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A Sonoma weekend without Wineries

A Sonoma weekend without Wineries

Think Sonoma is only for wine lovers?  Think again!  Last weekend, Alex and I visited Sonoma.  Trouble is, we don’t really drink that much wine, preferring craft cocktails and beer.  So, read on if you want to see our “spirited” tour of Sonoma – and some great recommendations on places to eat, too!

We started the first afternoon with pre-dinner drinks at the Starling Bar.  http://www.starlingsonoma.com/  It’s really one of the best bars I’ve been to in a long time, serving up cocktails reminiscent of the days when it was actually cool to measure your drinks, not just free form pour and hope it turns out OK.  They even have a secret list of cannabis-infused drinks (no THC, even though it’s legal out here).  Sarah, our bartender, made us one of her very own cocktails, which was outstanding:

Print Recipe
Sarah's Drink
A delicious gin drink with great color - perfect for summer.
Servings
drink
Ingredients
  • 1.5 oz Gin (something not super herbal like Bombay)
  • .75 oz squeezed lemon and lime juice mix of the two
  • .75 oz simple syrup
  • .5 oz Elderflower liquor St Germaine or similar
  • .5 oz Aperol Add after cocktail is mixed
Servings
drink
Ingredients
  • 1.5 oz Gin (something not super herbal like Bombay)
  • .75 oz squeezed lemon and lime juice mix of the two
  • .75 oz simple syrup
  • .5 oz Elderflower liquor St Germaine or similar
  • .5 oz Aperol Add after cocktail is mixed
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients except Aperol in a cocktail shaker with ice, shake. Strain into a martini glass and then add .5 oz Aperol.

We then meandered to the square in Sonoma for dinner (‘meander’ being the operative term after a few cocktails at the Starling Bar), visiting LaSalette for dinner.  We ate 3-4 courses of appetizers, and everything was delicious.  https://www.lasaletterestaurant.com/ 

Sunday we got up and toured a bit – hitting Gloria Ferrer for champagne when their tasting room opened at 10 (I know, we don’t drink a lot of wine, but when we do, it’s sparkling!)   We followed Gloria with a trip across the street to Prohibition Distillery https://www.prohibition-spirits.com/, which was recommended by our new best friend Sarah from the Starling Bar.  We sampled infused gins, elderflower liqueur (think St Germaine but not as syrupy), a liqueur that tasted like Aperol and Campari had a love child, and more.  PINK GIN, ladies.  So delicious, infused with hibiscus to give it color and flavor, I had to buy a bottle and now I’m hoping Delta doesn’t smash it in my checked bag on the way home.

The distillery is also in a very cool spot – filled with small shops and places to eat, we spent a good bit of time just walking the property.

Finally, we rounded out our visit with a quick drive to Lagunitas Brewery.  Home of irreverent beers and the tagline “Beer Speaks, People Mumble”, we sampled a great selection of sour beers – these are my new favorites.  Even if you don’t usually drink beer, or even like beer, I encourage you to try a sour beer.  Really delish.

Our bartender at the distillery recommended a dinner spot, so we nabbed a reservation and were not disappointed.  Harvest Moon cafe – try the chicken and risotto.  http://harvestmooncafesonoma.com/  

We had a great time and I’m sure you will too!



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