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cocktails

Amber India Happy Hour

I met up with J in the city for happy hour. She was thinking about this one mexican place in the Yerba Buena Center, but on the way there, we passed by Amber India. The happy hour menu was enticing. We went to the mexican place anyway, but then were immediately annoyed by the loud and incessant music, so we went back to Amber. It couldn’t have been a better idea.

Amber is a very swanky indian restaurant, which is a small chain in the bay area. The one in SF is pretty huge. We hung out in the bar area, which is beyond colorful. They have a kick ass happy hour menu with cheap drinks and $5 apps. We both got the amber rose, a lovely little cocktail featuring pureed raspberries and pomegranate juice, along with booze, of course. It was lovely! And especially lovely at $5!

We also decided to try out some of the appetizers. The Bhel Puri is on the left. It is rice puffs tossed with onions, raw mango, chutneys, and topped with savory noodles. The Batata Vada is at the top. They are spiced potato dumplings encased in garam flour batter. They are served with two different chutneys, the green one being much spicier than the other. The Pani Puri are on the bottom right. These little beauties are wheat puffs filled with spicy mint and cumin water, potatoes, and chick peas. All of these were excellent, each with their own level of kick. It’s definitely indian food, so if you don’t like things like curry or cumin or flavors reminiscent of that, then stay away! But if you’re an indian food lover, then you’ll love all of these. Really, for $5 each, how can you go wrong? These are awesome prices anywhere, so in San Francisco it’s a downright steal!

Amber India on Urbanspoon

boozings – Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em At London Grill

Welcome back to another installment of boozings, where we try all of Philly’s Top 15 Drinks! Next up we go to London Grill, for the Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em. It is a drink made with house infused chipotle mezcal, Victory Prima Pils, and a smoked tomato salt rim, served in a pint glass. This is another spicy ass drink on this list. Am I the only one who’s puzzled by the idea of spicy and smoky cocktails? I mean the bloody mary, sure, but all these drinks with peppery and smoky drinks are a bit odd to me. Maybe not so much the peppery and spicy, but the smoky throws me off.

Alright, so I didn’t really care for this. I had a spicy/smoky drink made with chili infused tequila at distrito and really liked it. But this one, with chipotle infused mezcal, not so much. Something just didn’t work for me. And believe me, I tried to like it, but I just didn’t. And it didn’t really go well with the pils either. I feel as though something chili infused needs to be smoothed out with some kind of juice, and not a beer. And it’s a really hoppy beer, so it doubly did not do it for me. So there, another one on the list I did not like. You can’t win ’em all!

Ok, 13 down, 2 more to go! I’ve only got 2 left, whoa!

boozings – Vesper At Noble

Welcome back to another installment of boozings, where we try all of Philly’s Top 15 Drinks! Next up we go to Noble American Cookery, for the Vesper. It is a drink invented and named by James Bond. Here at Noble, it’s made with Penn 1681 vodka (philly’s own!), Bluecoat gin, Lillet blonde (a french bitter aperitif), orange bitters, and essential oils of a lemon peel, served in a martini glass. The original vesper was made with Kina Lillet, which no longer exists. So you can’t get a real vesper anywhere.

Original or not, I’m a big fan of this drink. As you can see, there’s really nothing in this drink except for booze. I watched the bartender make it, and whoa, did he put a lot of booze in this. But somehow, it’s still very delicious and very drinkable. It tastes good. I don’t know how, but it just does. And I typically prefer my drinks to have some kind of juice or soda in them. This one doesn’t have any such thing. Because it’s nothing but booze, it’s quite strong. I’m sure two of these, and I’d be out for the count.

We also tried the moscow mule, which is not on the menu, or else I didn’t see it. We ordered it because we saw the bartender making one, and it looked intriguing. It’s boozy, mostly vodka, with some ginger beer, served over ice with a wedge of lime in a beer glass. It was incredibly refreshing, and quite light. I highly recommend it! And I highly recommend Noble for drinks. Sitting at the bar was great. The bartenders were friendly, and they mix a mean drink. Plus, the bar itself, is incredibly beautiful. It’s just one giant piece of wood and I love its organic beauty.

Ok, 12 down, only 3 more to go! Feels like the home stretch!

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