Tuesday, July 28, 2009


We have had enough people ask us to enable the "comments" feature that we decided to go for it. Comment to your heart's content, but remember what your mom always said: "If you can't say something nice, don't complain anonymously on someone else's blog" ... or something to that effect. Oh, and we also enabled a feature that allows you to easily email a link to this blog to your friends. It's the little white envelope icon just below each post. Spread the word!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Ramos Gin Fizz: Part 3

This weekend I had a few people over to my place for brunch. They were all excited about my Ramos Gin-thusiasm, so I broke out my gear, cut up some citrus, and got my shake on. Since my last attempt (see post below) I had purchased some orange flower water, and I decided to substitute half & half for the heavy cream. I shook that thing for five minutes after a two minute dry-shake, and the results were visually impressive. The contents expanded by about 75%, and were practically bursting from the shaker... my guests were on the edge of their seats. Sadly, that's where the improvements over my last fizz ended. These cocktails were a little gritty, and that impressive froth died down after a minute or two. The taste? Let's just say, we were not impressed.

This is what I concluded:
  1. Half & half is no good. It just doesn't have high enough fat content to remain properly whipped up, nor does it seem to fully emulsify.
  2. Orange flower water is potent stuff. Use sparingly! A few too many drops of this stuff and you're drinking grandma's perfume.

One of my guests also mentioned that using powdered sugar (as listed in the original recipe) would help improve the frothiness, so I think I'll try that next time. I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised that I haven't achieved the perfect fizz, considering I have consistently altered the recipe with each attempt. Silly me.

Oh well. Back to the cutting board.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sungold Zinger

It's back, kids! That savory-sweet glass of perfection that you know and love. This drink has to be one of the most requested drinks we've ever had on the list, and we all have Carlos Yturria to thank. Carlos was our original bar manager, and is responsible for finding our beloved Blood Bank fridge. Here's what's in the Zinger:

Sungold Zinger cherry tomatoes
No. 209 gin

You could try it at home, but why not let us do the measuring for you?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Vandals thwarted!

Saturday night was Range's fourth year anniversary, and we celebrated with champagne, margaritas, and peanut butter chocolate ice cream cake. Many of our much beloved regulars were there to whoop it up until late into the evening, and we all patted ourselves on our collective backs for once again offering up some of the finest food, beverages and good cheer in the city. Four years is a significant milestone in this fiercely competitive San Francisco restaurant scene, and we want to thank every person who has come through our doors.

So things were winding down and we were finishing the clean-up, when Patrick noticed the silhouettes of some naughty late night ne'er-do-wells messing with our Google statue (see post below). Without hesitation, the entire staff got up, rushed out the door and confronted these guys, who nervously mumbled some sort of excuse about "checking to see how heavy it was".

Silly vandals... you shouldn't mess with the Rangers.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

"What's up with the big light bulb out front?"

If you've been on Valencia in the last week, you've probably noticed the big orange light-bulby looking statue in front of Range. It's 800 pounds of PR, courtesy of Google's new project called Favorite Places, in which celebrities mark some of their top go-to spots. We were fortunate enough to be on Gary Danko's list, and as a result we have this lovely sculpture for a few weeks. Sure, it isn't pretty, but we love that Mr. Danko loves Range. We also have a pool going on how long it'll take before it's either tagged or stolen.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

"Milk, please."

So, this guy walks into the bar and orders two glasses of milk. Not one. Two. Nice enough guy, but how often do you get that kind of order? Almost never. Sure, you get your occasional orders of milk with the chocolate souffle (because who doesn't like a cold glass of milk with a hot chocolate dessert), but with the salmon? I don't mean to be judgemental, but this was an unfamiliar food-beverage paring for me. However, it got me thinking about the role of milk in classic cocktails. I'm not talking about White Russians here... I'm talkin' about:

Scotch & Milk
2 oz. blended scotch
5 oz. milk
1 oz. simple syrup

Brandy Milk Punch
2 oz brandy
1 oz simple syrup
4 oz milk
ground nutmeg for garnish

(or if you're begging for a real hangover)

Tom & Jerry
12 eggs
8 tablespoons vanilla extract
24 ounces Bacardi 8 rum
4 dashes Angostura bitters
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 cups whole milk

Ouch! This recipe serves 8-12 (depending on the crowd), but if you serve this crazy mess, I guarantee there will be hell to pay the next morning.

I think I'll just save the milk for my Captain Crunch and coffee.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Summer is in full swing, and we're taking advantage of Mother Nature's generosity. Our cocktail list currently features peaches, plums, raspberries, and strawberries, and you can be sure to find some sort of fruit in the daily cocktail. Grapes and figs are looking good, and I think I'm going to pick up a few honeydew melons for tonight's special cocktail. And for everyone who has asked about "that tomato thing" we used to offer, I can almost guarantee that we'll be bringing back Carlos Yturria's "Sungold Zinger". It's a surprising blend of gin, lemon, and (you guessed it) Sungold Zinger tomatoes, and it was featured in GQ Magazine's Top 20 Cocktails feature in 2008. We'll ask him if it's okay, and then get back to you.

If you're curious about what fruits are in season, we recommend the website for The Center for Urban Education About Sustainable Agriculture. Here's a link to send you right to their seasonal fruit chart: http://www.cuesa.org/seasonality/charts/fruit.php


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Ramos Gin Fizz: Part 2

Okay. Here's a photo of one of my Fizzes:
It's getting closer. I've been working on the recipe and practicing my shake, and it's definitely coming together. The original Ramos Gin Fizz recipe (listed a couple posts down) yields a deliciously frothy, balanced cocktail that goes down easy like, um... Sunday morning (thanks, Lionel Ritchie, for making that godawful song pop up whenever I think of a simile that uses the word "easy"). Five minutes of shaking is clearly better than three, but I'm just not willing to try ten. I've also found that it's a good idea to wrap the shaker with a cloth of some sort unless you want your hands frozen to the shaker like that kid's tongue to the pole in that movie A Christmas Story. The main way that I've altered the recipe is by cutting back the cream a bit, because I find it a little too rich. Other bartenders have recommended using half & half, and I think they're on to something. Half & half contains between 10.5% and 18% milk fat, compared to 36% for heavy cream, so this should reduce the ever-so-slight butteriness that lingers in your mouth and the glass. Stay tuned.

For those of you who are still squeamish about the use of raw egg whites, check out this story that ran in the San Francisco Chronicle last year. The "Class Act" cocktail pictured in the article was the creation of Range veteran, Mike LaFreniere.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Eli has left the building

Last night, a veritable herd of friends gathered around the bar to send Eli off to Africa in grand style... by making him work his butt off. The quantity and quality of well-wishers reflects not only how many of us like Eli, but also how tight-knit the Range staff is, because practically every employee was present, either working or celebrating. Everyone is obviously sad to see him go, but hey, he’s going to Africa! How cool is that? He’ll be posting stories and photos on his own website, so as soon as it has content we’ll post a link on this blog so you can follow his meanderings.

Be safe, Eli…but not too safe.

Here are some more pictures!