Archive for the 'Drinks' Category


Local Flavors: Contigo

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

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If you eat out and read blogs and live in the Bay Area, then you’ve surely heard your share about the doors opening soon at this shiny, new Noe Valley restaurant.

Perhaps you’ve even followed the saga, Chef Brett Emerson’s wild ride from inspiration through daily exasperations and deep disappointment to — at last! — his very own kitchen.

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FLOW: For the Love of Water

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

flow.jpgThousands have lived without love, not one without water.
— W. H. Auden

Like the earth itself, our bodies are 70 percent water. This also happens to be the proportion of our water supply that the agricultural industry consumes to bring food to our tables. No conversation about sustainable food systems can exclude the topic of water.

While water wars seem like the concerns of distant communities, experts predict that towns across the US will also soon be struggling to provide clean, affordable water to their citizens. An award-winning documentary, Flow, one of the post powerful and elegant films in the recent 3rd I Film Festival, tackles the complex issues embedded in a simple glass of water. From Bolivia to India, from Michigan to our very own California, access to water is being contested.

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Infusing Hibiscus

Monday, July 21st, 2008

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My drink of choice at taquerias has always been a large, refreshing glass of jamaica, the brightest and probably healthiest agua fresca in the glass barrel lineup. The beautifully scarlet infusion of hibiscus flowers is rich in Vitamin C and carries a tartness that I love. The dried flowers can be found in any Latino market, or, if you prefer, organic flowers are sold in bulk at markets like Rainbow Grocery. Brewed in boiling water, sweetened with honey, spritzed with a touch of fresh lime or orange, and then served over ice, it’s a delicious and healthful way to banish soda and other bottled drinks.

Abundant in Australia, where it’s known as roselle, hibiscus has recently been exchanging its Mexican and health-food togs for an elegant spin in the world of cocktails. A Sydney-based company, Wild Hibiscus, has begun preserving the whole flowers in syrup. A single bud and a spoonful of its sweet, rosy syrup transform a glass of prosecco into one of the prettiest drinks around. It’s just as easy to dress up a seasonal bellini or brighten a vodka martini.

For now, you can order online — a small jar of 11 flowers and a serious party pack of 50 — but keep an eye out for the jars soon in local markets.