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Besame's Chica Verde Cocktail
Besame's Chica Verde Cocktail

Inside Besame’s Top-selling Chica Verde Cocktail

Besame, at 818 Lincoln Ave. downtown, is known for its tasty cocktails, from mojitos and pisco sours to seasonal sangrias. But one stands apart as its best-selling, and that’s the Chica Verde, which will make those who ordered something else verde green with envy. Concocted from Alkkemist gin, St. Elder liqueur, lemon juice, simple syrup and cucumber juice with a tajin rim, a key, says the restaurant’s Rachel Turriff, is its rim, which will leave you licking your lips for more. “Our Chica Verde is light, refreshing and floral and has the perfect bite from the Tajin rim,” says Turriff. “They’re pretty popular.” Want to saddle up and try one? Hit it during happy hour from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. daily, featuring 50 percent off house cocktails and 30 percent off all tapas (so you have a little fuel in the tank). 

Lean Into It

A Bourbon Trip to Kentucky

A bevy of Steamboat bourbon aficionados enjoyed a booze-tasting trip of a lifetime this fall, joining Primrose owner Collin Kelley on a chaperoned bourbon tour of Kentucky. In all, eight people signed up for the tour, touring 11 different distilleries in a private shuttle van over four days, while staying at boutique hotels. “It was our inaugural trip for friends of the restaurant,” says Kelley, who made his ninth trip to the Bluegrass State to sample and source bourbons for his restaurant. “I have a lot of contacts and friends there, so it worked out great.” The group also got to select a barrel of rye (from Castle & Key) and bourbon (Wild Turkey’s Russell’s Reserve) that Primrose will be serving—and even selling bottles of—at its restaurant this winter. “Fall is the best time down there because that’s when the new bourbon season begins from that year’s harvest,” Kelley says. “We’re going to start doing the trip there every year.” Adds participant Doug Starkey, owner of local property management company Four Seasons Steamboat: “It was a pretty unique opportunity to go there with a guy like Collin who knows all of the area’s distilleries—and it was great being able to help pick out the barrels he would bring home.”

RIP Anchor Steam

Beloved Brewer Throws In the Towel

Play the Taps song for San Francisco’s Anchor Steam made by Anchor Brewing Co., the oldest craft brewery in the country. The brewery closed this year after 127 years in business. The decision came as a result of declining sales and economic pressures brought on by the pandemic and inflation. “It’s a heartbreaking moment in time,” said spokesman Sam Singer.

“Dark, dark day for San Francisco beer drinkers,” added SFGate editor Grant Marek in a Tweet. In a release, Bart Watson, chief economist at the Brewers Association, said that Anchor’s contribution to U.S. beer history “cannot be overstated” and that its closing “partially reflects this new maturing era for craft, and should be taken in the context of the large and competitive market that Anchor helped create.” We just miss the beer. 

Brew for a Cause

Kokua

Mountain Tap Brewery and Ohana teamed up this fall to benefit those affected by the Maui wildfires. As part of the effort, Mountain Tap tapped its Kokua Session IPA, a beer recipe brewed by 700 breweries across the world, with proceeds donated to the Maui Fire Fund. “Kokua” is Hawaiian for “extending help to others” and Maui Brewing Co. crafted it and extended its recipe to other breweries to help with the fundraising effort. It also oversaw its unique artwork–an image of the banyan tree symbolizing the strength and endurance of the Lahaina community, with hearts where the three wildfires occurred. “As a former brewmaster of the Kona brewery for 12 years, I immediately jumped on board to support those affected on Maui through beer,” says Mountain Tap co-owner Rich Tucciarone. “The craft brewing industry in general is a tight-knit group that looks after each other. It’s inspiring to see a worldwide effort at brewing a beer to support those affected.” Ohana, meanwhile, was also on-hand supporting the effort with a  live pop-up T-shirt print, letting guests choose a limited-edition design, shirt style and color to create their own benefit tee.

Standard Becomes Westerly

The Standard Gallery and Wine Bar at 907 Lincoln Ave. has become Westerly, under new owners Ryan and Jacque Scheer who took over this summer from previous owner Dustin Posiak-Trider. The pair plans to continue the gallery’s vision of serving up great art and libations, hosting artwork by more than 30 different artists while serving up cocktails to help guests peruse it. Co-owner Ryan is also a fine art photographer whose work is featured in the gallery. The Scheers will continue to partner with the nearby Meatbar for vittles, run by Dustin’s wife Laura Posiak-Trider, while adding a lounge for cocktails, including a daily menu and fancier drinks come nighttime.