Drink of the Week: Getting Whiskey Smashed with Street Food

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Lou Bustamante
The Bourbon Branca Smash from Alembic at Off the Grid

How many times have you wanted to enjoy that order of lumpia or pork belly sandwich with something besides lemonade or soda? Always. (And yes, we know you bring your own minis to spike your drink. We've seen you.)

Drinking and street food in the state of California are two things that don't usually happen very often. Our convoluted liquor laws only allow it in particular situations and locations -- federal land is one, enclosed areas with permits is another.

See also:
- Drink of the Week: Getting Down and Derby with Milk Julep
- Street Food Fest Night Market and Saturday Bar Preview 2013
- Drink Like a Cool Kid, Order an Amaro

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Lou Bustamante
Alembic barman Danny Louie mixes up a drink at Off the Grid Fort Mason
This is part of what makes the Fort Mason and Presidio editions of Off the Grid and events like SF Street Food Fest and Outside Lands so unique. At Fort Mason, Alembic sets up shop and offers up the very San Francisco Bourbon Branca Smash ($10, bourbon, Fernet Branca, lemon, simple syrup).

A smash is basically a julep (liquor, crushed ice, sugar, mint) with the addition of fruit of some kind, in this case lemon. Here Danny Louie of Alembic adds an extra twist with the addition of the fernet. While that may sound excessive, the fernet's strong minty flavor enhances the herbaceousness and cooling quality of the drink. The smash is a great drink to pair with hearty fare that tends to be heavier and spicer, with flavors that lean towards citrus and refreshing. Plus the added benefit of having a digestive liqueur built right into the drink is smart thinking.

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The Whiskey Smash featured this weekend at SF Street Food Fest
Great minds think alike, and Rye on the Road will also be featuring its own version at this weekend's Street Food Fest. Its Whiskey Smash ($10, Wild Turkey Bourbon, lemon, mint, bitters) includes an oleo-sacchrum, a citrus oil and sugar syrup that boosts the citrus.

Two different street food venues means two different opportunities to get yourself smashed.

Bourbon Branca Smash

1 ½ oz. Bourbon whiskey
¾ oz. Fernet Branca
¾ oz. Lemon juice
½ oz. Simple syrup

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a glass with fresh ice. Garnish with a mint sprig.


Whiskey Smash

2 oz. Wild Turkey Bourbon
¾ oz. Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
8-10 Mint Leaves
½ oz. Oleo-Sacchrum*
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a glass with fresh ice. Garnish with a mint sprig.

*Oleo-Sacchrum:
½ lb. Superfine sugar
Peels (just the zest) from 6 lemons

Combine sugar and lemon peels into a zip lock bag or jar, and let rest at room temperature overnight--the sugar will extract oil from citrus and will dissolve the sugar into a thick syrup.

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