ADI San Francisco Travel Trip Diary – Day 7: Incredible Edibles to Tiki Bars

I have trouble sleeping sometimes, and before I went to bed after the do, a friend gave me and edible, which are legal in San Francisco so why the hell not, right? I fell asleep before I needed it and when I woke up at 6am, I had moved from business mode right back into holiday mode so I ate the small, gummy bear sized sweet, drank the can of 10% Bloody Mary I’d stashed from the night before and decided to get in the pool. The temperature was pretty cool at around 8 degrees at that time in the morning, but the pool and the jacuzzi spa were heated so I went for it.

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Now, I’m not one to include photos of me in the blog. But I can’t help but feel this one with the Bloody Mary and creeping red eye is an exception to the rule.

Fast forward an hour and I’m starfished out, floating on my back, looking up at a clear blue sky and the edible is kicking in hard. Like, really hard. The potency of these little sweets is insane. I’m floating around in the morning sun and I’m just so calm. I’m focused on my breathing, taking a deep breath in and rising to the surface before exhaling and gentle sinking back down. It feels like I’m in the womb, or natures womb, there in the water looking up at the sky. I’m sure people good money for this as therapy. My eyes are disappearing and I can’t stop giggling but who cares? It’s too beautiful a day to care. Well, I began too. I began to care a fair bit. It occurred to me that I had to check out. And, I had to clear my room tab which meant talking to someone which was kind of difficult as I was a giggly, no eyed mess. Action was needed. I went back to the room and ordered room service.

“Room service. What do you want?”

“Like…er…what do you have? Erm, do you have any cooked stuff?”

“Sure! We can do potatoes”

“Yes, er, that would be great.”

“Eggs?”

“Yes please”

“Bacon?”

“Yes! All of that would be…really great…thank you”

“Ok it’ll be there in 5”

I put the phone down quickly, before breaking out into the giggles that had been trying in earnest to erupt from my face. Being stoned is hard work. The food came, I ate the food, I had a coffee. I sat contemplating life for a while, then realised I was falling asleep sitting up. I got up quickly and packed. I had to get out of there.

Check out happened. I did the do, managed to chat a bit, I needed to praise the hotel for being amazing. There was minimal eye contact. I bumped into some friends on the way to the ferry. Quick chat, minimal eye contact. Soon enough I was sat on the shore, waiting for the ferry in the late morning sun. Ooh it was warm. Like 18 degrees warm. The sun was shining down on the blue seas and my red, squinting face as I sat in amazement that four hours later that little gummy was still going strong.

To my delight, along came another ADIer, waiting for the ferry and it was my friend who gave me the edible. We had a good old giggle on the way back over. The views were once again glorious. Off the boat I trundle up Fisherman’s Wharf to have a crab melt and a couple of Anchor Steams while the last of the incredible edible dissipated. Before long I was good go go and headed to the next hostel which was downtown, near Union Square. Once I dropped my stuff I had a little potter around the local area before realising the last few days were catching up with me and I needed a nap. I woke from the nap to a message inviting me to Zombie Village. It was only a couple of blocks away. Sure thing.

The Zombie Village is out of this world good. I’m in Tiki heaven! The decor is overwhelming with huge wooden totems, skulls, foliage and a fibre optic starlit sky. The booths are each built like little huts and the rum and cocktail list has been created from sheer obsession. I went to town on the cocktails. The balance of flavors were sublime and the variation incredible. We were lucky enough to have a tour of the upstairs VIP section where they sometimes put on live music. Honestly, this place has it all. It sparked a discussion in our group that the UK could do with a bit more of this. I’m going to start investigating the tiki scene when I get back. If there are good ones out there I want to find them and I want to visit them. Bravo Zombie Village. It’s a triumph and if you’re in town that has to go on your list.

I came out of that place hungry. We were recommended a Filipino food bar up the road. Gosh it was good. The seasoning was out of this world! Pork spring rolls and for a main I had Longsilog, which are sausages that have a kind of chorizo vibe on the go. All mains are served with garlic rice and egg. Ooderlally. It was a taste sensation and just what was needed to soak up all that tiki goodness. I wobbled back into a sleepy hostel room, crept into bed and fell into a deeply satisfied sleep. One day left! Better make it count!

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The Endless Summer – TBGC’s Spit Roasted Pineapple Gin

With the summer slipping away like sand through our fingers, That Boutique-y Gin Company have done it again with a lovely little speciality, Spit Roasted Pineapple Gin.

Inspired by the second Golden Age of the cocktail (1950’s – 60’s), their Pineapple Gin is a lovely little ode to this bygone era, when liqueurs, cordials and fruit gins were all the rage. Some of the favourite flavoured gins were organs and lemon but there were other flavours, passionfruit, grapefruit and pineapple. Some of these fell out of fashion.

That Boutique-y Gin Company have brought back one of these fruit gins and has given it a 21st century twist. The result is the 40.1% ABV Spit Roasted Pineapple Gin, awarded the Master Medal at the Gin Masters 2017.

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The gin is made from whole, peeled pineapples that have been coated with Demerara sugar and spit-roasted until caramelised. This is the combined with a base gin of a classic recipe, with a sturdy base of botanicals including Juniper, Coriander, Angelica, Orange, Lemon, Nutmeg, Cassia, Cinnamon, Orris and Liquorice.

On the nose, I can really smell the pineapple with a hint of caramel at the end. These flavours move onto the palette nicely with the freshness of the sweet and sour pineapple moving onto a lovely, tart ginny finish, even after its died away the pineapple and gin are left mingling on the tongue.

And it seems that this wonderfully indulgent spirit is also very versatile. It’s good with ice and tonic, ginger beer, sparkling wine or Ting grapefruit soda. It can also be used in with fresh lime in daiquiris and Tiki cocktails. Spit-Roasted Pineapple Gin.

This lovely little gin is available in 50cl bottles, RRP £29.95. They can be purchased through Amazon, House of Malt, Master of Malt. It can also be found at Hedonism Wine, Selfridges and Starmore Boss.

What a lovely thing that is. Well done Boutiquey! Keep them coming!

Our new arrival – Nattiel Lynch

Here at the Ginfluence, I am delighted to announce a new arrival!

Photo credit to Tom Marshall and the Ginfestival.com

A new writer, the wonderful Nattiel Lynch, has joined the party and I’m really excited about the stuff he’ll be posting! Between my love of writing long pieces telling stories of gin distilleries and history and Nattiel’s genuine passion for writing on gin and cocktails, we’re certainly widening the coverage and will be adding much more content for you lovely readers, aren’t you lucky! You can give his Twitter a follow here to keep up with his work, although I’ll

His credentials and enthusiasm are perfect for the Ginfuence. As he explains:

     “Since a young age I have always been intrigued and compelled by linguistics, investigative journalism and more broadly, the way in which we’re interactive with one another. With English being my favourite subject at school from as far back as I can remember, my love for journalism was ignited many, many years ago after a school trip to the local newsroom. I was sold!”

After scoring good grades at school and going on to complete 4+ A Level’s including English Language, Media Studies and City & Guides: Radio & Press Journalism (Southampton), Nattiel then went on to graduate with a BA Hons in Journalism from Southampton Solent University (London/Southampton).

     “With intention to continue my studies in the realm of communication in the form of Post-Graduate studies, I gained further experience at Portsmouth News Voice FM Southern Daily Echo Quay News (University Newspaper) NewsFeed (Solent Newspaper.”

     “In the midst of my advancements in education, I somewhat spontaneously found an overproof passion for the drinks industry, in particular cocktails. I was fascinated by the ways in which different flavours and ingredients combine, contradict and coalesce with one another; in addition to the intricate artistry and craft which goes in to making the particular spirit.”

     “Within a year of stirring my first Martini, ah, the memories, I was soon up against the best cocktail bartenders in the South, competing regularly in regional competitions and continuing to grow as a “Mixologist”.

“I have worked in many bars in Southampton at many varying levels, from Bartender to Assistant Managr whilst completing my BA Hons. (Some of my experience, most notable) Rockstone – Bartender, Marshals Cocktail Bar – Assistant Manager, Quay Fifteen – Head Mixologist, Gin Festival – Mixologist, Mangoes – Cocktail Bartender, Havana Club Selección de Maestros South Regional Winner – 2015 (went to Cuba, visited the Havana Club Distillery, learnt their distallation and blending techniques.)

Nattiel is knowledgable, he writes with his heart and he’s keen on the Ginfluence’s principles on helping nurture the gin industry by telling tales and sharing stories. He’s also a pretty exemplary person so I’m really looking forward to working with him.

     “I have three strong passions, Writing, Cocktails and Chelsea Football Club. I’m looking to combine the first two together and communicate the wonderful world of gin and cocktails through both historic research and modern-day alchemy, with the intention to continue my studies in the realm of communication.”

I ask you now to raise your glasses. Welcome to the Ginfluence, Nattiel! And here’s to many wonderful articles. Chin chin!

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