubs—made with local vinegar and fruits—so they must be good.
How to: Follow Alembic bar manager Ethan Terry’s recipe for a shrub-infused beverage. Mix 1½ parts barrel-aged bourbon, rum, or tequila with ¾ part shrub. Shake over ice. Strain and serve up or on the rocks. $10, at goodeggs.com
5) William C. Paige’s Apricot, Mango, and Raspberry Syrup
Why buy? Because this sweetener uses Napa honey flavored with apricots, raspberries, and mangoes at peak ripeness. Simple syrup just can’t compete.
How to: Mix an ounce or two into a classic mint julep or vodka-soda. Or brighten up a summer tailgate with a beer spritzer. Add an ounce or two of syrup to a pint of hefeweizen. $18
6) Ripe Heirloom Tomatoes
Why buy? Because fresh tomato water’s natural sweetness sets off tequila, vodka, and gin. To make, purée tomatoes, strain through a cheesecloth- lined sieve, and salt to taste.
How to: Follow cocktail master Scott Beattie’s Bloody Mary recipe. Shake 2 ounces tomato water with 1½ ounces vodka, ½ ounce lemon juice, a dash of aged balsamic vinegar, ice, salt, and pepper. Strain into a garnished glass and serve. $2.99 to 3.99/lb, at Haight Street Market, 1530 Haight St. (near Ashbury St.), 415-255-0643
7) Charbay’s Ruby Red Grapefruit Vodka
Why buy? Because this vodka is infused with ripe, fresh grapefruits in lieu of the artificial flavor used by other vodka brands.
How to: Make a gimlet according to this recipe from Oakland's perenially packed Adesso: Mix 2 ounces vodka with ½ ounce agave nectar and ¾ ounce each fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice and lime juice. Shake and serve on the rocks. $35.99
Originally published in the September 2013 issue of San Francisco