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3 Cheers…to San Francisco Cocktail Week’s 6th Anniversary

September 10th, 2012

San Francisco Cocktail Week gets underway next Monday, with a spirited series of events, from lectures to tastings to tours. Highlights include The Best of the West— a showcase of signature drinks from top mixologists in SF, Las Vegas, Portland, LA, Reno, Seattle, and Sacramento—and a prison-themed closing party at St. George Spirits in Alameda with $5 shuttle bus service to and from the Ferry Building in SF, so no one need go to the clink on a DUI.

As our own toast to to the festivities, the Agenda is happy to share 3 Cheers— a few of our favorite spots to imbibe in the Bay Area:

 1) Oakland’s District is is blessed with the genius of Spirits Director Caterina Mirabelli, a master of unexpected pairings. Go for the “Ryes to the Occasion” flight of whiskeys, carefully matched with selections from chef Bob Cina’s house made charcuterie offerings and take your palate into an unexpected realm of adventure.

7 days to mix it up (Photo courtesy of SF Cocktail Week)

2) One tends to think of Italian restaurants as unlikely locales for great bar programs, but Locanda in the Mission belies that assumption. Our favorite is the Helen di Montenegro, a smoothly balanced blend of tequila, amaro, agave, grapefruit and lime that’s none-too-sweet and awakens the palate for the heartier flavors of the Roman-style cuisine (Try the fettucini with rabit sugo and chicory).

3) A few times a year, I drop into Specs, conveniently located across the street from City Lights Books, with which it shares an air of San Francisco bohemia. This dark, bric-a-brac barnacled booze cave opened back in 1968 and never seems to change. Its not so much a time capsule as a capsule of timelessness. You can count on the presence of a taxidermied armadillo, a handful of pickled patrons, and the blessed absence of a television—which fosters conversations among strangers. Order straightforwardly: a Guinness, a shot of Jack, or a martini. And a plastic basket of cheese and crackers.

Video from Cocktail Week 2010, after the jump

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