Indian summer is in full swing, which means it's time for another edition of SF Cocktail Week, which runs from next Monday, September 17, through Sunday, September 23. Our Cocktail Week was the nation's first, and though other cities have since jumped on the fun-having/liver-punishing bandwagon, the folks at the Barbary Coast Conservancy of the American Cocktail have continued to innovate, introducing lots of cool new events to complement some of their stalwart offerings. Here are five of our favorite events, all of which showcase the amazing bars, bartenders, and spirits that the Bay Area has to offer.
Check out OSAYCANYOUSEE at The Windup Space
On Saturday, September 8, Post Typography’s OSAYCANYOUSEE: Prints and Objects inspired by the War of 1812 will be on view at The Windup Space. OSAYCANYOUSEE is a solo exhibition by Nolen Strals and Bruce Willen. The reception will be held from 7-9 p.m. and music by Ed Schraders Music Beat, Mickey Free and Pure Junk (ex Double Dagger) will start at 9:30 p.m. Art in the Age will be serving their cocktails.
I have one more reason to love the sustainable kitchen gardens at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. They are part of the inspiration behind Sage, a new botanical spirit by Art In The Age of Mechanical Reproduction, a boutique store in Philadelphia that specializes in “thought-provoking products of real cultural capital.” They sell handmade art, clothing, jewelry, home décor and more. They’re also in the organic liquor business, creating spirits inspired by traditional American libations from, as Art in the Age says, “simpler times.”
I arrived at Vedge last Wednesday after work, truly excited for a taste of Art in the Age’s newest spirit, SAGE. I’ve enjoyed this line of craft spirits before, but I knew I was in for a treat this time.
Once inside the comfortable lounge around the corner from Vedge’s spacious bar and dining area, I was greeted with the first specialty cocktail of the evening—“Sage Blossom.” Light and refreshing, this drink featured SAGE, citrus, canary melon, orange flower water and soda. The 80 proof SAGE was wonderfully flavorful, making for a refreshing cocktail that still packs a punch.
Shop your way across the city’s historic core for quirky discoveries and retail bargains. Start by queuing early at South Philly’s Federal Donuts, where lavender or chile-flavored pastries (from $1.25 each) are fried to order and usually disappear by 11 a.m. Then walk north through the old Italian neighborhood, passing the lively Headhouse Farmer’s Market on Sundays (10 a.m.–2 p.m.), where you can round out breakfast with fresh produce from more than 30 stands. Cross Market Street to browse the cluster of tasteful boutiques in Old City (one Pennsylvania perk is tax-free clothing). On 2nd Street, you’ll find racks of vinyl at AKA Music (27 N. 2nd St.; 215-922-3855) and handmade dishes at the Clay Studio. One block over, 3rd Street is jammed with smartly curated racks of designer and vintage clothing. Stop into Sugarcube to score Dunderdon waxed-canvas parkas ($199) and Pendleton wool camp blankets ($140), or Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction for unusual accessories, like local artisan Peg and Awl’s cedar desk caddy ($70). Take a break by walking out over the Delaware River on the Race Street Pier, an impressive park that opened in 2011 next to the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. Afterward, stroll up 2nd Street through hip Northern Liberties—ducking into eco-minded Arcadia Boutique—to Girard Avenue, for a juicy suckling-pig Italian hoagie ($8) at Paesano’s. Frankford Avenue, with its bars and shops, is five minutes away: Visit Adorn for handmade jewelry, and then spend the rest of the afternoon at Frankford Hall with outdoor ping-pong and one-liter steins of Victory Headwaters Ale ($10). You can eat there, but it’s nearby Standard Tap that has long set the standard for Philadelphia’s gastropubs, with a changing blackboard menu of oysters ($2.50) and chicken pot pie ($12). End your night by heading west to the Loft District for a concert at the new venueUnderground Arts, whose upcoming lineup includes Hot Snakes, Damian Lazarus, and Vacationer.
Although Side Project Jerky (which we introduced you to last month) is made in Philly, until very recently you had to order it online or make the pilgrimage to Hickoree’s in Brooklyn if you wanted to get your hands on some. Not super-convenient, given that jerky cravings tend to be of the sudden and crushing variety. Fans of the "jerky for gentlemen" will be happy, then, to hear that the brand is now available at Art in the Age (116 N. 3rd St.), making it much easier to get your fix. And keep an eye out for the brand to pop up elsewhere in the city soon—while it's only on shelves at AITA at the moment, Side Project co-owner Marcos Espinoza tells us that they’ll be shipping an order to COOK (253 S. 20th St.) as early as the end of this week.