Bartenders around the region have provided us with their best bets for holiday cocktails featuring gin, rye and bourbon — spirits that are now being produced locally by craft distillers.
In a makeshift distillery tucked into a Rancho Cordova business park, Greg Baughman mashes and ferments batches of his Wheel House American Dry Gin using a still he designed and built himself, a gleaming vision of stainless steel and copper. But actually sell you a bottle? For that he needs to hire a middleman due to regulatory hurdles dating back to Prohibition.
At the crush pad of a custom-built winery, the 6-foot-4 winemaker in tie-dye socks shuts off the forklift, realizing he missed a call.
“I didn’t hear my phone ring,” says Layne Montgomery, 55, general manager and founding partner of m2 Vintners Inc. in Acampo.
“It’s harvest,” jests one of his volunteers. “Who has time for a phone?”
Sacramento is America’s Farm-to Fork capital for many reasons: fresh, seasonal food available year-round, almost 8,000 acres of boutique farms, and the largest Certified Farmers’ Market in California. Last month, Slow Food Sacramento recognized seven local businesses for their commitment to providing products and services that use regionally grown seasonal produce, honoring them with the Snail of Approval award and decal.
Pick your poison, find a pairing, and let us know your favorite local brewery in the Capital Region.
Despite living near some of the most productive farmland on earth, many Sacramentans are unable to find produce that’s both fresh and affordable in their own neighborhoods.
On hot summer weekends, a 20-barrel brewery west of Winters overflows with patrons. They flood the taproom and crowd around shaded picnic tables, sipping beer while soaking in live music. A few kids play baseball in the gravel lot. Others pull wooden blocks from an oversized Jenga set by the food truck. Some are locals, but many come from Davis, Sacramento and beyond to get a taste of whatever Berryessa Brewing Co. has on tap for the week.
Todo un poco means “a little bit of everything,” and that’s exactly how co-owner Marie Mertz describes her strategy. She runs the bistro’s operations, cooks, builds menus, chooses the daily specials, buys fresh produce, trains staff, handles community relations and hand-selects her wines. She’s proud of being in business for so many years, but “who’s counting when you’re having fun?” she says.
It was a question they’d asked themselves time and again. Could Placerville support fine dining? Surely, they thought, the market for their envisioned eatery, The Independent Restaurant and Bar, must exist.
The whole DIY video tutorial trend might be good if you want to concoct a hair conditioner with condiments, practice putting on lipstick with crayons or make pencils float in midair. But if you’re trying to brew your own beer at home, you’re going to need a bit more than a six-minute YouTube clip.
Our local coffee roasters have been putting Sacramento’s coffee scene on the map. While roastery fame is an exciting addition to our Farm-to-Fork movement, it’s not the only way our local cafes are having a positive impact on our city. They also help…
“Eat local.” You’ve heard the phrase a billion times. It’s the guiding principle of the farm-to-fork movement, nudging us away from the Industrial Food Complex and toward our neighborhood farms. But there’s something even more local than a ranch down the road: the orange tree in your front yard.
Thousands of pounds of urban produce are growing on trees and bushes all around you, and if you know where to look, you can gather enough fruits and vegetables to stock a food bank, plan a dinner menu and can a dozen jars of organic blackberry preserves.
The past two years have been remarkably unpredictable for long-time Sacramento chef Jacob Carriker.
When downtown Sacramento’s Brew It Up poured its last beer in 2011, owner Michael Costello lost more than his business. “I lost everything,” he says. “Nobody really knows the whole breadth of it. It’s not an easy thing to go through.”
Imagine you’re a successful businessman, but what you really want to be is a professional baseball player. You’re so sure of yourself that you begin spending nights and weekends studying and training as if Major League Baseball will soon be calling. And then they actually do, and at your first at-bat, you clear the bases.
That’s pretty much how things happened when Granite Bay pharmacist Dr. Grover Lee decided to become an award-winning winemaker.
Great food capitals of the world: Can you name them? Florence. Paris. Tokyo. Barcelona. Istanbul. Singapore. What do these destinations of culinary delights offer?
For the past 10 years, Paul Marsh has pledged himself to the pursuit of wine. In Chico, he learned the intricacies of its fruit by planting and harvesting a vineyard. With Kendall Jackson, he learned to sell. At The Firehouse Restaurant in Old Sacramento, he was educated on the finer points of building a wine collection in a hospitality setting, and he became a certified sommelier.
For the new owners of the Sloughhouse Inn, the challenges of running a restaurant began when patrons started walking through the door. Apparently, management wasn’t actually planning on customers showing up.
In the past two decades, bucolic Sonoma and Marin counties have been at the center of a cheese renaissance that has seen the rise of dozens of artisan and farmstead products, including cheese made from the milk of sheep, goat and water buffalo. With nearly 30 cheesemakers and creameries opening their doors to visitors, exploring curd culture has never been easier.