No. 45: Los Muertos at Gitane
SFoodie's countdown of our 92 favorite things to eat and drink in San Francisco, 2011 edition.
Lou Bustamante Gitane's Los Muertos, $10, which incorporates elements of the Paloma with those of a margarita.
Cocktails fall into two categories. In the first are drinks with exciting flavors and maybe a novelty of some kind ― often delicious, usually fun, they wear on the palate the more you sip. Like a whole meal of pork belly, they're too much of a good thing.
The second are those we could drink all night, the cocktail equivalent of session beers. They're the drinks that sneak up on you like a pop hook, and bring you back for more all night. Or, to paraphrase St. George Spirits distiller Lance Winters, cocktails you could drink the shit out of. We use a different word: dangerous.
For us, Gitane's Los Muertos falls into the latter category. A mashup of the classic Paloma (usually grapefruit soda and tequila) and a margarita, Los Muertos' mix of blanco tequila, sweet vermouth, house-made grapefruit marmalade, and fresh lime juice produces something remarkably drinkable that gets tastier the more you drink. The sweet vermouth ― an odd choice at first glance ― integrates amazingly well, its herbaceous aromas and spiced sweetness complementing the citrus and vegetal notes of the tequila.
And that name, Los Muertos, which translates as "the departed"? Think of it as the number of drinks you'll kill off without thinking twice.
Gitane: 6 Claude (at Bush), 788-6686.
Dishes in our series so far:
92: Goat tacos from El Norteño
91: Faux shark's fin soup at Benu
90: Esperpento's alcachofas a la plancha
89: Poco Dolce's olive oil chocolate bar
88: Decantr's chicken-liver mousseline
87: Outerlands' levain bread
86: Fraîche's frozen yogurt
85: Gyro King's spinach pie
84: Tandoori fish from Lahore Karahi
83: Braised oxtail and daikon from Namu
82: Golden Gate Bakery's custard tarts
81: Commonwealth's cured foie gras with umeboshi purée
80: Star Stream's Liège-style waffle
79: Mexican hot chocolate from La Oaxaqueña
78: Meatball sandwich from Mario's Bohemian Cigar Store Cafe
77: Cheesecake from Zanze's
76: Chicken pepian at San Miguel
75: Macau iced coffee at Vega/Special Xtra
74: Comstock Saloon's Pisco Punch
73: Hai Ky Mi Gia's duck leg noodle soup
72: Sauerbraten at Walzwerk
71: Boudin noir at Cafe Bastille
70: Blackstrap molasses gingerbread at Lotta's Bakery
69: Plow's crispy potatoes
68: Prospect's Catcher in the Rye
67: Pork banh mi from Little Vietnam Cafe
66: Nakaochi at Ippuku
65: Sidekick's chocolate spritzer
64: Farmhouse Culture's horseradish-leek sauerkraut
63: Destination Baking Co.'s challah
62: Cotogna's roasted carrots
61: Hard Knox Cafe's chicken and waffles
60: The Rebel Within from Tell Tale Preserve Co.
59: The Slanted Door's Whiskey Cocktail
58: Carnitas burrito from Taqueria San Francisco
57: Sakura mochi from Benkyodo
56: Birria at Gallardos
55: BBQ pork skewers at Fil-Am Cuisine
54: JapaCurry's katsu curry
53: Vegan flan at Gracias Madre
52: Cinderella Bakery's pelmeni
51: Locavore's maple andouille sausage
50: Lumpia from Hapa SF
49: Moonlight Brewing's Reality Czeck
48: Filetti pizza at Una Pizza Napoletana
47: Pupusas revueltas at La Santaneca
46: Khoresht ghaymeh at Maykadeh