Spirits & Cocktails

Snooth User: StevenBabb

I've changed hats.... momentarily

Posted by StevenBabb, Apr 14, 2011.

SO, I've shelved my somm "hat", and have gone back to my roots... bartending...

I'm now the bar manager at Ottimista Enoteca & Cafe here in San Francisco, and taken on the task of breathing life into the liquor program... Ottimista has essentially been known as an Italian wine bar and restaurant, but they've always had a liquor license, they had just never utilized it...

that's where I come in : )

in keeping with the "wine bar" theme, I have come up with the concept of using wine as an ingredient in my cocktails, and as far as I know, this has never been done... and no, this isn't a "sangria" laden cocktail list... these are bonafied cocktails...

it's been about a month since I unveiled my inaugural menu with 5 original drinks, and I have 5 more on deck... experimenting and creating more everyday...

I'm a little hesitant to start putting my recipes out there, at least until some more time has past... maybe I'm being paranoid, but I'm not trying to have them hijacked and published by someone else...

I'd like to invite anyone in SF/Bay Area to stop by Ottimista and try some drinks... but it might be a good idea to email me first, so I can make sure to be there to make them for you...

and I would love to hear your thoughts on my new project....



Reply by Stephen Harvey, Apr 14, 2011.


Good luck with the new venture

With the Aussie Dollar currently buying 1.05 US Dollars and return flights from Adelaide to SF for $1,350 I am very tempted to visit your part of the world.

If it is still in that range in Oct then a week in SF is a distinct possibility

Reply by StevenBabb, Apr 14, 2011.

that would be AUSome : )

Reply by outthere, Apr 14, 2011.

We're thinking about taking in a Giants game in the near future. I'll be in touch!

Reply by StevenBabb, Apr 14, 2011.

hey outthere... i'm ALWAYS trying to take in a giants game : )  i have the schedule, and have been eyeing a few dates in particular (i like getting some of the free give aways!)

Reply by dmcker, Apr 14, 2011.

Good luck on your new work, Steven. Let us hear any interesting adventures, findings, what have you.

A Giants game in the City sounds, followed by some good food and wine, sounds about just what I need right now.

Instead it's corporate restructuring fun, though I do have a Jazz Club and wine respite tonight with an old flame and larger crew. Wish we could transplant to San Fran for the evening, but it looks like it's just Tokyo for awhile...

Reply by zufrieden, Apr 16, 2011.

@StevenHarveyYes!.  Not a few of us love the CAD and the AUD at almost the same value with respect to the USD!  @StevenBabb: have great fun setting a high standard in San Fran for wine bars - those drinking establishments carrying a British-style theme in North America.  I visit the city about once a year so will make an effort to drop in next time round.

Ottimista - gotta remember that...  

Reply by napagirl68, Apr 17, 2011.

Congrats and good luck!  Will have to stop in sometime...

Reply by StevenBabb, Apr 18, 2011.

well.... here's a recipe that i came up with about a week ago... some of my drinks are in the "hand-crafted" relm, and this one has a little disclaimer... you have to like spicy... not overwhelming spicy, but just a slight burn on the mid.... i was wondering around the farmers market at the SF ferry building on a saturday morning, and made this at the bar as an off menu special that night, and i sold 7 of them : )

i call it: SMOKE & FIRE

1 handfull of basil (from the farmers market)

1/4 tsp of smoked chipotle powder (another market purchase)

1/2 oz of organic apple cider (again, from the market, gotta love SF!)

1 oz of pasitto (dessert wine from sicily)

2 oz of bulliet bourbon

muddle ingridients together... give it a good hard shake... double strain into a martini glass... garnish with a "slapped" basil sprig...

in the glass, it has a nice cloudy, almost "smokey" look... nice basil and "smoke" on the nose from the chipotle powder and bourbon... i can't quite describe what you get on the palate, but it's almost a flavor of excitement.. then after you swallow... almost a full second passes... then whooosh... the fire from the chipotle! not overwhelming mind you, just a light flame down the center of your tongue... and now you've (almost) experienced.... SMOKE & FIRE!!!!!


Reply by Stephen Harvey, Apr 18, 2011.

Chuck in a chile and KAPOW!!!!!

Reply by dmcker, Apr 18, 2011.

Sounds interesting, Steven. Would definitely pop in for one of a late spring afternoon if I was in the neighborhood. Then have trouble deciding if I was going for Italian or Mexican later... ;-)

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