Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hold please...

Greetings to those of you who still check the ol' Blood Bank now and again. Apologies for the inactivity, but ever since I took over the bar manager position I've been putting all my efforts into the actual physical bar rather than the blog. Somehow, making sure everything is running smoothly seems more important that reporting on what's going on. Eventually I plan to pick up the pace, but for now consider this blog on hold. Same goes for the Cocktail of the Day page. I'm considering jumping into the world of Twitter and tweeting the Cocktail of the Day, but I can't promise anything. I'm not really excited about the concept of "tweeting", but maybe it's just the word "tweet".

I do want to welcome our talented new bartenders Leah (from Foreign Cinema) and Tayler (from Clock Bar), and welcome back the always creative and hilarious Mike! Mike will be here for the summer, but will return to Paris to reunite with his wife in September. Come and say hi while he's here!

Until then...
Hold please...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bye-bye Brookie...

Sad to say, but Range is losing our rockstar bartender and manager. This June, Brooke will be teaming up with the good people at Boulevard to open up Prospect, which will be serving up seasonal American fare, and offer a lounge that’s almost triple the seating capacity of Range’s bar. Brooke will be creating a cocktail program featuring seasonal cocktails, but will be decidedly more classics-driven than the list at Range. She also plans to include new classics from select bartenders around the city, so don’t be surprised if you see a beverage created by Carlos Yturria, Dominic Venegas, or Thad Vogler. You might even see a cocktail from the current Range drink-slingers.

Brooke has been at Range for three years, been the bar manager for the last two, and has done an amazing job with the cocktail program. Range has always been known for great cocktails, but I think that Brooke brought the list to a whole new level. The Evergreen, Kokomo, Can Can, Vicious Circle, Kamilia, Walnut Grove, and the always-raved-about Vin de Pamplemousse are all Brooke’s creations, and we will miss her creative flair behind the bar. Brooke is always seeking out ingredients beyond what is sitting on the shelves of the back bar, and we now use so many house-made bitters, infusions, shrubs and syrups that we can always offer something delicious that can’t quite be duplicated anywhere else. For this we have Brooke to thank. I could go on and on, but it’s beginning to sound more like a eulogy than I intended. Suffice it to say that we love Brooke and are going to miss her.

Brooke’s last night at Range will be Friday, April 16th, and I guarantee it will be a doozy! Come in and see her smiley face and listen to her call out her signature "wa-HOOOO!" all night, as we shake up some delightful libations. We’re changing the cocktails to either American Gladiator names or classic rock song titles, so you know it’s going to be wacky.

(Editor's note: I originally posted Friday, April 19th, which isn't a real date. The correct date is Friday, April 16th. Thanks Fil!!)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Guava Time!

The signs are everywhere: The sun is setting closer to 6:00 than 5:00; daytime highs are a few degrees warmer, and citrus is now taking up a little less room on the produce shelves. Spring is coming, but before it's here, we're taking advantage of the last of the winter fruits. Chef West was kind enough to get us some of the only California Guavas available, thanks to the nice folks at Brokaw Nursery. As you can see from the picture, these are not the pink-fleshed guavas more commonly seen, but instead are pale yellow, and have an almost pear-like texture. The flavor is mildly sweet, but the fragrance is incredible. When we get them in we have to let some of them ripen at room temperature, and their smell fills the restaurant. We came up with an elegant, clean cocktail to highlight the guava goodness.

2 oz. Pueblo Viejo silver tequila
1/4 of a guava
1/2 oz. lime juice
1/4 oz. agave nectar
3/4 oz pineapple gum syrup

Muddle the guava, combine ingredients and shake. Fine-strain into a cocktail glass. No garnish.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Agave love

Sample greeting here at Range:

Bartender: "Hey, how's it going tonight? Our featured cocktail is called "The Hothouse", and it has Pueblo Viejo silver tequila, basil..."

Thirsty Guest: "Ugh... you can stop right there. I can't do tequila".

Whenever our cocktail of the day features tequila, we are met with extreme reactions. Sure, many people get a twinkle in their eye and order it before we finish listing the ingredients, but often we hear something like the above comment. It makes sense, considering how many people have had ridiculously excessive, somewhat blurry, severely humiliating, dry-heave-inducing experiences centering around shots of cheap tequila. I won't get brand-specific here, but the "gold" it claims to be is really just caramel coloring, and who knows what they used instead of Agave. Fortunately, the tequilaphiles are beginning to outnumber the tequilaphobes, and that's due primarily to the fact that there are so many great tequilas now available in the U.S.

We just added Fortaleza reposado to our tequila arsenal, and man, is it tasty! Lots of vanilla and a hint of cardamom on the nose, with minimal alcohol-fume heat. The mouthfeel is silky and has ample agave-honey on the palate, with a light wood, medium-bright mineral finish. This is a great sipper, but it has enough backbone to make a smooth margarita as well.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Good Luck Olyn!

I'm a little late in posting this, but last month our good friend and barback, Olyn, left Range to concentrate on school and web design. Olyn is a great guy with a wry sense of humor and a deep appreciation for the great outdoors. In fact, I followed his advice last summer and spent five days in Malakoff Diggins State Park, which is about 50 miles northwest of Lake Tahoe. We had a fantastic time, and have Olyn to thank.
Cheers, buddy!

P.S. Just to tie this all in with cocktails, here's a little tip for all you campers out there: Metal water bottles make excellent cocktail shakers, particularly for making frosty margaritas. I squeeze and freeze my lime juice before leaving home, just to save space. Measure the tequila and agave nectar, chip off a little frozen juice, toss in a hand full of ice, close the lid and shake. Pour entire contents into a couple of camping mugs and shazam... delicious post-hike refreshments!

Camping Margarita
6 oz. reposado tequila
2 oz. lime juice
1 oz. agave nectar (cut 1:1 with water)
Serves two.

Friday, January 29, 2010

El Niño--- And Other Excuses

Sincerest apologies for the three-month gap in blog entries. Somehow we got caught up the holidays and time just flew by. So what’s the excuse for January, you ask? Rain. Lots and lots of rain. El Niño has descended upon us once again, and our fine city has become the soggy, gray mess that non-San Franciscans probably envision. You would think that gloomy weather would be perfect for writing, but for some reason, that hasn’t been the case. It has, however, been the perfect weather for drinking bourbon, and that, my friends, has been mighty fine. In fact, one could go so far as to declare the cold months of December and January, Brown Booze Season. Sure, Mother Nature says it’s citrus season, but one can only eat so many blood oranges, tangerines, and grapefruits.

Here at Range we have been bringing our love for brown liquor together with the abundant citrus to make some delightful beverages. Recently, our dear friends Anita and Cameron came into Range and brought us a bag of bergamots for use in our next batch of vin d’orange. We didn’t get to use them for that purpose, but we did start experimenting with them, and we’re pretty happy with the results. The menu now features The B-Line (pictured here), which takes the Range classic, Third Rail one step higher.

The B-Line

1 ½ oz. Bulleit Bourbon
¾ oz. Lillet
1 oz. bergamot juice
½ oz honey
small chunk of skin-on orange
2 dashes of Angostura orange bitters

Place the chunk of orange into the pint glass and add the bitters. Combine ingredients and shake for about 10 seconds. Fine strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a long orange twist.

Come in soon and try one! We’re also perfecting a blood orange cocktail that will go on next week. Also, check out Anita and Cameron’s blog, Married With Dinner.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Blog Turns 100!

One hundred cocktails, to be honest and accurate. We've missed a few days here and there, but this week we have officially entered our one hundredth cocktail of the day (or "C.O.D." in Rangespeak). It's a nice little milestone, and we're proud to offer you all a daily peek into our humble apothecary shop. If you haven't already checked out the cocktail archives, just click on the "Cocktail of the Day" link in the upper left corner of the screen. We also encourage you to dig through the list and find something you just have to try. As long as it's not too seasonally specific (the Sungold Zinger, for example) we'll be happy to recreate whatever you want. The sad thing is, if these drinks don't make it onto the cocktail list, they may never be made again.

Apparently Andy Warhol's fifteen minutes apply to cocktails, too.